The last line of the gospel is difficult to read. Their hearts were hardened. What does it take to soften a heart? Jesus worked many miracles and did wondrous healings. Which of them did they not believe? And today? Are there any you do not believe?
John is preaching that God is love. Not just a passive love but an active love. Think of the basic things God does. He creates. He saves. He judges. This may sound too basic, but that is what God does. And He is not seen as a mean vindictive God, but a loving God. Out of love He creates us. Out of love He saves us. Out of love He becomes our merciful judge. God is a loving God. We are His creation, but we needed to be saved so He sent His son as the messiah, to be both wholly human and divine. Out of love Jesus becomes the lamb of God, the sacrifice that restores us, reconciles us to God. Out of love, Jesus becomes the merciful judge, where one day we stand with Saints in heaven, one in Christ.
It is a challenge to think of God loving you because His is a perfect love. Our attempt to love Him in return is probably very small and inadequate. But God has assured us, be not afraid. We need only try and that is how a relationship with God begins. God always loves us, but we need to step out in faith. Only when we harden our hearts and turn away from God do we end up destroying ourselves. With perfect love, the good news is that God wants us to turn back to Him. We can begin today.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and if the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen