Jesus Will Be Glorified through Suffering.

In John 12:27-36, we come to the end of Jesus’ public ministry. We’ve already talked about the curious Jew worshiping Jesus, the marvelous worshipper Mary, and covetous Judas. As we look at these groups and their responses to Jesus, hopefully we aren’t interested in just calculating what we can get from Jesus like Judas did. Instead, let’s elaborate on how the seed has to die in order to bear fruit.

The concept of death in this way weds the cross with glory, suffering together with glorification. This is incomprehensible to us, but this is exactly what Jesus wanted us to acknowledge and take part in.

Glorification and Suffering in Old Testament Prophecy

In John 12:34, the people ask how can Christ remain forever but also be lifted up? They could not comprehend how glorification and suffering could possibly work together. They knew being “lifted up” meant death, which most people have a natural apprehension concerning. However, the people were selectively reading the Old Testament and ignoring passages like Isaiah 53:1-6, which state that the Messiah would suffer.

Jesus was not worried about death. He had just resurrected Lazarus. He was concerned with what kind of death He was going to die (v.3). Although the crowd still didn’t understand how Jesus being lifted up would actually glorify the God of Heaven, Jesus knew He would bear the sins of the world.

Jesus was having a spiritual struggle with the weight of the sin of the world soon to be laid upon Him. It was an overwhelming weight, but it didn’t overwhelm Him. He focused on glorifying the Father.

Glorification and Suffering in New Testament Reality

Jesus submitted to the Father’s plan, no matter what He felt in His humanity. Jesus would be lifted up, but He didn’t stop giving the gospel. In John 12:35-36, Jesus answered the Jews by directing them to accept Him.

Walk while you have the light. You will walk in a faith that takes action if you are in Jesus. Live it and look like it.

Jesus is interested in giving the gospel as long as He is able, and so should His children. He calls us to sweetly, patiently, lovingly give the light of the gospel.

Application Points

  • Does your prayer life display that you are living for your purposes or God's purposes?
  • If you don't know what God's purposes are, you need to go to His Word. Jesus' purpose was to do the Father's will.
  • You know you are praying the purposes of God because God will answer your prayers. Jesus started with prayer.
  • Do you know Jesus as the light of the world? Do you know where you are going when you die? If you don't have God's Word as your road map, your life’s course will constantly be changing.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • John 2:11 - Jesus’ glory being revealed
  • Isaiah 52:13
  • Isaiah 53:1-6
  • John 3:19 - Men loved darkness
  • John 6