Psalm 89:19–37, Isaiah 52:13–53:3, John 12:20-43
Imagine all the rumors you were hearing about Jesus, who had dared to ride into Jerusalem as a king. There were Greeks that were ever looking for Jesus. For some that just proved Jesus was not really the Messiah or a righteous man. To others, it added something else to the mystery that was this Jesus. Many years later, some people took the Gentile (e.g., the Greeks) interest in Jesus as a symbol that now it was time because even non-Jews were now interested in the Messiah. The way John approached it, however, the Greek interest does seem to be some sort of trigger. In general terms, Jesus talks about death and how that leads to new life. That new life would not be just for one, but for many. Jesus then says words that prefigure the words in the Garden of Gethsemane regarding the coming cross.
That God speaks from the clouds in response to Jesus, as Jesus noted, was not for his sake, but for the sake of the people around him. This would have included his disciples. The cross was both torture and humiliation, plus death. From a Jewish or even Roman perspective, there is no way that there was any glory—or could possibly any glory—with the cross. It was inconceivable.
In response, his listeners quote Psalm 89 to Jesus regarding the eternal Messiah. Are they asking for scriptural proof, or are they looking for the scriptural veto? Jesus gives a quick encouragement about staying in the light and then disappears. The Light of the World disappeared. Another action that prefigured an event (the tomb) that was to come. John quotes Isaiah to then show the hardness of heart of the people who surrounded Jesus. As much as we can carry the light into the world, we should. We just need to keep in mind that we are not Jesus. People who could put their hand out and touch Jesus did not believe in him and even many of those that did chose this life over the promise.
1) Every day we often have to choose between the promise and this life. In what areas of your life are you struggling with this?
2) Many times we can shake our heads at those who could see Jesus, but still denied him. We think ourselves unable to do that. However, do you really see the image of God in everyone you meet?
3) Why is Jesus’ parable of the wheat important? What does it tell you about your legacy?