- Luke LeViere
Tuesday, April 7th | The Son Lifted Up
The Son Of Man Must Be Lifted Up, John 12:20-36
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.” After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.
Jesus says, now is the time for the Son of Many to be glorified. The people have seen his marvelous works: feeding five thousand, giving sight to the blind, healing paralysis, raising Lazarus from the dead. If the hour is now for his glory to be revealed, then it must be truly great.
However, Jesus subverts all expectation and instead says: death brings life. He’s talking about himself. Here is the truth they did not expect: Jesus’ death RECLAIMS our life.
Jesus, the God-man, the one who turned water into wine, fed thousands with a handful of loaves and fish, healer, is the grain of wheat that falls, dies, as a substitute so that hundreds, thousands, millions, we ourselves may have life.
But, Jesus is not just talking about what He’s going to do; he is also talking about what we do. He says, “those who love their life will lose it and those those who hate their life in this world will will keep it for eternal life.
What a strange thing to say. Sounds like something Yoda might say, “Must hate yourself if you want to live, hmmm.” This is radical. What does he mean?
Jesus calls for our surrender. He is calling us to surrender our pride, our selfishness, our veneer of religiosity. Just as Jesus had to die in order to bring us life, we must die to our sin in order to have life in him.
These are hard words, but they are glorious words. It’s hard to die to sin. It’s hard to die to self. It’s hard to die to the ways of this world. But it’s worth it, brothers and sisters. It’s worth it to gain a full life and bear fruit, not just in our lives, but far beyond our lives in others experiencing eternal life and in it all to receive the honor of God.
3 Questions for you:
What are some of your assumptions about Christianity?
What do you think God might be saying to you right now?
What do you think God might want to do in response to what he is saying?