Holy week

Be a Servant.

Today we are going to spend some time in John 12.  Tomorrow, we will look at Matthew 24-25.  Both of these  passages were given on Tuesday before His crucifixion.  They are powerful statements that remind us of who Jesus is, and the sacrifice He is making.  They are also prophetic in nature.  So let’s get started – we have a lot of ground to cover.
John 12:20 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:  21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.  22 Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.  23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.  24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.  25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.  
It is not quite clear from the context if Jesus is talking to the Greeks who came seeking Him at this point, or if He is just talking to Andrew and Phillip.  It is interesting that Greeks came seeking Jesus.  If they heard this, it would be the only time Jesus spoke to Gentiles with predictions of His death and the reasons for it.

Jesus is very aware of where He is on the timeline of events   The hour s come when he will be glorified.  He signifies that He will die and be buried by using the corn as an example.  It must die before it can produce fruit.  But then the fruit is multiplied many fold.  He tells us that if we love our life on this earth, we will lose it, but if we hate this life, we shall keep our life eternally.

I do love my life, but I am ready to go anytime.  I do not love it because of my possessions or wealth – I don’t have a whole lot.  I do not have fame, I am not in a position of authority and I am not a powerful person, so none of those things attract me to this life.  What I love is he relationships I have with people on this earth – my family and friends.   I love being able to help them when I can, or offer a  friendly piece of advice, or carry on a conversation.  But I desire heaven.  I am in a position like Paul was when he said to,live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil 1:21).  he was caught between two thing – the joy of heaven and the ministry to the people, which they needed (Phil 1:23-24).  I like Paul, would love to go.  But I know God still has a purpose for my life here on this earth – I am still here.  And so are you!

26 If any man serve , let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.  27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.  28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.  29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.  30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.  

To follow Christ, we must be servants.  If we are in it to be leaders and not servants, we are not following Him., servant-hood is all he did.  Throngs and throngs of people came to be healed, and every time the word says he healed them all.  They pressed into Him to hear what He had to say.  The Old E F Hutton commercials always reminded me of that (When E F Hutton speaks everyone listens).  He rarely got a break from ministry.  Ministers who refuse to be a servant in the church are missing the mark completely (The Pharisees again are the prime example).  When we serve Christ, the Father will honor us.  And tomorrow we will discuss what it means to serve Christ.

Jesus says His soul is troubled.  Who could blame Him, knowing what lies ahead.  Beating, scourging, rejection, carrying a cross, being nailed to it, dying – He knew it was coming.  What could He say?  He knew He would not be saved from it, because it was the whole reason He came.  so he asks that the Father be glorified through it.  That should be the reason for our ministry ass well – that the Father should  be glorified (Matt 5:16).

This is the second time an audible voice came from heaven and spoke to Jesus.  The first was at His baptism by John (Matt 3:17).  The people hear the voice, as they did the first time, and are amazed.  They couldn’t possibly believe it was God speaking, so they say an angel spoke.  Jesus tells them the voice came for the sake of all those that heard it.

31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.  32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.  33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.  34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?  35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.  36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.  

Finally, the prince of this world will be judged.  He had dominion from the time of Adam on that fateful day in the garden.  Jesus is about to become our Champion, and gain the victory for us through His death.  He said He has overcome the world (John 16:33).  His reference to drawing men to Himself when we lift Him up is still used today.  We must lift up the name of Jesus in our church services.  Not our programs, not some sweet little stores, but lift His name.  That is what will draw people to salvation.

The people did not understand what was going on.  They had always been taught that Messiah would live forever.  Why is He saying that he must die?  They did not get the corn analog He used earlier, that He would live again.  So Jesus says they should walk in the light while it is still with them.  Do you think this made them understand?  Ii think it confused them further.  It confuses me.  He will be leaving in two days, never to be seen of them again..  Two days to walk in the light of revelation he was giving them.

This speaks to he need to accept Him now, not later.  Now is the accepted time (2 Cor 6:2)  You are not guaranteed tomorrow.  This strategy s used all the tie in marketing, especially on TV.  “Call in the next 5 minutes, and we’ll double your order!”  Well, anytime you call they will double your order.  They just know you will forget after 5 minutes.  Jesus knew the people would forget what had happened shortly, and the Pharisees would turn their amazement to cries of “Crucify Him”.  So He withdrew and found a quiet place to pray.   I am going to post a separate time today on what Jesus means when He tells us to walk in the Light.

37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:  38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?  39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,  40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.  41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.  42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:  43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.  

This is the crux of the problem.  They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.  This is why so many people will only serve the Lord halfheartedly.  They are afraid they will offend someone if they say something wrong, or go all out in their witnessing.  They shy away from doing the what God requires so they can please their friends by being “normal”.  I must admit this affects me.  Why else would I not witness at the grocery store, or the gas station or on the job.

I read a book a while back by Steve Gallagher called “When People are Big and God is Small”.  It is an excellent excellent expose on why we put so much attention on what people think of us, and so little attention of what God thinks of us.  And it all boils down to pride.  Wee want to get along with people in this world so we don’t look like zealots.

Jesus says that in our hearts we do not understand, and seeing we don’t perceive.  This keeps us from believing and we do not get converted.  We would rather be thought of well here.  Don’t let Pride get in your way!  Serve the Lord with all your heart.

44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.  45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.  46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.  47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.  48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.  49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.  50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

Always remember that Jesus did what the Father asked Him to do, nothing more, nothing less, all the way to the cross.  he dd not  come to judge, but to save.  We are also not here to judge but to lead people to Him.  We are asked to follow His example.  Let’s be about our Fathers business


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