Jesus who came to save the world

Posted by admin on 21 December 2014 in John |

John 12:37 - 50

They showed persistent unbelief despite of so many signs performed by Jesus (37). V38 says this was the fulfilment of the word of Isaiah 53:1.

“Lord, who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

Isaiah says the reason of their unbelief in Isaiah 6:10:

10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.’

Does the Lord really want to prevent his people from understanding, repenting, and being healed? On the surface it seems to indicate Isaiah’s hardening ministry will prevent genuine repentance. But, as the surrounding chapters clearly reveal, the people were hardly ready or willing to repent. Therefore, Isaiah’s preaching was not needed to prevent repentance! Isaiah 6:10b reflects the people’s attitude and might be paraphrased accordingly: “Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their mind, repent, and be restored, and they certainly wouldn’t want that, would they?” Of course, this sarcastic statement may also reveal that the Lord himself is now bent on judgment, not reconciliation. Just as Pharaoh’s rejection of Yahweh’s ultimatum ignited judgment and foreclosed, at least temporarily, any opportunity for repentance, so the Lord may have come to the point where he has decreed to bring judgment before opening the door for repentance once more [2].

Exodus 9:12 shows God hardened Pharaoh’s heart and Pharaoh refused the requests of Moses sent by God 10 times so that God might show 10 plagues.

Romans 11:25b says “Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,”

God hardened Israelites’ heart to fulfil God’s purpose to save the Gentiles! For more information, see Romans 11:25 – 32.

And this God’s mystery made Paul sing as below in Romans 11:33-36.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Solomon also said in Ecclesiastes 8:17:

17 then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.

Some leaders believed but hid their faith in fear of being put out of synagogue (42). Synagogue means “a gathering together”. “Putting somebody out of synagogue” means isolating somebody in the society, which results in social, economic, and political disadvantage. V43 points out “43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.”

In contrast, Apostles stood for the Truth in Acts 4:18 – 19,

18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!

See v44 and v45.

44 Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.

Then Jesus cried out - It was like a public proclamation: “Believing and seeing Jesus” is “believing and seeing the one who sent Jesus”.

In addition to v44 and v45, Jesus also said in Matthew 10:40:

40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.

That is, “welcoming the apostle of Jesus” is “welcoming Jesus”, and “welcoming Jesus” is “welcoming the one who sent Jesus”.

See v46a.

46 I have come into the world as a light,

Without Jesus, the world is in total darkness spiritually; it is like chaos before the first day when God called light into existence. This is the darkness of sin and of death. The Light comes to drive away this darkness; this is its great mission and work [1].

See v46b.

so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

Here darkness is not merely the absence of light but the evil power of ignorance, error, falsehood and deadly deception. “To stay in darkness” is to lie helpless under this deadly power. “Not to stay” is to be definitely delivered from this power. To accomplish this two acts are necessary: Jesus, the Light, must come, and this Light must enter the heart and fill it with faith. Thus the deliverance is effected [1].

See v47 – 50.

What Jesus said is not human idea or philosophy but declaration of the Truth directly from God (49, 50b). In the last day, the very words Jesus has spoken will condemn those who reject Him and do not accept His words (48). But those who believe and obey will be lead to eternal life (50a).

 

Reference

[1] Lenski, R. C. H. (1961). The interpretation of St. John’s gospel (pp. 894–895). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.

[2] Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Is 6:10). Biblical Studies Press.

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