Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part III: Presentation Of The Messenger Of Salvation
C. Christ's Credentials Revealed In Confrontations With Men
16. Christ's Credibility Seen In The CONTRASTING Responses Of Distant Eyewitnesses
(John 12:9-50)
  1. Introduction
    1. If Jesus is righteous, we should see a contrast of responses to Him, for believers forgiven by God would feel comfortable with Jesus where the unforgiven, unbeliever would recoil from Him, John 3:20-21.
    2. Though we have John's record of a contrast in response by eyewitnesses close to Jesus, one might explain this contrast away, claiming such eyewitnesses were less partial than more casual ones because of biased personality conflicts created over time, and thus be suspect in how accurately they perceived Jesus. John then views the response of those who knew Jesus from a distance, putting to rest such false explanations:
  2. Christ's Credibility Seen In The CONTRASTING Responses Of Distant Eyewitnesses, John 12:9-50.
    1. When the people of Judaea heard of Jesus' raising Lazarus from the dead, they came to Lazarus' home to see if he was indeed alive. Upon seeing him, they went away, believing Jesus was from God, Jn. 12:9, 11.
    2. However, some of the chief priests who knew of Jesus not only wanted to kill Him, but also to put Lazarus to death as his resurrect ion produced more followers of Jesus, John 12:10. Thus, there was a very contrasting response to Jesus from more distant eyewitnesses of His life and miraculous ministry!
    3. More evidences of these contrasting responses among distant eyewitnesses are recorded in John 12:12-50:
      1. On the one hand, the throngs of people who hailed Jesus at the triumphal entry were influenced to do so out of faith in His being from God for their learning of His raising Lazarus from the dead, Jn. 12:12-18.
      2. Conversely, the Pharisees complained the whole world was gone after Jesus in His support, John 12:19.
      3. Again, Gentiles who heard of Jesus asked His disciple, Philip if they could see Jesus, John 12:20-22.
      4. Responding to the interest of Gentiles in Himself, Jesus commented that, following His death and resurrection, He would draw all men, Jews and Gentiles, unto Himself for salvation, John 12:23-32:
        1. Jesus responded to hearing of the Greeks that He first had to be glorified in His death, 12:23-25.
        2. Those who would spread His Gospel to the Gentiles would be honored by the Father, John 12:26.
        3. Jesus, with the Father's own vocal approval, the voiced His need to face the cross for all of this to take place, and to draw all men, Jew and Gentile unto Himself for salvation, John 12:27-32.
      5. However, though Christ's gospel would go out to the ends of the earth, and though this fact was witnessed in approval not only by Jesus, but by the Father's audible voice, onlooking Jews disbelieved:
        1. When the Father's voice commented on His coming glorification of Christ through His death and resurrection, onlooking Jews said the voice was an angel's voice or that of thunder, Jn. 12:28-29.
        2. Jesus told the onlookers that this voice of the Father's was for their sake, that they might believe, 30.
        3. The crowd expressed wonder on how Messiah could die when they thought He would abide forever, 12:31-33, 34. Jesus explained their need to believe in Him, but they failed to do so, John 12:35-37.
        4. <:#518,10800>John then told how this unbelief among Jesus' fellow countrymen merely fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy that the spiritual hardness of the people would cause them not to believe in the Messiah, 12:38-41.
      6. <:#518,10800>On the other hand again, there were secret believers among Israel's leaders, but they loved the praise of men rather than that of God, and so kept their faith to themselves, John 12:42-43.
      7. <:#518,10800>Jesus then revealed the results of this contrast in response to Himself: those who believed would receive eternal life, and unbelievers would give an account in the final judgment, John 12:44-50.
Lesson: Not only CLOSE eyewitnesses, but DISTANT ones reacted in OPPOSITE ways to Christ. Since this reveals who is believing and who is unbelieving as without faith all men are sinners and recoil from a holy God, Jesus was RIGHTEOUS, cf. John 3:2 0-21.

Application: (1) The contrasting responses men had to Jesus, whether they witnessed His life and ministry up CLOSE or from AFAR, alike reveal Him as the RIGHTEOUS Son of God of His claims. (2) Likewise, a true believer who fellowships with Christ will create a CONTRAST in responses among onlookers based upon the heart attitude of the onlookers toward God, John 15:18-21.