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Seeing Jesus: Death, Trouble, and Judgment

00:00 / 17:54

17 Mar 2024

Fifth Sunday in Lent

John 12:20-33

“Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”

-       Passiontide begins. We come to Jerusalem and begin the approach to the cross.

Greeks at the Feast

-       After Christ’s Triumphal entry to Jerusalem (John 12:12-19), Greeks at feast, wish to see Jesus.

-       Nations coming to Jesus, contast to eg. Pharisees (John 12:19).

-       Promise to Abraham: “…in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 22:18).

-       We wish to see Jesus. Good request. Are they prepared for response?

-       Jesus response: climax of his mission, our discipleship.

The implications of wanting to see Jesus

-       What are the implications of wanting to see Jesus?

1.     Death

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:23-24

-       Immediate response: the cross, glorification.

-       Dying seed: death is condition for generation of life.

o   In nature

o   In human realm: sacrifice to grow/achieve etc

o   In spiritual realm: obedience, denial of oneself, forgiveness, literal suffering and death (the cross)

“Whoever loves his life loses it, but whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:25

-       “Loving” life: Not enjoying but refusing “death”.

o   Refusing obedience to God and suffering.

o   Refusing transitory nature of things here.

-       “Hating” life: Not being miserable but accepting “death”.

o   Accepting obedience, sacrifice, suffering, as Christ.

o   Recognising we seek a lasting city (Heb. 13:14). Cultivating eternal things.

2.     Trouble

“Now is my soul troubled.” John 12:27(a)

-       “Trouble”: horror, revulsion, anxiety, fear…at the cross.

-       Obedience leads to these things: will we follow Christ there?

“And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.” John 12:27(b)

-       The cross brought salvation of the world.

-       Suffering brings greater fruitfulness in us and the world.

3.     Judgment

-       A voice came from heaven. ‘The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Other said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of the world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”’ John 12:29-32

-       Incomprehension, unbelief, viciousness, and violence of the world. Its judgment (krisis).

-       Are we willing to receive it with Christ?

-       “All people to myself” – all nations, not all individuals. Not all willing to embrace the cross.

“If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will be my servant also.” (John 12:26).

-       “Where I am” – the cross.

-       Do not be misled. Christians called to walk a hard road but with Christ.

-       Passiontide begins. Think carefully if you want to continue the journey because it leads to the cross. Do you still want to see Jesus?

-       If you do, embrace the coming days in faith and solemn obedience, knowing that true life, the life embodied in Christ’s resurrection, is on the other side of the cross and the tomb.


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