John: Believing On The Christ, The Son Of God, For Eternal Life

Part XXXIII: Trusting In Christ For His Predicted Worldwide Outreach After The Cross

(John 12:20-33)


I.                 Introduction

A.    John's Gospel asserts that Christ is the true Light from God Who lights all men coming into the world, not just the Hebrew people to whom Jesus initially came and offered Himself as their Messiah, John 1:9-10, 11-12.

B.     Verifying this claim, John 12:20-33 shows how Jesus reacted to hearing that some Greeks had come to the Passover asking for Him, revealing He then anticipated His worldwide discipling outreach to occur after His coming death, and we view this passage for confirmation that He aimed to die before this worldwide outreach:

II.              Trusting In Christ For His Predicted Worldwide Outreach After The Cross, John 12:20-33.

A.    Among those who were then going to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover (John 12:1) were some Greeks (John 12:20), "wanderers of the ancient world and the seekers of truth . . . Their coming was symbolic of the coming of Gentiles to worship God through Christ (cf. 10:16)," Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 317.

B.     They approached Jesus' disciple Philip possibly due to his Greek name or to his contact with Greeks from the area of Decapolis where many Gentiles lived, and they asked him, "Sir, we would see Jesus," John 12:21; Ibid.

C.     Philip told this to the disciple Andrew, and both men then came to Jesus about these Greeks, John 12:22.

D.    Christ's response is insightful, for he then extensively together with God the Father's added, openly verbal testimony of attestation, spoke of His imminent death followed by His worldwide outreach, John 12:23-33:

1.      Hearing of the searching of Gentiles for Him, Jesus predicted the time had come for Him as the "Son of man," a Hebrew messianic term (cf. Daniel 7:13-14), to be "glorified," John 12:23.

2.      To explain, He spoke of a grain of wheat that falls into the ground and dies to bear much produce, John 12:24.  Christ would thus die before bearing much produce in a worldwide outreach even to Gentiles, Ibid.

3.      This process for Christ would apply to the future ministries of His disciples: they too must not love this earthly life, but willing lose it selflessly for the cause and the will of God, giving up false idols, egotistical goals, interests, loves, a "spiritual death to self" to be productive in serving Christ, John 12:25; Ibid.  The result would be God the Father's honoring of those who thus serve the Savior, John 12:26.

4.      Returning to the theme of His own imminent death, Jesus testified that His soul was "stirred, agitated," tetaraktai "because of the prospect of being made sin (2 Cor. 5:21) in His death," John 12:27a; Ibid.  However, rhetorically asking Himself if He should shrink back from the cross because of this dreadful experience of bearing man's sin, Jesus refused, testifying that He could not ask the Father to save Him from that death as it was the very purpose for His coming into the world in His Incarnation, John 12:27b.

5.      In a stunning affirmation of this prophecy, Jesus asked the Father to glorify His name (John 12:28a), and in His only public declaration to Israel's people since Jesus' baptism at the start of His earthly ministry, God the Father Himself spoke audibly from heaven in response to Jesus, saying, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again," John 12:28b.  The Father thus affirmed that Jesus was to die for sin prior to Jesus' worldwide outreach to the world!

6.      Some of those present who heard the Father's voice explained it as thunder while others held an angel had spoken to Him, John 12:29.  Jesus explained the Father had just spoken those words for Jesus' listeners that they might know that the coming death of Christ would be the judgment of this world, that Satan, the prince of this world, would be defeated in it, and when Christ had been lifted up from the earth in hanging on the cross, He would draw all men to Himself for salvation, John 12:30-32; cf. Jn. 3:14-15; Ibid., p. 318.

7.      John 12:33 claims that Jesus' John 12:32 statement on being "lifted up" indicated He would die on a cross, not by stoning, the typical way of execution by the Hebrews, Ibid.; cf. Acts 7:58-60.  Jesus thus predicted His death at the hands of the Romans by way of crucifixion in accurate prophecy of that future event!


Lesson: In hearing that Gentiles sought for Him, Jesus along with the confirmation of God the Father's voice from heaven predicted He would die on the cross, the purpose for which He had come to earth, before drawing all men worldwide to Himself in His offer of salvation.  Jesus also taught that His disciples, like Himself, must die to their earthly aspirations and loves in doing the will of God if they would receive God's blessing and honor in life.


Application: May we believe that Jesus is the Son of God and Messiah to be saved.  May we then heed His example to die to self and to the world, to lose ourselves in God's will only thus to find His reward of blessing and honor.