His Finest Hour
Topic: Gospel of John Passage: John 12:20–12:36
In this passage, we see Jesus bracing Himself to His duties and expressing His unwavering resolve to stand against the cruel oppression of Satan, and do whatever was necessary, even die, to break the power of His sinister schemes. Jesus knew that if He endured the pain and agony of the cross, the tyrannical rule of Satan would come to an end and the world would be victoriously freed from sin and death.
1. THE PROSELYTES (vv. 20-22)
The Greeks who had converted to Judaism were known as proselytes. It was probably in the Court of the Gentiles within the Temple that the they witnessed Jesus clearing the Temple. This act prompted the proselytes to inquire of Jesus directly in order that they may come to know Him. Jesus recognized that the presence of proselytes in the Temple meant that the culmination of His work was at hand - that the gospel message He brought was about to spread to the Gentiles, and to the entire world.
2. THE PARABLE (vv. 23-24)
Jesus uses the analogy of a kernel of wheat to illustrate why His death was necessary. His point was that just as it is necessary for a kernel of wheat (or any seed) to die and be buried before it can grow, so it is with the Christian.
3. THE PRINCIPLE (vv. 25-26)
Jesus wanted to make sure that His followers came to the realization that they must also die to themselves if they are to follow Him. This represents the paradox of the Christian life (Luke 9:24, 14-26; Romans 6:1-12), which occurs when you give up your worldly life for a life of self-sacrifice dedicated to living by faith for the glory of Christ with the help of God (Romans 6:13-23, Galatians 2:20).
4. THE PASSION (vv. 27-28a)
As Jesus got closer to the cross, it troubled Him. He considered the cost - what it would be like to become sin and what it would be like to suffer the full wrath of God as a consequence. It would be the first time in all eternity that Jesus would be separated from God the Father. His resolve would never waiver however, because His will was to submit to the will of God the Father and His passion was to glorify the Father. This was the essence and purpose of His coming to earth.
5. THE PROMISE (vv. 28b-30)
The third and final time God the Father spoke to Jesus, His Son during His time on earth. The Father publicly acknowledged that Jesus was the Son of God and promised that Jesus would be fully glorified after He suffered and died.
6. THE PUNISHMENT (vv. 31-33)
Jesus' death was a judgment on the world as well as on Satan. The world is indicted because it was necessary for Jesus to die so that the sins of man could be atoned for. The severity of sin made it necessary for God's own Son to dies because He was the only suitable sacrifice to atone for sin against a holy God. (Eph 2:2, 6:12)
7. THE PROTEST (v. 34)
The crowds realized that Jesus was referring to His death, but they could not reconcile this with the expectation they had for the coming Messiah based on their understanding (or misunderstanding) of scripture. They could not believe that the Messiah would die because scripture (i.e., Isaiah 9, Psalm 89, Daniel 7) told them that the Messiah was to live forever.
8. THE PLEA (vv. 35-36)
Jesus referred to Himself as the "Light of the World", and here He is appealing to those who held intellectual hang-ups regarding His claims. Jesus, however, expressed a sense of urgency for those to whom the gospel of Jesus had been delivered. Those who reject Christ merely stumble through life and many allow the gospel to pass them by as they seek to reconcile the claims of Jesus using worldly wisdom.
Thank Jesus for being willing to endure the full fury of God's wrath against your sin and for becoming a curse for you. Ask Him to help you serve and follow Him by dying to yourself on a daily basis and living a fully-surrendered, self-sacrificing life like He did.