Friday, January 29, 2016

9 responses to Jesus

Read John 12.

The countdown to the cross had begun.  In the first verse of this chapter, it is recorded as "Six days before the Passover."  Chapter 13 starts with "Now before the Feast of the Passover."  Jesus and the disciples will eat the Passover meal together in an upper room.  As Jerusalem began to swell with worshipers preparing for their personal, annual sacrifice, the Lamb of God was being prepared to make the full and final payment for the sin of the world.

In times past, Jesus made it clear that it was not time yet, or His "hour" had not come.  Here, that changed.  "The hour has come" (v.23).  Facing certain this certain death He said, "But for this purpose I have come to this hour" (v.27b).  "Now is the judgment of this ; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.  And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. (vv.31-32)

The drama intensified.  Responses from those involved could not have been more varied.
1. Mary (vv.3-4)
Out of motive of gratitude for what Jesus had done in the resurrection of her brother, she gave sacrificially to Jesus, both in cost and service.  Jesus connected her kindness to His burial.

2. Judas (vv.4-6)
His complaining was disingenuous.  He had made no sacrifices for Jesus or the poor.  He was a liar, a thief, and soon to be a betrayer.

3. The Chief Priests (vv.10-11)
Out of jealousy and spiritual blindness, they began to plot how to kill both Lazarus and Jesus.

4. The Crowd. (vv.12-13)
In 6:15, the people wanted to "make him king."  Now, they give Jesus a king's welcome.  Little did they know they were helping to fulfill the prophecy found in Zechariah 9:9.

5. The Disciples (v.16)
Those closest to Jesus "did not understand these things," at the time.

6. The Pharisees (v.19)
When they saw and heard the people, it threatened their power and influence to the core.  From their perspective "the whole world has gone after him."

7. The Greeks (v.20)
The whole world, indeed.  Some of the Gentiles who had come for the Passover wanted to see Jesus.  Though not everyone in the world has or will respond in placing their eternal faith in Jesus. there will be those "from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages" (Revelation 7:9) who will.

8. God, the Father (v.28)
Jesus came to glorify the Father.  The Father was pleased.  This is the third recorded time the Father has audibly spoken in the Gospels: at the baptism of Jesus, at the Transfiguration of Jesus, and here.

9. Many Authorities (vv.42-43)
Not all religious leaders were spiritually blind.  Many saw the same signs (v.37) that some of their colleagues rejected and believed in Jesus.

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