The Way To God’s Honor

“‘Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.’” John 12:27–28

Jesus has, for the final time, been teaching in the temple. Not long before he leaves the temple for the last time a group of Jews from Greece, who are in Jerusalem for the Passover, approach the disciples and ask to see Jesus. Jesus last public teaching is to them.

Jesus teaching to this group of men is filled with foreshadowing of his rapidly approaching death. He begins by referring to his crucifixion as his glorification and adds a metaphor about a kernel of wheat needing to fall to the earth and die if it is to multiply and produce other seeds of grain. These remarks are followed by Jesus statement, “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” He goes on to say that those who serve him must follow him where ever he goes and if they will promises that the Father will honor them. The words of our focus text conclude this section of teaching. Jesus confesses that his soul is troubled, indicates that he might wish to be saved, but then adds that it for this hour that he has come into the world. So Jesus asks for the only thing he can, “Father, glorify your name.”

Immediately the Father’s voice is heard from heaven in answer, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

Heaven has provided abundant evidence for the world to know that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, sent from heaven, beloved of the Father. The scores of messianic prophecies fulfilled by Jesus’ life ought to be enough but in addition to these there were at least three times in which the Father audibly spoke before witnesses affirming his Son, Jesus Christ. First following Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. Second when he was transfigured upon the mountain. And now for the third time in the temple.

But it’s not enough. Some in the temple didn’t understand the voice, to them It was just thundering, while others said it was just an angel. But the main reason why they doubted Jesus was because he continued to tell them that he would soon be taken from them, even indicating how he would die by saying that he would be “lifted up.”

The death of the Messiah didn’t meet their expectations. He was supposed to have power and use it to lead them to victory and glory.

Friends, Jesus will never meet our sinful, selfish expectations. If we insist on attempting to make him fit into a box of our understanding and our making it will almost certainly lead us to unbelief.

Jesus can’t adapt himself to suit us. If we desire the honor of God that Jesus promised to those who follow him we must adjust our understanding to harmonize with his teaching, and we must allow our lives to be changed to match his life.

O Father, make we willing to believe your voice, and to be changed by your Spirit, and to be made like your Son.

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