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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Skip Heitzig » Skip Heitzig - John 12:12-50

Skip Heitzig - John 12:12-50

Skip Heitzig - John 12:12-50
Skip Heitzig - John 12:12-50
TOPICS: Expound, Gospel of John, Bible Study

Father, we want to commit the evening into your hands, pray that you would take away the distractive thoughts, Lord, that would be there. As this is a divided nation, I can only surmise that any large group is a divided group. And I don't presume to lecture anybody on political matters. But I do pray, Lord, that we as Your ambassadors would be ministers, agents of healing, of love, and of directing people to You, toward You. And we pray, Lord, that we would be those who introduce men and women to Jesus Christ for Him to be their King and their Lord. In Jesus's name. Amen.

We are now entering the final week of Jesus's life on earth. And yet we have half the book to go. Once again, it shows you the kind of focus and importance that John gave to that final week as Jesus approached the cross. We begin on a special date with a special event, a unique event, an event Jesus never participated in up till this moment. Up until this moment Jesus told others whenever He would heal them, or perform a miracle, He'd say, don't tell anybody about this. Keep this quiet. Keep it to yourself. Don't spread it around. He never allowed himself to publicly be accepted, or allowed Himself to publicly be presented to his nation as their Messiah, until now.

This day was different. This event was different. Now he will call public attention to it on purpose. The event is the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem. It's called the triumphal entry. It's given that title. It's not a title you find in the Bible. But it is a theological title, the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Very, very famous. It's the Palm Sunday story. It is a story that is written about in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. That makes it unique, because so many of the events Jesus did were covered by one, but not the others, or another, maybe two, but not, this one is covered by all of them. So it is mentioned then four times in the four Gospels.

Now you know, sometimes Jesus will say things twice. He'll repeat himself. If He wants you to really listen to something important, He'll say, verily, verily, I say unto you, which means, OK, stop, listen up. Sometimes God will show something or have a reaction to something three times, like in the book of Isaiah with that vision that Isaiah saw, and the angels proclaiming not once, not twice, but three times, holy, holy, holy is the Lord. He's not just holy. He's not just holy, holy. He's holy, holy, holy. He's the max. He's superlative. He's holy turned up to 11.

But here, this is the fourth time God tells us something. Now when He repeats himself twice, it's important. When He says something three times, it's really important. When He says it four times, do you think we ought to listen? So it's a very key event. The data is an important date. In the Jewish calendar it is the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, spelled like the car almost. It would be transliterated into English, N-I-S-A-N. I think the car has two S's. But the month has one S. So it's the 10th of the Hebrew month Nisan. Or in the Julian calendar, our calendar, April 6th, 32 AD.

What's important about that date? On the tenth of Nisan, according to Jewish law, lambs were selected for Passover. They weren't sacrificed. They were selected. Each home would select a lamb, a little cute, furry, fluffy, little lamb. It would be brought into the home for a few days. It would be inspected, looked over, made sure that it's nice and healthy, and has no external or internal flaws. Of course, it would have to be inspected by the priest before the sacrifice on the 14th day of Nisan, or the Passover.

So on the 10th day the lamb was presented to the family, brought into the family, inspected, only to be sacrificed on the 14th. It is interesting that on this very day, the tenth of Nisan, Jesus decides that this is the day that He would present himself to the nation as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, their savior, their sacrifice. On the 10th day of Nisan, the lamb would come. The deliverer would come. He would be inspected by the nation. They will reject Him and kill Him. But as God would have it, He'll be sacrificed on the Passover, the 14th day of Nisan.

It is fascinating chronology. It is indisputable history. And it's very, very applicational to us. So that is the set up. It is that date. Jesus comes into Jerusalem. He has been in Bethany. If you remember from last time, we just covered part of chapter 12. And we got to the story of the festival, the feast that Jesus was at, the dinner at the house of Simon the leper. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were there. Martha was serving. All the disciples were there. Lazarus, who had been dead, now alive, that incredible feast they had together.

So that was a feast, a dinner, but now that we come to the feast, the feast of Passover. And can I refresh your memory? You probably know this, but if you don't, it is one of three mandatory feasts for Jewish people to appear at in Jerusalem. Now not everybody around the world could, but you have to know that it was always the desire, still is to go at least one time to Jerusalem if you're Jewish at the Passover.

So in the Passover itself, if you've ever celebrated one, there is a line in it that says, next year in Jerusalem. That's the hope, maybe next year. Maybe it will be next year that will have the money to go to Jerusalem and celebrate it there in the land . So this city is filled with people, people within the immediate environs of Jerusalem, people from as far away as Galilee, as far away as Greece we will see, from around the world.

According to Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian, at a Passover around this time, whether it was this one in particular or another one, in the temple on the altar were sacrificed 256,000 lambs. 256,000 lambs killed in Jerusalem during one Passover. Why is that important? Because that will tell us about how many people were in Jerusalem celebrating it. According to Jewish law you would average one lamb for 10 people, one lamb per family. The family could be up to 10 people. You may want to invite a few single friends to make it 10. But it was typically around 10 people for one lamb at the Passover.

So given that number, 256,000 lambs, at a minimum of 10 do you have two and 1/2 million people in Jerusalem. Crowded around, there's no hotels. There's no Wyndham or Holiday Inn, or things like that. People would camp out anywhere they could find a place, on the Mount of Olives, in homes, which were usually open for anyone who was a pilgrim, Jewish brother or sister from somewhere.

They may not even know the person, But how cool would it be to have homes opened up for a celebration like this, where people just say, come on in. We don't know you, but we will by the end of the week, and enjoy our hospitality. Enjoy our city, et cetera. That's the kind of hospitality that went on. But it was a packed, crowded city.

And it was after the feast that they had at the house of Simon, that we just read about. So look at verse 12. "The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went out to meet him and cried out, 'Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel.' Then Jesus, when he found a young donkey, sat on it. As it is written, 'Fear not, daughter of Zion, behold your King is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt.' His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him, and that they had done these things to Him."

Wherever Jesus went, he had a crowd of people. The crowds grew. He was controversial. He was popular, all at the same time. But now, He had done something that marked Him as being different than anyone ever. There is no mistaking that this man has power no one else possesses. For now a person who's been dead four days, that everyone knew about, is walking around. He's alive. So people want to just get a glimpse of Him. They'd take a selfie with Him if they could. But they just want to see Him. They want to hang out. And they've heard about this incredible miracle.

And so wherever Jesus went, he attracted a crowd. And by the way, it was the blue collar worker that loved Jesus. The common, people, the Bible says, the common people heard him gladly. He was simple. He was like them, a man of the earth. He wasn't part of the religious elite. They were tired of the scribes and the Pharisees, and being alienated, and isolated by them. Jesus was a breath of fresh Judean air.

He came to Jerusalem. And the people gathered. They wanted to see Him. And they took palm branches and trees. And John gives to us the text that they quote. It sounds like a worship, and it was. But there's more to it than that. They're quoting Psalm 118, the messianic Psalm, Hosanna, save now. That's what it means. Save us now. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

But you ought to know something that would help, I think. The idea of bringing palm branches out and waving it before a would be deliverer goes back a couple hundred years in their history, when there was a struggle among the Jewish people for independence, and the Maccabean revolt gave them that independence. I've told you before, even in this series on John, that between the Old and the New Testament 250 BC, that there was a Syrian King named Antiochus the fourth. Typically he's called Antiochus Epiphanes. It's a name he gave himself. It means I am God made manifest. Humility was not his strong point.

The Jews so hated him they gave him their own nickname Antiochus Epimanes, which is the madman, the beast, the insane dude. And Antiochus hated the Jews, persecuted the Jews, killed the Jews. I've told you the stories about what happened. The Maccabean revolt overturned the Syrian stronghold on the people, drove them out. And they celebrated the feast of independence called Hanukkah, the feast of dedication mentioned in the Gospel of John. When Judas Maccabeus and his brothers were successful, the people of Jerusalem brought out palm branches.

So bringing them out again was their way of saying, we hope that this is a deliverance like that one, that You are a political Messiah, that You are going to overturn our new enemy, not the Syrians, but now the Romans. We want You to deliver us, save us now. They're not saying, save us, I asked Jesus to come in my heart, and be my Lord and Savior, not that kind of save now. Save us from the political threats of foreign enemies, Rome. That's what they're crying for.

Now they're going to be disappointed, because He is their King, He is their Messiah, and He will rule and reign, and save Israel from its enemies, but not on His first coming, on a second coming. In round two, Jesus 2.0 will accomplish that, when He comes again. Jesus 1.0, He has to deal with something more important. And that is sin. That's why He's going to a cross. So this is His time to show up in Jerusalem at the appointed time by the Father to die on the cross for their sins.

Then He's going away. It's been 2,000 years. One day He'll come back. And He will rule and reign for 1,000 years in Jerusalem over the earth, and then in a new heaven and a new earth. But they want that deliverance now. Save us now.

The sad thing, the ironic thing is many people that are in this crowd welcoming Jesus, shouting at Jesus, saying hosanna. We might say, there they are in church, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh yes, we're so excited. In a few days, will no doubt be part of the same crowd shouting, crucify Him. The people, the crowds will cry that, crucify Him, crucify Him, which goes to show you it's always easier to shout with the crowd, then to stand at the cross.

It's always easier to say, yeah, man, let me just get really excited and shout about Jesus. But when it comes to sacrifice, and death, and dying to yourself, and following Jesus the way He really demands that you follow Him, it's like yeah, not so much. Part of this crowd will no doubt be part of that crowd. But right now tension is high, excitement is high as Jesus comes in.

Verse 14 tells us that He's on a donkey. Why is that? Is it because He was tired, tired of walking? Man, I've been walking all day, I just need a rest, get off my feet. Is it that He liked donkey rides? What's the deal? Well John tells us it's to fulfill a promise from the prophet Zechariah. Zechariah chapter 9, verse 9, it's paraphrased here a little bit. But back in Zechariah, it's "Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion, shout daughter of Jerusalem for your King is coming to you." And that verse that is alluded to, and it is quoted here. Zechariah chapter 9, verse 9, the prediction that the Messiah will come to them riding on a donkey.

Is that significant, a donkey? Well, yeah, it is significant. Not just because it's a part of prophecy, but it's part of history. It's a part of the traditional way kings would approach a city. If a king came to a city, bringing terms of peace, he would ride an animal of peace, a donkey. If he was coming as a ruler to subjugate them, or to rule and reign over them, he would ride on a horse. So when Jesus comes the first time He is offering them peace, terms of peace. The one and only time He is allowing Himself to be publicly seen and preached as their promised Messiah is here and now.

When He comes the second time He will come on a horse, Revelation chapter 19. You don't have to turn there now. You can keep a marker there. You can write a little note in your Bible, look at it later. But Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven the second time to the earth to put an end to the great tribulation period riding a horse. And it says, and He judges and makes war. He's on a war horse. So, I don't know, I'm not that excited that He's coming to make war. But I'm glad He's coming to take over. But anyway, at this point He's coming to make peace, terms of peace.

Now, verse 16, I'm glad it says this, boy am I glad. There's certain verses that are popular. This probably isn't. This is one of my favorite verses. "His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him, and that they had done these things to Him."

Why is that one of your favorite verses, Skip? I love the fact that it says they didn't get it, because I don't always get it. I'm glad it says of the disciples, these things happened, it was written in the Scripture, and the disciples are going, huh? I don't get it. And they won't get it until Jesus is glorified after the crucifixion, after the Resurrection, after all of that, when He is glorified, he's taken back up into heaven, then they'll remember it.

I can't tell you how many times I've read through parts of the Bible, only to read it again after years of studying it even perhaps, and I look at it and I'll go, I never saw that there. I didn't quite get it. Now it makes sense. Ever had one of those moments? It's wonderful when you have those moments. The disciples had those moments. And what I love is that it's when Jesus was glorified that they got it. And I believe the more Jesus becomes glorified in your life, the more you'll get His Word, His truth. It'll make sense to you. You've got the right heart. You're growing in your faith. You're growing in a relationship with God. He's more and more glorified, and it's like, ah, enlightenment is coming, I'm getting it.

"Therefore the people who were with him, when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness." They checked it out. They saw it. They agreed with it. "For this reason the people also met him, because they heard that he had done this sign. The pharisees therefore said among themselves, 'You see that you're accomplishing nothing. Look the world has gone after him.'"

Can you hear the frustration in their voices? They're losing the grip of control on the people. They're becoming less popular. Jesus is becoming more popular. They hate that. Their influence is waning. Jesus is growing. And they make a statement. Oh, I wish it were true. They said, oh, look the whole world is gone after Him. Boy, do I wish that were true. I wish the world would go after Jesus. He's the only hope for the world. Sadly the world hasn't gone after Him. They've gone away from Him.

But that's where you and I come in. We can, by our lives, by our message, but by our lives create a hunger and a thirst. You're the salt of the earth. You know part of salt's job is to create a thirst. You can create a thirst, so that when you're around, people go, man, whatever you got, I want. Give me some of that. You've got peace in this political hurricane. You've got joy. You're not stressed, because you believe God's in control. How did you get there? And hopefully, though the world is gone mad, they may go after Him as they see you pursuing Him.

So this is the tenth of Nisan, right? This is the Triumphal Entry. It's called the Triumphal Entry. I mentioned, you'll never find that term in the Scripture. I'm going to give it a different term, the tearful entry, because when Jesus, according to the other gospels crested the Mount of Olives and looked at the city He stopped. And Luke's gospel, chapter 19, says He stopped and He wept over the city. So he's not like going, wee, donkey ride, yay. He stops. He's their Messiah. It's the tenth of Nisan. The lamb is being presented, but He weeps over it.

And He makes one of the most incredible statements that begs a person to find out what He means. In Luke 19 it is recorded, let me just tell you what it says. He weeps over Jerusalem. And by the way, remember what we read last time in the previous chapter, Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus, the shortest verse in the New Testament, Jesus wept. The second time Jesus weeps is very different. First time, at the tomb of lashes, he wept silently. His eyes just welled up with tears.

When he saw Jerusalem he wept audibly. The term is strong. It's a loud, audible, groaning kind of wailing. It would be unmistakable. I'm sure when the disciples saw it, they went, woah, check out Jesus, what's going on? It's almost like a nervous breakdown.

What's going on? And it was that dramatic. And Jesus said this, if you had known, even you, especially in this your day the things that make for your peace, but they have been hidden from your eyes, for days are coming when your enemies will build an embankment around you, and surround you, and close you in on every side, and level you and your children within you, and not leave one stone upon another, because you did not know that the time of your visitation. Striking words. I wish you would have known, especially today, but you don't know what this day is. And your enemies are going to destroy you, because you didn't know the day of your visitation.

What was He speaking about? He was holding the nation accountable that they should have known what day this was, that they should be aware of what was happening. And it wasn't just the 10th of Nisan, the lamb being presented, it was a date predicted in their scripture by the prophet Daniel. And that is what I believe Jesus was referring to you. You should have known this date. This is the day of your visitation. Or as the NIV puts it, the day of God coming to you.

You say what did Daniel have to say about this? Well Daniel was given in chapter 9 a detailed prediction, Daniel 70 weeks. The angel came and said to Daniel, 70 periods of seven are determined for your people the holy city of Jerusalem to finish the transgression, make an end of sin, anoint the most holy, bring in everlasting righteousness. Know therefore and understand that from the beginning of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem until, listen to this, Messiah, the prince, will be 483 years. It's a wild statement. Now I'm changing the wording to a modern translation from the New King James, which says 62 sevens, and seven sevens. So 483 years, the modern translation.

So listen to what I just said again. The angel comes out of heaven and says, Daniel, dude. I want you to know something. If you want to know when the Messiah is going to come, know this, from the commandment given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, until the Messiah, the prince, will be 483 years. What that means is you should be able to find whatever date it was given to restore and build Jerusalem, and count 483 years, and you'd show up to the day of Jesus or some happening in the life of Jesus. Right? It's exactly right.

This so interested the lead detective years ago at Scotland Yard, Sir Robert Andersen, that he wrote a book on it, called The Coming Prince. All of his calculations are in it. I won't bore you with them all, but I'll cut to the chase. He took the 483 years given by the prophecy in Daniel 9, discovered that the date in question given to restore and build Jerusalem was given march 14th 445 BC by the ruler Artaxerxes Longimanus. Good. We have the date. Artaxerxes on March 14th 445 BC said, Jews, go back home, build the temple under the leadership of King Cyrus. That's a date attested to in history.

What that means is that from March 14th 445 BC, you should be able to go 483 years into the future and something amazing should be there. So Sir Robert Anderson calculated not just the years, but the days of the years. And 483 years is 173,880 days. You following me? So he counted from March 14th 445 BC, 173,880 days, and he found what date that was in history.

And it happened to be April 6th 32 AD, the 10th of Nisan, the very day Jesus said, go get me a donkey. I need to fulfill Zechariah 9. I need to come on the exact date as given to the prophet Daniel, something that is in the Jewish scriptures, something that they should be accountable of knowing, because it was given to them. It's in their text. It's read in their synagogues. And he came on that date.

Now some of you may be interested in this stuff. Like when I first read this and heard it, it's so amped me up that I read everything I could on it. In fact, I've used this to share with unbelievers for years in secular settings just to watch them change their thinking about the Bible.

Now you may get excited about this, and go home, and you'll come back next week with your little calculator, and pencil and go, you're wrong. I did the math, and it's 176,295 days. And I'll say, ah, you're wrong. You miscalculated and your mistake probably is that you took our calendar, the Julian calendar based on the solar model rather than the lunar model.

The ancient calendar is a 360 day per year model, based on a lunar calendar. The Julian calendar is 365 and a third days. It's a different model. If you calculate with that model add the necessary leap years to compensate, you too will come up with 173,880 days starting at March 14th, 445 BC, ending on the exact date Jesus came to Jerusalem, wept over it, and said you should have known this day.

Now let me ask you a question. Is your God precise or what? Is your God on time or what? Is your God exact or what? Yeah, that's praiseworthy. That's awesome. So if He's that exact, what are you worried about? What on earth do you have to fret about when God is like into it that much? So don't you ever dare say, God, your late or how could you let this happen? He knows what He's doing and He's right on time. And He can pull any string He wants to get whatever He wants. So you can chillax when it comes to trusting God. I love this.

"Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. Then they came to Philip who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him saying, Sir, we wish to see Jesus'. Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus". John, the author John, is the only gospel author who mentions this little event of some Greeks. We don't even know what they were, who they were, or why they were there. It just says certain Greeks. John is the only one who brings it up.

But there's a couple of things I want you to notice about this, because it's noteworthy. It wouldn't be in your Bibles were it not. First of all these certain Greeks who came to the feast, they said, Sir, we want to see Jesus. It's a great request. The old King James said, Sir, we would see Jesus. In pulpits that I have been in, especially like old world, old school, like European pulpits, they will often have a plaque when you get into the pulpit, and the plaque is this verse. Sir, we would see Jesus. It's a reminder to the preacher, don't preach your opinion, don't preach politics, don't preach you, preach Christ. Sir, the people want to see Jesus. That's the idea. So I love that. Sir, we want to see Jesus.

Now who are these Greeks? Well, we don't know. They could be secular Greeks. They could be there because they were interested. They're traveling through, and they're interested in the wisdom that they have heard Jesus is filled with. They heard there is a man from Galilee who has wise thoughts. He does amazing things. But he says amazing things. You ought to hear him.

And if you know anything about the Greeks, they love wisdom. They love philosophy. They are philosophers. Philos, sophos, they love wisdom. You may also recall in the book of Acts, chapter 17, when Paul goes to Athens, he goes to a place called every Areopagus, the hill of Ares, Mars Hill, where the philosophers gathered. And it says, those who were there came only to listen and to hear some new thing. They would just tell each other stories and go, mmm, interesting, wow. They just loved new ideas. Sounds like a college campus. They're there just to hear and discuss something new.

So it could be that they were just there to learn. Or it could be that they were religious Jews. Now that's what I think they were. I don't think they were just loving wisdom. I think that they were there probably because they were seekers of God. And you ought to know that there was a group that the Jews referred to as God Fearers. And God Fearers were also known as proselytes of the gate, that is, they believed in the Jewish God. They prayed to the Jewish God. They worshipped the Jewish God, everything short of circumcision, for obvious reasons. Short of circumcision and keeping the mosaic, dietary laws.

So they were allowed to have some sort of relationship with Judaism as God fearers. And they knew that Jesus was not from Jerusalem. He's from Galilee. And Galilee was called the Galilee of the Gentiles. And it's interesting that they came up to Philip. Why Philip? Well Philip, that's a Greek name. The name Philip was the name of Alexander the Great's father, Philip of Macedon. And he was from Bethsaida, which was a very Gentile area in the Decapolis, a Gentile region, for Rome and for Greece.

So probably because of the area, because of his name, they approached him. And they're interested in this Jesus. And the reason John includes this is because John wants you to know that God didn't just love the Jewish people, God loved the world. He came to be the Savior of the world. And right here when the door is closing to Judaism, the Jews are rejecting Jesus, a door is opening in the Gentile world, which will be carried out by Peter, but then especially by Paul, as the gospel will go out. So that's probably why John included it in his letter. Sir, we want to see Jesus.

But here's what I love. Greeks were known for wisdom. They show up at the end of Jesus' life, before the cross. There was another group of wise men who showed up at Jesus's birth. When Jesus was born, wise men from the east showed up seeking Jesus. Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? Wise men from the east, Jesus's death, wise men from the West came. It's as if His life and ministry were bookended by people seeking Him, non-Jewish people seeking Him for some reason. And that is one of the messages that John is trying to get across, that He is the Savior for all, and he's the Savior of the world.

Now they didn't expect this answer, but Jesus answered them saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 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 will produce much grain. He who loves his own life will lose it. He who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, let him follow me. And where I am there my servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him my father will honor."

Why does Jesus give an answer about kernels of wheat being put in the ground? Why doesn't he quote the Old Testament? Why didn't He say let Me show you who I am from the prophecies? Because He's dealing with Greeks. It's an answer that is going to go from the disciples back to the Greeks, so He talks about unless a kernel of wheat falls in the ground and dies, it abides alone. So they're seeking Jesus, but Jesus is on His way to the cross to fulfill the hour, the exact time of Him coming into Jerusalem, so that He might die on a cross. So if you're seeking Him, that's where He is going. And you might be seeking Jesus, but by doing this, Jesus is seeking the whole world.

You see if you take a kernel of wheat in your hand and you look at it, it looks pretty insignificant. It looks small. And it looks powerless. It looks dead. It's lifeless. But then you take that little kernel of wheat and you bury it in the ground, you entomb it. And you give it a little bit of time, and a little bit of nourishment, and it will break forth from its encasement, and sprout out into new life. It's a picture of death, burial, and resurrection. And if you do that with a number of kernels of wheat, you'll have a whole field of it. And then if you take what they produce, and sow more of it, you'll have more fields of it. And I guess, theoretically, if you kept doing it you could fill the whole world.

The principle is that life comes from death, resurrected life comes from death. And this group is seeking Jesus, but Jesus by his death, burial, and resurrection can spread the seed of truth around the world. That's why he has come.

"He who loves his life will lose it. He who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, let him follow me, and where I am there my servant will be also. If anyone serves me, him my Father will honor. And now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say, Father, save me from this hour. But for this purpose I came to this hour."

One of the peculiar features of John is he does not include Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane wrestling before the crucifixion. He eliminates that scene, but he does give us the emotional composition of Jesus, what He is going through inside. He's troubled. My soul, he says is troubled, agitated, stirred up. I'm restless inside. "And shall I say Father, save me from this hour?" In the garden of Gethsemane he said, if it's possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done. And then he resigned himself to the will of the Father. Here Jesus said, "Now for this purpose I have come to this hour."

What was troubling Jesus? What was troubling Him at this time? Why would His soul be troubled? That's an easy answer. He knows what he's going to face physically. He knows what's going to be put through His hands and His feet and His side. He knows what's going to go on His head. He knows the lashes that are going to eviscerate His back. He knows that. He knows that is coming, the physical torture and pain of the cross. He knows. He's predicted it.

He also is feeling the weight spiritually as the sins of the world are being laid upon Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21, God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. He is feeling the weight more and more of sin, the sin of humanity, my sin, yours being placed upon Jesus. And more than that, He knows there will come a time when not just physically, not just spiritually, but even emotionally, He'll cry out for fellowship with His Father, finding that it is lost for a period of time. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" The worst of all is to have that feeling of alienation from the Father as He performs the sacrifice. So it's an easy answer.

"My soul is troubled, but I have come to this hour. Father glorify your name. Then a voice came from heaven saying, 'I have both glorified it, and I will glorify it again.' Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it thundered. Others said, 'an angel has spoken to him.' Jesus answered and said, 'This voice did not come because of me, but for your sake. Now is the judgment of this world, now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all peoples to myself.'"

A voice came out of heaven. Was there any other time when that happened? Actually twice. Three times altogether God the Father spoke in the presence of Jesus so that other people knew that some event happened, either an angelic voice, or thunder, or God, or what. One was His baptism. This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.

Second was the transfiguration. He was transfigured with Moses and Elijah. This is my beloved Son, listen to him. And right before the cross. I have glorified it and I will glorify it again. Three times, interestingly once at the beginning, once in the middle, and once at the end of His ministry. All three of them had to do with His death. All three had to do with His death. Baptism is a symbol of death, being brought into the water, brought out of the water, Paul says.

The transfiguration, Jesus was speaking with Moses and Elijah the Bible says, about his decease, His departure. And now right before the cross, a voice comes out of heaven, people wondering what it is. Is it an angel? Was it thunder? And the voice wasn't for Jesus, it was for them to give validity, to bolster the idea that the Father is part of this. This is the Father's plan.

Look at verse 31 and 32. Jesus here gives us three effects of His death on the cross. He talked about being put into the ground and dying like a kernel of wheat and rising again. But look, look at the three effects of the cross. Verse 31, "Now is the judgment of this world." The world is judged by the cross. When the world put Jesus on a cross it was signing its own death sentence. You say, what do you mean? In rejecting God's son, God's solution for them, it was their statement of rejection.

What they didn't realize, though they were making a judgment against Jesus, they were being judged by Jesus. He would stand before Pontius Pilate. And Pontius Pilate would say, what shall I do with Jesus who is called the Christ? Be careful Pilate how you answer your own question, because you will stand before God, and be held eternally accountable for how you answer what you will do with Jesus. The world is judged by the cross. Now the world, Jesus said, in that verse, "Now is the judgment of this world." That's the first effect.

The second effect is found also in that verse. "Now the ruler of this world will be cast out." The world ruler, Satan, will be cast out by the cross. Satan was cast out of heaven. We know that. He was cast to the earth. He's been rampant on the earth ever since. But the cross provided the antidote to the sting of Satan and death, so that sin doesn't have to have a grip any more. You can be freed from that. You don't have to live under the tyranny of that anymore.

And so, yes, he walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but though he roars, and though he might attack you, and though he might bite you, he's toothless. He'll gum you to death. But the real sting and the real power has been removed by the cross.

Now ultimately Satan is going to be cast even out of the earth like he was cast out of heaven. At the end of the tribulation period, during the millennial kingdom, Revelation tells us he is incarcerated for 1,000 years in the bottomless pit, after which he is tossed into the lake of fire forever and ever. So this is like the first installment.

And then the third effect of the cross is found in verse 32. That the world's people can be saved by it. "If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself." When the Bible talks about lifting up Jesus, they don't mean let's lift Him up in worship, they mean let's literally lift Him up off the ground on a cross so He can die. That's what it refers to. And just in case you're mistaken about that, verse 33 says, "This he said signifying by what death he would die."

So Jesus said the same thing in John chapter three. "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up." He's quoting Numbers 21, when Moses lifted up that snake in the wilderness, and people had to admit they were sinners, and looked by faith at that object in the distance, and they would be healed. In the same manner, we look to the cross by faith, recognizing we're sinners, and by that look of faith we are healed. We are saved by it. "If I be lifted up I will draw all peoples to myself. This he said signifying by what death he would die. The people answered him saying, 'We have heard from the law that Christ remains forever. How can you say the Son of man must be lifted up.'"

They knew He was mentioning His death. "Who is this Son of Man? Jesus said to them, 'A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light lest darkness overtake you. He who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of the light.' These things Jesus spoke and departed and was hidden from them."

Now the last section of this chapter is the last paragraph of Jesus's public ministry. It's over. Chapter 13, it's private ministry with the disciples. It's all not in public arenas or in the public square. It's all done now. This is a transitional section. It is summarizing now the first 12 chapters of John, summing them up.

"But although he had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, 'Lord who has believed our report. And to whom is the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again, he has blinded their eyes and harden their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts, and turn, so that I should heal them. These things Isaiah said when he saw his glory and spoke of him." That's the sixth chapter of Isaiah.

Nevertheless, now notice what John does. John says, even though there was incontrovertible evidence, people didn't believe in him. This is the theme of John. There's a whole group that didn't believe in him. And that's because it says in verse 39, they could not believe in Him. Does that puzzle you? They did not believe in Him, therefore, they could not believe in Him. Compare verse 37 and 39. That should puzzle you. Why couldn't they believe in Him? Because they did not believe in Him. Hold that thought.

"Nevertheless, even among the rulers, many believed in him, but because of the Pharisees, they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue." So yeah, people didn't believe in Him, but there were people, even rulers of the people, even Jewish clerics, who did believe in Him. They didn't come public. They didn't want to say, yup, I'm voting for Jesus. They wanted to hold that back and not tell anybody, because they don't want to get put out of the synagogue like the guy in chapter nine did. For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

"Then Jesus cried out and said, he who believes in me believes not in me, but in him who sent me. And he who sees me, sees him who sent me. I have come as a light into the world that whoever believes in me should not abide in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not believe, I do not judge him, for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world."

Please keep in mind there are two comings. He's speaking only of the first coming here. When He comes the second time, He will judge. But He did not come the first time to judge.

"He who rejects me and does not receive my words as that which judges him, the word which I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me gave a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that his command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak just as the father has told me, so I speak."

Now I wanted to finish out the chapter and leave you hanging, because I'm good at that, and I do that every week pretty much. But I wanted you to, and I'll go back and tie a few thoughts before we get into this private ministry of Jesus with his disciples. What I wanted to leave you with is this, John wants you to know that there's people who believe and there's people who don't. Still today there's people who believe and people who don't. So don't be surprised when there's unbelievers, and we believers are the minority in a world of unbelievers. Some believe, some don't.

But what I want you to think about is they didn't believe, therefore they couldn't believe. How do you go from I won't to I can't? How do you go there? And what is the solution? What is the antidote to that? There is an answer for it, but I won't give it to you this week. Because we wouldn't have enough time. It'll take a little time. And I want to get into it as we get into now the private ministry of Jesus. Fair enough?

Father, thank you for your Word. Thank you for the truths, and the commandments, and for the love of our Savior knowing that He as a colonel of Wheat would be dead and planted in a ground, in a tomb, in an encasement, only to bring such great fruit when He rose again from the dead, so that that message like wheat plants would be all over the world. The true gospel is to the Jew first, and also to the Greeks. Thank you Lord that it's a message that resonates with all of us. And I love that last statement that we read, Father, "I know that his command is everlasting life."

It's Jesus command. It's not the 10 Commandments. It's his own command to repent and believe. As the Apostle Paul said to those in Athens, In times past God has overlooked their ignorance, but now commands all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel. Thank you Father for the fruit in our own lives, because of the gospel. Thank you for the message that has changed our lives. And I pray, Lord, that we would be those who spread it around, so that more and more of the world would go after Jesus, as Jesus goes after them.

May we be among those who pursue the God who passionately pursues a lost world. May we do that together. May we start with our neighbors, our families, our communities, our neighborhoods, inviting people into a conversation, to coffee, to church, in hopes that they will believe, be part of the some that believe. In Jesus's name, Amen.

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