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Loving And Hating Jesus

John 12:17-19

There is no doubt that popularity, based on true goodness, is difficult to quench. Indeed, why should anybody want to? Word soon spread that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead. It was the talk of Jerusalem as pilgrims came for the Passover festival. Even those who had never met Jesus or Lazarus were excited to hear the news that they had heard from eye witnesses; and that encouraged many more people to seek Jesus.

Bringing People To Jesus

John 12:20-22

Although the Passover festival was for devout Jews, it was attended by people from up to a thousand miles away (Acts 2:8-11). Some of these were converts to Judaism, others were interested Gentiles - the Temple in Jerusalem had a special 'Court of the Gentiles' where they could worship God. Some of those Greeks made contact with Philip in a fishing village on Lake Galilee and asked for an interview with Jesus.

The Mathematics Of Godly Death

John 12:23-24

We are used to thinking about death negatively. And it is true that death is still the final enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26). Death to us always means subtraction: one life taken away from a family, one less person in the world. And that is also true. We cannot deny that every death is a loss to our relationship causing further loss to our well-being which we call bereavement. But in Christ death does not subtract; rather, it multiplies.

Following Means Suffering

John 12:25-26

In a global consumer economy, we are used to thinking about what we can get, the benefit we can receive and the suffering we can avoid. But that kind of thinking does not come from the example or teaching of Jesus. His way was so very different: He came to give and taught His disciples to sacrifice their own personal wellbeing to follow Him. He never looked to receive anything, nor did He demand that people should serve Him. And although He chose not to be taken before the right time, He did not try to escape suffering.

Emotions, Desires, Purpose And Fulfillment

John 12:27-29

Jesus did not enjoy the prospect of the cross. His heart was troubled. At a human level, His desire was to be saved from the agony, but He could not make that desire His prayer because He was fully committed to the purpose for which He had come to earth. Jesus knew He must die on the cross so that sinners might be saved and receive eternal life.

Understanding What We Have Not Experienced

John 12:30-34

Father God had just publically announced His intention to glorify His Name: an audible voice was heard (John 12:29). Jesus did not need to hear it for Himself because He knew His Father’s will, but the people needed to know that God was about to work remarkably in human history. They did not yet understand what would happen at the cross and be validated by the resurrection.

Put Your Trust In The Light

John 12:35-36

The Apostle John loved Jesus’ description of Himself as the ‘Light of the World’ (16 verses in his gospel and 5 verses in 1 John). In a spiritually dark world, even though it was very religious, Jesus had stood out as being pure in every way, truthful, visionary, guiding, clear and revealing. As John says in 1 John 1:5, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” Having lived with Jesus for almost three years, John knew that there was no corner of his Master’s life which was dark or even slightly shady.

Faith, Fear And Praise

John 12:37-43

Unbelief, John wrote, should not be surprising. God had prophesied ‘blind eyes’ and ‘deadened hearts’ 700 years previously through Isaiah. Although God’s people had seen many miracles and heard truth which was crystal clear, they refused to believe. On the other hand, many did believe, including some of the religious leaders; but they were reluctant to admit their faith because of what other people would think of them. They were worried about being excluded from the community of the synagogue – particularly those who were considered to be important officials.

Believing is Seeing

John 12:44-46

Believing in Jesus is a bigger faith than many might think. Jesus said that whoever believes in Him also believes in God the Father. So, whoever saw Jesus also saw Father God. That was a huge claim, but it was 100% true: Jesus was God in a human body! As Hebrews 1:3 says, “The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”

Saving And Judging

John 12:47-50

Many religious people feel that God is judging them; that they have not done enough to be accepted by God. Jesus knew that sensitive hearts would feel like that, so He told them plainly that He had not come to judge them, but to save them. Although everybody is a sinner, Jesus came to earth to take the blame for their wrong when He died on the cross. That was the Father’s purpose in sending Jesus to earth - so that those who believe in Him can be saved from God’s wrath. The only people who will be judged on the Last Day are those who reject Jesus.