Monday, November 7, 2011

Witnesses of the Beginning of Christ's Passion

John 12:12 – 50 is a very public moment in the life of Jesus as He enters Jerusalem at the beginning of Passover week. In this event, the Father audibly speaks over him (vs 28). This revelation by the Father speaking over Jesus swings the story of Jesus as told by John fully toward the passion of Christ and His crucifixion and resurrection.

However, before the voice of God is heard, we see three distinct groups interact with Jesus. These who enter the scene are in order: Pharisees, Greeks, and the crowd. 

The Pharisees speak first to one another with,

       "You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world is going after Him (vs. 19)." This is spoken in reaction to Jesus' triumphal entry into the city with many crying out, "Hosanna!" The reader confronts a face worn by the hardened heart. These who trust in their religious traditions reject Christ as the all in all. Such folk are around today from many religious traditions including ones labeled Christian.

Next enter the Greeks. This group seeks to meet with Jesus. Their request is relayed from Philip to Andrew to Jesus who answers them by speaking of a grain of wheat which falls to the ground and dies. He speaks the principle that all who seek life in Christ must be willing to die to the life of this world. For those who would meet Christ out of an honest desire to know--these Greeks in the story represent a valid intellectual inquiry into who Jesus is--there is but this response: Understand the life one knows must end for the true spiritual life in Him to come forth (vs. 20-26).

Jesus then speaks from a place of trouble in His heart regarding the events soon to come and places Himself in the trust of the Father, 

      "Father, glorify Your name." Then a voice came out of heaven:

      "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again (vs. 28)."

The crowd reacts with unsure and doubting words. Jesus next speaks to these who have heard the voice from Heaven with, 

       "This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes (vs 30)." Jesus verifies the Father's voice as for the sake of these witnesses, and logically then for all readers across time, as well (assuming a regard for all biblical accounts as one great spiritual message from the Creator God to the shared humanity on Earth).

Next, "Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out." (vs. 31)  
Isn't there some significant understanding about where the spiritual line is drawn here? The ruler of this world is cast out is stated as a present tense marker. Something of the domination of Satan over humanity is forever altered. The Kingdom has come for those who will see it.  (see 2 Cor. 4:1-5 - those who do not see it are blinded to it.)

The focus shifts to "the crowd."  The crowd then answered Him,

       "We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this Son of Man?"  

       So Jesus said to them, "For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.  "While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light (vs 30-36)."

The inquiry of the crowd is in sharp contrast to both the Pharisees and the Greeks.While the crowd is not in open rejection like the Pharisees, neither is the crowd honestly seeking any answers to questions like the Greeks. The crowd's questioning is a challenge intended to shield those asking from Truth. Much like the challenge of adolescents to parents, this technique uses a question in anger or distrust or from a selfish desire of freedom from authority to blunt whatever answer may come.

Jesus cuts to the heart of the matter; the masses love darkness, resist vulnerability to truth, and consequently, the change of finding the Light of God.


postmodern redneck said...

One thing I've always been curious about: we're told some Greeks asked to meet Jesus, but John never told us if He did or what He said to them if He met them...must be one of those things referred to in the closing verses of John's gospel.

careyrowland said...

The crowds are like sheep; they will follow whoever leads them.

careyrowland said...

Pharisees want to be led by someone who seems to be holy.
Greeks want to be lead by someone who appears to be smart.

Conniewalden said...

Thanks for sharing your faith. Connie

Conniewalden said...

Thanks for sharing your faith. Connie

Napoleon Nalcot said...

The Holy Bible clearly tells us in John 8:32: "Seek ye the truth and it shall set you free".