Key Scripture: John 12:20-50
Written by: Dr. Charlie Self
In John’s Gospel, chapter 12 marks the final moments of Jesus’ public ministry before he retreats with the disciples to the Upper Room and spends several chapters ministering to “his own” (John 13:1-6). Some believe that the early moments of John 13 may have occurred on Tuesday evening, though others place John 13-17 on Wednesday and Thursday nights.
Beginning with verse 20, Jesus responds to some Greek inquirers and offers a brilliant summary of his true glory – his “lifting up” on the Cross and the healing that will flow from this moment (John 12;20-33). There is a deep sadness on this day as John reminds us that rejection of Jesus was prophesied hundreds of years ago (John 12:34-41). In spite of much opposition, there were some timid believers that kept their faith quiet and the writer is clear this is not honoring to God (12:42-43).
John 12:44-49 represents a final plea of Jesus – and therefore the author as well (John wrote his Gospel and Epistles toward the end of his long life) for all to believe and come into the true light (see John 1:1-18) of spiritual rebirth and eternal life.
John recorded these words of Jesus to encourage us as we face many pressures to doubt and be afraid (especially in this pandemic moment). We are also encouraged toward boldness, not covering up our love for the Lord and his invitation for all who believe. Will we take time and share about the Lord with someone this week? Will we trust God even in hard circumstances? The Lord is with us and he will honor us as we honor him.
And, taking a peek at John 13, will we respond to Jesus’ love on the Cross and live under Christ’s “new” command to “love one another, as I have loved you”?