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Sermon24-32 John12 Guide

John 12:20-36, theme verse John 12:26

The praise and honor and glory be to our heavenly Father who seeks true worshipers who worship Him with the Spirit and truth.

In this seventh Sunday after the Pentecost, I pray that His grace of the application of all the benefits which Jesus earned for our salvation and also the glorious ministry of the proclamation of His kingdom by the power of the Holy Spirit may be full in our life. Last week, we looked at the overview of the Book of Signs as the first main theme of the Gospel of John so this week, we would like to learn few lessons through the second Book of Glory from chapters 12-20 among two main themes of the Gospel.

1)    The Gospel of John as the last book of Gospels was written by the Apostle John, around AD 90-100 for the Johannese communities who were faced up with the attack of the heresy on Jesus’ divinity and humanity, while experiencing also the growing persecution from the Roman Empire and Jewish communities, in order that they might believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God and also that by believing, they might have abundant life in His name even in the midst of persecution as written in John 20:31.

2)    And John wrote his Gospel in his own unique way, I mean, John structured his Gospel, in the way that between prologue and epilogue, he put the book of signs in which he put seven signs for Jesus as the Messiah and the book of glory in which Jesus’ suffering and death and resurrection.

3)    In Today’s text, I mean, in the Book of Glory, John recorded that

a)     Jesus’ foot washing of His disciples after the Passover meal,

b)    and the farewell discourses, in which i) Jesus gave new commandment to love one another, promising to send new comforter, the Holy Spirit, after His ascension ii) and exhorting to remain in Him, iii) and to take heart,

c)     followed by the priestly prayer

d)    and the passion stories, I mean i) after trials by Jews and Pirate, ii) dying in the cross on Golgotha, yet in the third day, iii) He was raised.

4)    By the way, even though the chapter 12 is assigned to the Book of Signs since it is the message spoken to the public, but it also summarizes the Book of Glory, I mean, as John recorded in chapter 12

a)     the incident that Maria anointed Jesus with expansive ointment to prepare Jesus’ death,

b)    and the incident that the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well as Jesus, because many Jews became to believe in Jesus on account of him and the incident of Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem

and also in today’s text, he recorded i) Jesus’ prophesy of His death in the cross which glorifies Him and also God the Father and which will be the judgment for the world and the ruler of the world, ii) and then the disbelief of the Pharisees even with these signs iii) and the prophesy about the judgment in the end so that some commentators prefer to assign it to the Book of Glory.

5)    Anyhow in today’s text of chapter 12, when the Greeks came and asked to see Jesus, Jesus seems to ignore them, yet it was because He had to accomplish His vicarious atonement ministry before the Gospel would flow out from the Jewish religion to the Gentile regions. As such there are several verses we need to understand more details. The first one is regarding on the glory which He will be glorified through the crucifixion. In order to understand this, we need to know three glories in the chapter 12 of today’s text and in the chapter 17 of Jesus’ priestly prayer, I mean,

a)     the glory in which Jesus was glorified in verse 23

b)    and the glory which God glorified in verse28,

c)     and thirdly the glory which Jesus have to His people in John 17:22.

Yet, here, while the glory which God glorifies by Himself is the essential glory which springs out from His absolute purity and goodness and has been already full so that His creatures cannot fill it and especially even the sinners cannot approach to see it, so that Jesus’ prayer that “Father glorify Your name” means to reveal the full glory of His righteousness and love to the world in the cross. But, at a glance, it is not so easy to understand what is the glory which Jesus will be glorified in the cross, but, it means that He will recover the glory which He emptied in His incarnation, after He accomplished His vicarious atonement ministry in the cross, and secondly, it means the glory which He will receive from the Father when He seated in the right hand of the Father, after His ascension and resurrection and finally, it means the glory which He will be glorified while He reflect the righteousness and love of God the Father in the cross. That’s why Jesus said His death is the time when He was glorified. And then according to John 17:22, Jesus said He gave this glory which received from God the Father to His people and will be the glory of His people receive. That’s why we always live with gratitude.

6)    And secondly the thing we have to see is that His death in the cross not only glorify Him and the Father, but also is the judgment of the world and the ruler. Of course, even though final judgment will be done in His second coming, yet, as John 3:18 says “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God,” since unfaith in Jesus will result in final judgment as eternal punishment, so that Jesus said that His crucifixion can be the time of judgment of this world. In that perspective, His words in the second half of verse 31 that “Now the ruler of the world will be cast out” could be understood in the same way that since His death in the cross opens new era when not only the Jews, but also the Gentiles can be saved in the name of Jesus, Jesus says that the ruler of the world who had been reigning the Gentiles will be cast out, when Jesus was crucified. That’s why in verse 32, Jesus said that when He was lifted up in the cross from the earth and also when He was lifted up to the heaven, He will draw all people, the Jews and the Gentiles to Himself.

7)    And thirdly, in verse 26, when Jesus said that “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also so if anyone serves me, the Father will honor him,” we need to know where Jesus meant where He is. Some commentators says it is the heaven where Jesus is. Even though it is true that finally in the end, His followers will be in the heaven, but, I don’t think it was Jesus’ intension. So, based on His word that the time when He would be glorified is when He died in the cross, saying “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit,” and also saying “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life,” here I think the place where He is, is the place of suffering which results in glory, I mean the way to Golgotha. To explain this in more detail, since our Lord came down to the lowest place where we were groaning under the bondage of sin there and was died in the most cruel and humiliating cross for us, we, His disciples who follow Him, are called also to the Golgotha, to the lowest place in the world. Therefore, as our Lord walked silently the way of the cross, after entrusting everything to the Father as Is 53:7 says “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth,” since it was the only true way of victory that can overcome Satan’s violence, the chain of sin and death also it was the power of God as 1 Cor 1:18 says, we as His disciples should follow Jesus’ way, I mean, the way of the cross, as Jesus said in Mt 5:39-42 that “Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you,” even saying, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” So when our Lord invites us to follow Jesus’ way in the cross, I pray that we all may follow Him in true way of serving until the cross, after entrusting everything to the Father as our Lord exemplified.

Key Questions as Small Group Activity

Q1 According to today’s text, we can know that true glory belongs to God so that when we walk in the way of the cross like our Lord, we can not only glorify God the Father but also we may be glorified. So after reviewing whether you have experienced His way, I hope you could share your experience and thought with your team members together.

Q2 And we can know that’s why Jesus said in Mt 5 that “Do not resist the one who is evil and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles,” and as such we can know the ways to receive the glory by the world and that of Jesus is completely different. So, after meditating on why the Bible says to walk in the way of the cross, I hope you could share your thoughts with each other to learn from each other.

Love you. Thank you. God bless you.

Prayer Note

Dear ( God’s attribute which you found Today ) God!

Thanks for ( something you received through the sermon or  even during the week )

Praise, gratitude and glory be to You, Lord!

Today, I realized my sin (pains) that ( the sin God reminded through the sermon ),

please forgive (or heal) me and help me not to repeat ( the sins you recognized   ).

I learned that ( something you learned through the sermon                                    )

Please help me to live in that (  learned way of life                                                )

I pray in ( Jesus’ attribute you find ) Jesus’ name. Amen.

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