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JOHN - The Light Shines in the Darkness
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to John
PART 3 - Light Shines in the Circle of the Apostles (John 11:55 - 17:26)
A - Prelude to Holy Week (John 11:55 - 12:50)

4. The Father glorified amid the tumult (John 12:27-36)

JOHN 12:27-28
27 Now my soul is troubled. What shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this time?’ But for this cause I came to this time. 28 Father, glorify your name!” Then there came a voice out of the sky, saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

Jesus suffered in the core of his being. He is the Prince of Life, but humbled himself for death to swallow him. He is Lord of Lords, but he let the devil, the ruler of death’s domain, try him with all his might. Jesus bore our sin willingly, to burn in our stead in the flames of God’s wrath. He is the Son, ever one with his Father from eternity. For our salvation, his Father left him, so that we might be united with him in grace. No one can fully realize the anguish and pain of the Son and Father. The Trinity’s unity was in pain for our redemption.

Christ’s body could not endure this crushing pressure. He cried, "Father, save me from this hour." Then he heard the Spirit’s response clearly in his heart, "You were born for this hour. This hour is the goal of eternity. All Creation with the Father await this moment, when mankind will be reconciled to God, the creation with the Creator. At this stage the plan of salvation will be fulfilled."

At that, Jesus cried out, "Father, glorify your name!" The Son would not heed the voice of the flesh. He prayed in harmony with the Holy Spirit, "Hallowed be your name. So that the world may know that you are not a terrifying God, distant and uncaring, but a loving Father, who gives Himself in the Son to save the wicked and the perishing."

God did not hesitate to answer His Son’s plead. He answered from heaven. "I have glorified my name in you. You are my obedient and humble Son. Whoever sees you, sees me. You are my beloved, in you I am well-pleased. I have no other joy except in you for bearing the cross. In your vicarious death, I shall reveal the essence of my glory in the midst of the storms of life’s tragedies. On the cross you proclaim the meaning of glory and true holiness. It is no less than love and sacrifice and the yielding of self to the undeserving and hard-hearted."

The heavenly voice continued resounding clearly, "I will again glorify my name, when you rise from the tomb and ascend to me, to sit with me in glory, pouring my Spirit on your loved ones. Then my fatherly Name will be magnified by the new birth of countless children through the Holy Spirit. Their existence honors me; their virtuous conduct sanctifies me. Your death on the cross is the reason for the birth of God’s children. Your intercession in glory will be the guarantee of the Church’s success. In you alone the Father is endlessly glorified."

JOHN 12:29-33
29 The multitude therefore, who stood by and heard it, said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice hasn’t come for my sake, but for your sakes. 31 Now is the judgment of this world. Now the prince of this world will be cast out. 32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 But he said this, signifying by what kind of death he should die.

The crowds around Jesus were not aware of Jesus conversing with God, but thought it was the sound of thunder. They were unable to distinguish or note that God is love, nor did they hear his tender voice, nor did they realize that by the revelation of God’s glory in the Son the world’s judgment had begun.

Satan lost his hold on his slaves since Christ was lifted on the cross and gave us life by his death. The Evil One was deprived of his powers by the submission of the Son to the Father’s will. Jesus called the devil the Prince of this world in view of the fact that the whole world was placed in his domain. In the face of this painful and bitter, reality Jesus did not hesitate, but struck Satan with the sword of his righteousness, dealing a fatal blow. We are now free children in Jesus’ name.

We are drawn to his cross. Satan detested him to the extent that he would not let Jesus die on the ground or in his bed, but lifted him to die on the cross of shame. But just as the serpent lifted up in the wilderness in Moses’ day witnessed the end of God’s punishment for believers, so also the cross gathers all judgment on Christ’s shoulders. God does not condemn those who look on the Crucified. Our faith in Christ crucifies us with him and unites us in his death. We have died to sin and live for righteousness.

Our union with Christ joins us to his power and glory. Just as he overcame sin and death in holiness, so he will draw us behind him and attract us to his glory. All who trust in him will never perish, but will have everlasting life.

JOHN 12:34
34 The multitude answered him, “We have heard out of the law that the Christ remains forever. How do you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up?’ Who is this Son of Man?”

The Jews tried to constrain Jesus, asking for logical and clear proof so that they would do without an investigation of his genuineness. They knew the theological interpretation of the Book of Daniel, chapter 7, where Messiah is named Son of Man and Judge of all the world. But they still wished to hear from him the claim of divine Sonship. This they did, not to exert themselves and dare to believe but would rather offer a superficial admission that he was who he claimed to be. Some of them were foes with evil intentions wishing to trap him with a charge of blasphemy if he said explicitly that he was the Son of Man. Jesus does not reveal himself to the researchers in logical ways, rather he reveals himself to simple believers who respond to the Holy Spirit and who confess that the Son of Man is God’s Son, before they receive logical demonstration.

JOHN 12:35
35 Jesus therefore said to them, “Yet a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness doesn’t overtake you. He who walks in the darkness doesn’t know where he is going.

Jesus is the Light of the world, perceiving the light requires no detailed explanations. It is perceived because ordinary people can see the light and distinguish it from darkness. As long as it is day, one can travel walking or running, At night, a person cannot work. While the sun shines it is time to work and be active. Jesus told the Jews that little time remained for them to enter his realm of Light if they wished. That time requires decision, surrender and firmness.

However, any one who rejects the light stays in the darkness and does not know his way. This Jesus predicted to the Jews beforehand, that they would wander in the darkness without a route or an aim or hope. Such darkness is not to be confused with physical darkness which lies outside us. It is inner darkness, produced by the evil spirit in man. He thus becomes in himself gloomy all his life. Whoever does not yield to Christ is overcome by darkness. Can you see, why some "Christian" nations have become sources of darkness in the world? Not every one born "Christian" has yielded his life to Christ. Few there are who are regenerate Christians. Darkness overcomes anyone who does not enter the realm of light. You will not be able to inherit the blessings of the Gospel from automatically your parents. It is up to you to accept, respond and yield to Christ.

JOHN 12:36
36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become children of light.” Jesus said these things, and he departed and hid himself from them.

Your bonding with Christ by faith will change you radically. The Gospel sheds the rays of God’s glory which are more powerful than atomic rays. But whereas nuclear rays destroy, Christ’s rays create eternal life in us, so that the believer becomes a child of light and a lighthouse to many. Have you entered the wideness of Christ’s embrace filled with truth, purity and love? Jesus calls you from your darkness to enter into his marvelous light and be holy.

After delivering this sermon prior to his entry into Jerusalem, he did not assume power by force or attack the Romans or Herod with arms. His battle was over and the judgment of the world was nigh. The light shines in the darkness; believers will be saved, and unbelievers lost. The conflict between heaven and earth has reached its climax. God does not force men to believe. Have you become a child of light or do you remain a slave of darkness?

PRAYER: We thank you, Lord Jesus, for revealing yourself as the Light of the world. Draw us to the rays of your mercy, make us merciful. Divert our gaze from money, authority and worldly victories, so that we may follow you practically, and abide as children of your light.


  1. What is meant by our becoming sons of light?


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