The people asked, "How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?"
It was the last week of Jesus life before the crucifixion. The people had welcomed Him into town with praise and worship, spreading branches of palm trees in His path, and now they are questioning His identity.
John 12: 27-36
Verse 27: "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I have come to this hour."
Jesus knew His crucifixion was drawing near, which the human side of Him seemed to be dreading, but He also knew that this was His mission; and He was not stepping aside.
Even though it would temporarily separate Him from the Father, He was willing and ready to take the sins of the world on himself.
Verse 28: "Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
Father God had spoken from Heaven. in Jewish tradition voices that came from Heaven were frequently regarded as substitutes for prophecy.
According to Strong's, the word "glorify," as used here, means to magnify, extol, or praise.
Verse 29: "The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." 30Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not mine."
According to the synoptics "God the Father" had also verbally testified for Jesus at His baptism, "And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, (Matt 3:16-17).
Now, on still another occasion God testified for Jesus from Heaven, but it was to spiritually blind people. Not only were they spiritually blind, but also spiritually deaf. Evidently, they could not see or hear the truth about anything from God.
Jesus did not try to explain, and simply says, "This voice has come for your sake, not mine."
Verse 31: "Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out."
In nearly all Jewish texts, God is the ruler, but here, Jesus is speaking of satan and his dominion in human affairs; and of the defeat of demonic spiritual forces, He was about to carry out.
Satan is real, not symbolic. He is constantly working against God and those who obey him, but because of Christ's victory on the cross; Believers can be delivered from him.
Verse 32-34: "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." 33He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
To be, "lifted up" meant, to be crucified, which they already knew. Jesus wanted to tell them in advance what kind of death He would die, but they were rejecting, all that He said.
They had wrongly interpreted the Scriptures to say that the Messiah would never die; and they were waving Palm Branches for a victorious Messiah, who would set up a political earthy kingdom that would never end.
Verse 34" So the crowd answered him, "We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?"
They could not understand why the Messiah had to suffer and die before setting up His kingdom. They were trying to force Jesus into their mold.
To say, "Who is this Son of Man" indicates that even though Jesus had repeatedly told them, and even presented witnesses, they failed to grasp His true identity.
This would prove to be the greatest failure of the Jewish nation. The Messiah the prophets had told them about, and they all had looked forward to for hundreds of years, had arrived, and they failed to recognize Him.
Verse 35-36: "So Jesus said to them, "The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light. When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them."
Jesus is the "Light of the World," yet these spiritually blind Jewish scholars could not understand. Even so, He never gave up on them, but continued to teach and guide them to the very last.
Jesus warned them that time was running out, and that He would be with them in person for only a short while longer. If they walked in His light they would become, “sons of Light.”
After Jesus had said these things, He hid from them.
"The Unbelief of the People"
Jesus Confronts Their Unbelief
John 12:37-50 Bible Study
Verse 37: "Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him."
Jesus had performed many miracles, Turning water into wine; healing the sick; raising the dead; calming the raging storm at sea; miraculously feeding thousands; and many others.
He had at one time asked them to believe in Him based upon the infallible witnesses he had provided, (John the Baptist, Prophesy; His Father God; His works (miracles); yet they refused to believe in Him.
Verse 38: "so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
Prophecies had warned that the people would not believe in Jesus.
Verses 39-40: "Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them."
This Scripture offers insight into the inability of the people to understand Jesus' message.
God had blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they could not understand. This is the reason they could not grasp the Words of Jesus.
"Where the eye is absent, or where it has become impaired from any cause, light is useless. Man was naturally incapable of receiving Spiritual light in as much as he lacked the capacity for spiritual things." (Vine's Expository Dictionary)
Verse 41: "Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him."
Not only did Isaiah deliver wonderful prophecies concerning Jesus, but had actually been shown His Heavenly Glory as, "God the Son," and what a fantastic sight it must have been! (Isaiah 6:1-5).
However, not only Isaiah, but all born again Followers of Jesus will one day see Him in all His Glory.
Verse 42: "Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue;"
Many of the leaders believed in Jesus, but feared being excommunicated, (Put out of the synagogue).
The opinion of others, and ranking position among the other Pharisees was more important to them, than pleasing God.
Verse 43: "for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God."
This word for, 'glory' can also be translated as, reputation or, honor.
Honor was the goal of high society, and considered critical in a status-conscious culture, obsessed with shame, and dignity
With a Sense of Finality,
Jesus Delivers His Final Appeal.
Jesus Came to Save the World
Verse 44: "And Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45"And whoever sees me sees him who sent me."
Scripture verifies that God had sent Jesus, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life," (John 3:16).
Jesus did only what the Father told Him; therefore, we can what God is like by studying the life and Words of Jesus.
Verse 46: "I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness."
Light equals happiness, And the word translated here, "Skot-ee-ah" means darkness, gloom, evil, sin, obscurity.
Here, it is used in a metaphorical sense to mean; the ignorance of divine truth, man's sinful nature, total absence of light, and a lack of spiritual perception.
Verse 47: "If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
Judaism believed that "God's Law" was the standard by which He would judge His people at the end time.
The Old Law/Covenant, has been fulfilled, the "New Covenant," is now in effect.
Verse 48-49: "The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
Under the New Covenant man has a choice, to either receive the teachings of Jesus and become born again to spend eternity Heaven; or to reject them and be cast into hell.
In the last Judgment, at the "Great White Throne," those who do not accept Christ will be judged, condemned, and eternally separated from God.
Verse 49: "For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak."
Jesus was, "God the Father's" agent. The people should have received Him with the same honor they would have received, "God the Father."
Verse 50: "And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me."
The theme of Eternal Life has been stressed through out John's Gospel.
God the Father has commanded Eternal Life; it is an absolute for of all who have been born again.
This completes our study of, The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up.
Our Next Study Is:
Other Popular Links: