Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
JOHN 12:20-25 BUT JESUS ANSWERED THEM, SAYING, "THE HOUR HAS COME THAT THE SON OF MAN SHOULD BE GLORIFIED
John 12:20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." 22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus. 23 But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
In today’s teaching we will see that this is the turning point of Jesus away from the Jews. The reason for this turning is some Greeks coming to seek Jesus and this apparently is a signal from His Father that Jesus is to completely turn away from them. They do not realize it but it is over for them and there are no more chances for these Jews (religious people) to trust Christ from now on. Jesus tells them that the way the Son of Man is glorified is that He has to die. This is where the Jews have it all wrong, they think Jesus is to come and be a Magnificent Savior the first time, but He has come to die for the sins of the whole world. The way we are please the Father and become ultimately glorified is through our salvation and becoming like God as we die to ourselves and then we can live for Him. Isn’t it amazing that God has given us seeds as an example of this great truth of dying, so we can really become who we really are made to be in Christ?
What Drives Your Life?
Baptism is a picture of our choice to be buried with death to self and to be raised with Christ as our focal point. That’s the point Jesus is trying to make in this passage, isn’t it?
There are those who are further along that road who understand, “My life is to be a thank you back to Christ. My life is to be a service to Him.” And there are those who are still fairly preoccupied with self.
Where in life and when in life do we stop to ask, “Am I following God?”
I hope God, in His kindness, is patient and longsuffering and merciful with us in that process. But the goal is that we’re serving Him, not ourselves.
19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, "You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!"
20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast.
With wonderful Johannine form and irony He links the previous section where the Pharisees say, “Look, the whole world is going after Him,” with the Greeks seeking Him. So, it’s a wonderful touch to the narrative. They were seeking God, they were seeking Jesus, but they’re not allowed in the temple complex. It’s an historical fact, incontestable, that at the court of Gentiles there were signs posted that a Gentile could not go further lest he face a death penalty. It was very strict in Judaism and the temple complex and even a God-fearing Gentile could not go further than that court of the Gentiles.
Ephesians 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
If you know your Bible, you know in Romans we have a section where Paul talks about Judaism and the Jew having the Gospel presented and then the door closing and opening to the Gentile. Same issue. And this is a decisive move in His ministry.
If you’ve been with us in the study of John, you have heard when we’ve gone through those text about the hour. He says, “My time is not now, my hour has not yet come, it is not my hour.” Many times He has said this. With His mother at the Wedding at Cana. “It’s not my hour, it’s not My time. This is not the time.” About 10 times before Jesus goes to the cross
But now, verse twenty-four, Jesus said, “The hour’s come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
Let me give you five concepts that the Bible explains what the Son of Man means.
First of all, it means Deity. He equates Himself with God in John chapter 5:25 and John 5:27. Jesus says He’s God in an equation almost. So, its Deity.
Secondly, its royalty. This Son of Man, as the Son of Man, will receive royalty. He will inherit a royal lineage. He is part of royalty. Daniel 7:13 and Matthew twenty-six verses sixty-three to sixty-four speak of this. Jesus makes Himself equivalent in a royal fashion with God. He’s from nobility, we might say. Prince William is of a lineage, okay. Jesus Christ is saying, “I am royalty,” when I say, “Son of Man.”
Thirdly, He speaks of His humanity. John 3:14, John 12:23-24 He speaks of His humanity. As man He will suffer everything man suffers. There’s never been an emotion you’ve felt, a fear you have worried over, a joy you have celebrated, a pain you have experienced that He has not identified with. The incarnate part of Jesus Christ, if we can segment it out, the incarnation means He is fully man. He suffers in every way you’ve ever suffered. He understands that.
Fourthly, it embodies His glory. John 1:51, John 3:13 and others, Jesus declares that He is the only one who has descended from heaven and who will ascend back to heaven; therefore, He’s the only one who can have the glory of God.
And Fifth, and last, as such, He offers salvation. Because He’s the Son of Man, He can offer salvation to men. John 6:27, John 6:53 and 9:35. But the most important note of this, is that every time its used, except one, every time its used, Jesus is the one who uses it.
It’s a self-reference. Jesus is the “Son of Man.” He’s talking about Himself.
In John’s theology, the suffering of Jesus Christ and His glory are fused together. It seems strange, but that’s the way John gives us the picture. It is only through suffering will He be glorified. Think of it this way, as man, Jesus Christ came as a man, He was not accepted as Jesus. He was not accepted as King. He wasn’t followed as God’s Son. He was crucified as a man.
Jesus Christ, center stage, two criminals executed for shameful offenses. Whatever the offenses were, it required a death penalty. And they are ashamed in their exposure and beating and crucifixion. And so here you have framed shame against the ultimate shame which is the ultimate glory. These two deserve, He did not. And in that, He glorifies His Father. It’s the ultimate manifestation of His humility and glorification. Full shame, full glory, in John’s theology.
Now this is the most common title in the New Testament when it speaks of Jesus Christ. “Son of Man.” Greeks are asking to see Jesus at the Passover celebration. Why here? Why now? I think because God wants to show, and John wants to underline, that Jesus really is the king, not just of Israel, but of the “whole world”—here represented by the Gentiles, these foreigners. In verse 19 the Pharisees say, “The whole world has gone after him.” And now even Greeks are going after him.
21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
At His birth, Gentiles came from the east; now at His death, Gentiles come once again. Why does John mention them at this point? Because the King has now been rejected by Israel. The Jews had said, “We want to see a sign!” (Matt. 12:38, NKJV); but the Gentiles said, “We want to see Jesus!”
Does Jesus show himself to them? Physically, we don’t know. John doesn’t say. But this may be for our sake. Because Jesus does show himself to them the same way he shows himself to us.
He speaks truth about himself that becomes a truth about us. This is how Jesus shows himself in power: he gives truth about himself that becomes truth about us.
22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
23 But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.
It is the hour of His death, but He calls it the hour of His glory!
Signifies that Jesus has turned from the Jews to the Gentiles, the whole world
John 1:11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Here is the truth about me that matters for Greeks—and for all people—who want to see me and know me:] In other words, I am on my way to glory. I really will be something to see. They are right to want to see me. I will pray for this—that they will see my glory (John 17:20). I will be the most glorious person in the universe when my Father raises me from the dead and gives me a name that is above every name so that at my name every knee will bow—including Jews and Greeks and Americans. Yes, they are right to want to see me—and even want to be identified with me.
24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a (definite article THE speaking of Jesus) grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
whenever you hear, “truly, truly,” the words Jesus speaks have eternal consequence.
Christ is the grain of wheat that must die before there can be fruit and the world given the opportunity to be saved.
Notice the article in English. You have the little article “a.” It’s a definite article in the original. it is “the grain of,” Jesus says, “of wheat.” He’s talking about Himself. Unless “the” grain of wheat dies, there will be no harvest.
He sees these Greeks as the first fruits, the symbol of the great harvest of earth for which he came.
The world would not see the full outcome of his work and his life until he went to the cross.
My pathway to glory is through death. Do you want to see that? I will indeed bear much fruit—including Greeks. But I will not and I cannot bear this fruit any way but through dying.
That is the truth about Jesus that he reveals to the Greeks—and to us. But now it also becomes a truth about them—and about us. He says in verses 25 and 26: my dying for your salvation is also my design for your imitation.
If you want to see me, be prepared to become like me. Prepare to follow me on the road I am going.
So he says, verse John 12:25,
25 "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Then he makes the truth about himself a truth about us. Will we hate our lives in this world? Will we follow him on the path to Calvary? Will we serve the Son in this way? Will we let the truth about the Son of Man become truth about us? Will we identify with the one we are so eager to see?
Paradox of Christianity, Life of Opposites
Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live., 18
Ga 5:24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Col 3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Col 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Ro 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Ro 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ga 2:19 "For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
He tells His followers, “You’re going to suffer like I did.” And in fact, we have some indication historically, maybe not Biblically, in the Bible context, but we do have some fairly good history that some of these men died horrible deaths for the cause of Christ. And so there was an immediacy in the prediction of His suffering that, “You, too, will suffer.”
But a disciple is to hate his own life. What does that mean?
We’re to hate our life in comparison to our love for Christ. Remember when Jesus says, “If you don’t hate your mother and father, you’re not fit to follow me,” basically.
Does He mean you hate your parents? No, of course not. What He means is, “If your love to me is not such a wholehearted love that it almost looks like you hate your family, its no love at all.” The love that you have for Jesus Christ should be so overwhelming that it looks like everything else is unimportant to you. And if you love your life, you’re going to miss - if you love your things more than anything else, you will miss Him.
Two things become unmistakably clear. One is that this is hard. And the other is that this is glorious or about significance
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.
The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.
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