Thursday 1 September 2022

John 12:20-36

20 Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration 21 paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” 22 Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus. 23 Jesus replied, “Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. 25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. 26 Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. 27 “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! 28 Father, bring glory to your name.” Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” 29 When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him. 30 Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out. 32 And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate how he was going to die. 34 The crowd responded, “We understood from Scripture that the Messiah would live forever. How can you say the Son of Man will die? Just who is this Son of Man, anyway?” 35 Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. 36 Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.” After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them.

You can sense the excitement in the air. Jesus has arrived in Jerusalem. Surely if he was going to announce himself as Messiah it would be here, now, at the Passover Festival.

Jesus however knows what is coming. A path of suffering and humiliation to death. This is a path he must walk because in laying down his life he will give life to so many (v 24). To each of us. He will also defeat the prince of this world because his death is the judgment over sin once and for all.

He also knows that his death will bring him glory (v 20). The cross is where Jesus will be glorified, although everyone will see it as total humiliation and defeat. This is the challenge and truth of the cross.

The cross is about sacrifice. The giving up of everything for others, for God.

There is so much promise in this sacrifice. The promise of glory and life. But there is also promise for those who give up their lives to follow him – honour. “My Father will honour the one who serves me”- v 26. I am amazed by that, that my following and serving him means I will be honoured by God.   

When Jesus says follow me in v 26 he is calling for sacrifice from me as well. This is what marks me as a Christian. Paul puts it so well in Philippians 3:7-8: “Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.”

What sacrifice is Jesus calling for from me? Who am I serving? Myself or God?

Dearest Lord. You deserve all the honour and glory. And yet you have promised that when I follow you and serve you, I will receive honour. Honour, I don’t deserve. I can’t ever thank you enough for your sacrifice for me and I honour you with my life. Amen

Written by Claire Moore

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