27“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I
say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came
to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven,
“I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered;
others said an angel had spoken to him.
30Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this
world will be driven out. 32But I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
will draw all men to myself.” 33He said this to show the kind of death he
was going to die.
34The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from
the Law that the Christ£ will
remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”
35Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a
little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes
you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. 36Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may
become sons of light.” When
he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.
37Even after Jesus had done all these
miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
“Lord, who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been
39For this reason they could not believe,
because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
has blinded their eyes
and deadened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their
nor understand with their
nor turn—and I would heal them.”£
said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.
42Yet at the same time many even among the
leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess
their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
44Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not
believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. 46I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes
in me should stay in darkness.
47“As for the person who hears my words but
does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world,
but to save it. 48There is a judge for the one who rejects me
and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at
the last day. 49For I did not speak of my own accord, but
the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is
just what the Father has told me to say.”
The Inner Christ
of the reasons John’s Gospel is so beloved of Christians is for the very
intimate, personal view that John gives us of Jesus. His “heart is troubled.”
Why? He is, after all, the Son of God, God in the flesh.
enough – but he is also Son of Man, completely human. Ordinary human beings
fear death, and they fear dying – especially in a painful manner. He knows
what is coming, and he is not indifferent to the pain and suffering. It is
most certainly the case: for him to be the Mediator between us and God, he
must know what suffering is; he must know what death is. He therefore must
suffer and die like the rest of us. The bridge between man and God has two
pillars, one on each side. The pillar of humanity includes suffering and
has, of course, a choice that we don’t have. He can decide that he’s had
enough of this and “abort the mission.” It is in his humanity that he must
decide whether or not to use the options open to God alone. But see his
attitude! He shows us the attitude of one monk, whose prayer during sickness
went something like this:
Lord, if it brings glory to your name to heal me quickly, heal me quickly.
it brings yet more glory to your name to heal me slowly, heal me slowly.
it bring even more glory to your name that I should die quickly, let me die
it bring even greater glory to your name that I should die slowly, let me die
can see the parallel for us. Often in our prayers we will ask for the cup to
pass from us. We are but human, a mist, a vapor. But if we will raise
ourselves up to press for the glory of God, what greater things can be done!
Courage is not the absence of fear; it is not the denial of fear; it is the
overcoming of fear.
thing is characteristic of the Good Shepherd – even as he approaches his death
he is concerned for his sheep. The voice is not to strengthen him – that will
come later, in the garden – but to benefit those around. Christ cares for his
also is the voice of warning. Even for those who do not believe, there is the
warning voice. The time is coming when the world will discover judgment –
based upon what they have heard.
now brings to us to the concept of judgment. His death will bring judgment to
the world. How?
his death he completes the Old Testament Law, ushering in the new covenant
(New Testament). Upon its completion, its followers are liable to a final
death now prepares the way for the Day of Wrath – the Day of Judgment.
For he must be sacrificed before the law can be completed; but once the
law is complete, judgment can begin at any time.
death also opens the door of God’s mercy. His death provides the means by
which we can escape the wrath of God. God no longer offers the law, but
now he offers grace. To escape his grace is to volunteer for hell. It is
now true: God sends no one to hell – they’re all volunteers.
Satan is to be driven out
Christ taught us in parables, the strong man must be bound if you are to rob
his house. Satan is bound indeed at the Cross. Why?
as prince of this world, he has killed an innocent man. All others that
he has put to death were sinners, short of the glory of God. But this man
is innocent, yet – knowing that – Satan (in the form of “the system”) put
him to death with due process. For this the judgment will come to him.
even now his power is limited. For the Cross brings in Pentecost – and
the Holy Spirit. What is evil is to be driven out by what is holy.
as Christ saw at the return of the Seventy, Satan is fallen. No longer
able to deceive us in the presence of Christ, his doom is sure. But not
without some interesting events leading up to that.
Draw all men
is not sufficient that he be driven out; that would leave a spiritual vacuum.
As our Lord taught, this is to invite worse treatment. So it is our Lord draws
all men to himself by the Cross:
the Cross is the sign of his mercy and love. You may attract men for a
short while with greed; for a long while with pride – but mercy and love
do not lose their attraction even in eternity.
Cross leads to Pentecost – and the coming of the Holy Spirit. The
Spirit’s task is to convict the world of sin and judgment, thus pointing
the way for all who will to receive salvation.
Cross is the inspiration of the church – and by the way we love each other
do all men know that we are Christians. By our good works men are drawn
and most powerfully, by the Resurrection itself does Christ draw all
men. He alone has conquered both sin and death; he alone has what all
Walk in the Light
again we are taught to walk in the light, for in a little while we won’t have
it. There is a parallel for us. Which of us is guaranteed tomorrow? We often
see people die after long illness; but we also know that there are those who
seemed in good health when God calls them home. The warning is for us, too.
does it mean, to “walk in the light,” as Jesus teaches here?
and most obvious, it means that we are to walk. This is not a
matter of observation, of going to church and listening alone, but of
doing. It is a matter of works.
there is no thought of neglecting faith to do so, for we are taught to
“put your trust in the light.” It is a matter of faith. So that our
works may not be empty, we need faith.
without works is indeed dead – but let your works be inspired and led by
the God your faith reveals. Do not perform “random acts of kindness.”
Rather, let your kindness and love be purposeful. It is easy to be kind
to the stranger who has never insulted you. Kindness to those who have is
much more difficult.
we are to practice this so well that we become “sons of the light.” If
you practice something long enough, you tend to get rather good at it.
You may indeed become so good you are identified with it – we call Babe
Ruth a baseball player, Thomas Edison an inventor. The test of those who
call themselves Christians is this: are they persecuted in this world as
their Lord was? It’s a sign that you no longer care what people think of
you – only what God thinks of you.
Scripture now tells us that Jesus hid himself from them. This is not because
they were about to stone him – but because he knew what was in their hearts.
It is a sad thing to know that something is going to happen like this – and
know that hardness of heart prevents any cure. Isaiah’s words were written in
see, of course, that Isaiah did not “make” them hard of heart; he simply
foresaw it. The mystery of prophecy is great – but the decisions are still
When a Man Believes in Me
There is a chain of belief stated here which is important
to us. Let us examine its links:
you believe in Jesus, you believe in God. That seems simple enough – but
it requires us to know that God is three – and yet one. But Jesus walked
around the planet; people saw him – it makes it easier for us.
you see Jesus, you see God. Jesus is the “exact representation” of God.
As God the Father cannot be seen (physically) we understand this to be the
spiritual sense. But how does one see God? Only the pure in heart know
this we see a great mystery revealed. No one sees God; he is mysterious,
beyond our comprehension. We are the clay; he is the potter; how can we
understand him? Only if he sends messengers to us. Indeed, in Christ,
the messenger is the message, for God has walked among us. Our minds
cannot wrap around God the Father – but we can know God the Son, for he is
also Son of Man.
The Last Judgment
coming of the Son of God carries with it a somber implication: judgment. The
judge is light with the offender who is truly ignorant – but throws the book at
those who are learned in the law. Here Christ lays out the principles of the
Day of Judgment.
is by the word you have. If you have heard the word of Christ, and
rejected it, then you will be judged for that.
this is fair – because what Christ teaches is what God commands. They are
one. Therefore, to reject Christ is to reject God, and rebel against him.
sends no one to hell – they’re all volunteers.
Glory to God
began this lesson with glory to God; it seems fitting that we should end it
that way. How is it that Christ overcomes his fears? Is it not for the love
he has for God the Father – and his desire to glorify God’s name? And are we
not the imitators of Christ? Therefore, should we not conduct ourselves to
glorify God’s name?
how? What can I do which is so high and holy?
there are the works of charity done in his name. Let the world see the
difference in the actions of Christian and non-Christian. This is one
reason we need to encourage each other to such good works.
there is personal purity – for only the pure in heart shall see God. Is
your character a glory to God?
mouth should follow your life; let there be praise flowing from it.
is also the matter of sacrifice; if the Old Testament teaches nothing else,
it teaches that. Sacrifice – not just giving to Goodwill that which you
were going to throw away, but denying yourself something so that others
may be blessed.
call on him in the time of trouble – so that the world might know (and you
might confirm to yourself) that he is worthy of the glory you give Him.