John 12 Approval and Obedience

There is a lot about believing in this chapter. The crowd heard the voice of God speak but heard it as thunder or thought an angel had spoken to Jesus. They did not understand the words but had an inkling of the source. Jesus’ message was an invitation to become sons of light. (verse 36.) Jesus told those who were believing in Him that they were believing in the One who sent Him, The Father, with the plain message of eternal life. Many believed, and many of those were rulers but they were secret believers because of the corruption of power that sought to put men out of the synagogue, out of the community within the culture. They chose mans approval over God’s approval.

img_4774.jpgThat is harsh and true. What has God called me to do or confess that would cost me the approval of my family, friends, the culture itself, perhaps safety, or security?

The quote from Isaiah shows that there is an automatic healing that comes with the conversion, the belief in Jesus, which stems from seeing and perceiving; the hearing and accepting; the trust and obey.

To follow Jesus is to do as He did. To follow is to go with Jesus and be (which is an active verb) a part of His family.

As Jesus is about to die for mankind, He is met with both belief and unbelief. Neither of which will stop His sacrifice. The lack of understanding about his upcoming actions does not stop Him from obeying.

What in my life am I certain of that I must do for Jesus? What do others not understand? Will I trust Him and obey? The world does not need to understand our acts of obedience to Jesus, which is to the Father. Do I?

John 12 L’Chaim!

There was a specific group of Greeks going to the Passover festival, and John chose to share this nugget with us. These Greeks had heard about Jesus and having no clue how to get near Him and find him,, they went to Philip and asked for help, for an introduction, for an audience. Sir, we wish to see Jesus. Philip passed it up the chain to Andrew and together they told Jesus. Jesus was already surrounded by a multitude of people. Had Jesus been waiting for this contingent to be among the crowd? Rather than any direct answer, John goes right into informing us of a response that does not seem to be a response to the surface question. We want to see Jesus. Jesus then speaks clearly to the crowd about who He is and whom He is glorifying and how He will glorify the Father.  He says this deliberately for all to hear, including the Greeks. This is what they saw:

IMG_1009Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. Now, My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say to this hour? But for this purpose I came to this hour.   Father, glorify Thy name. There came therefore a voice out of heaven; I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

These men were seeking. They had traveled far. Time was over for introductions and questions and answers. It was time to see. Now begins His passionate display of love, mercy and forgiveness. Jesus is to be glorified. It glorified the Father when Jesus obeyed unto death and submitted so completely. To allow His life to be spent like a seed, planted, broken, then sprouting to new life-bearing, fruit-bearing hope, this is what came with booming approval in a “voice out of heaven“.

  • KidsonBeach
    The joy of life- first waves experienced. May I live each day welcoming each wave of life in the joy of the Lord!

    What shall I do with my life?

  • Shall I keep it to myself not thinking it is for eternity?
  • Or shall I choose to surrender it to my Creator, to my Savior and spend it in the gritty earth with His loving, living ways often filled with brokenness, grief, sorrow and forgiveness; to sprout eternal life in the soil of my heart, thus glorifying Him?
  • I am saying I prefer eternal life to temporary life. Choose life. Deuteronomy 30:19 L’Chaim!

 

John 12 Mob Mentality

Without TV, radio or newspapers, without commentary and critics publishing and broadcasting their opinion, the word of witness has gone out and the people have responded. Crowds were in the city. The crowd who had been at the tomb and witnessed the raising of Lazarus had spread the word. Social media of the day was doing what it does. The world was aflame with the news. And they, just like today, had an opinion. Where no man could predict nor control a passionate, mob sized gathering of people, God had known all along and the ancient prophecy was unfolding before their eyes.

img_2958-e1496783944999Passion week. It is aptly named, as the levels of emotion were clearly passionate. With the reunion meal now over, the one He spent with Lazarus, Mary and Martha to fortify His body, Jesus enters the city for His last Passover. The Ultimate Passover, the Lamb of God ready to make His spotless sacrifice for humanity.

Recognized as King, Jesus enters the city to the cheering crowds. Laying palm branches at His feet, honoring Him as King., yet not knowing they too were fulfilling prophecy, they responded with heartfelt joy and anticipation. The world is about to change.

  • Jesus, how many convincing proofs do we need?
  • Are you coming back soon?
  • Is the world in false labor still or are these the beginning of the birth pangs?

The world had gone after you at Passover with welcome, then with vengeance. There is vengeance toward you in mighty ways these days also Lord. It’s in the world of media, preconceived notions, surface understandings, sound bites of information or gossip spreading like wildfire over the airwaves and social media outlets. It is inflaming the culture, expecting one thing and not understanding nor informing anyone of the context.

DSCN2537Lord, keep me alert to seek truth and context beneath the tidal floods of media. Help me to find the nuggets of truth and recognize what is of You.  Let me walk on the surface of those tidal waves, eyes focused on You. There is no human way possible to wade through these waters unscathed and find the truth. The gate is narrow. The tide is pushing away and past it. Lord, help me this day to keep my all my senses alert and aligned to your call, your voice, the voice of the true King and Creator who alone can still the storm and fish me out of the seas.

John 12 Grief as a Teacher

Here are Jesus’s best buds, the men he has walked with, taught with, healed with, eaten with, traveled and slept around the same campfire with for the last three years.

DSCN2643And who understands what Jesus is really facing? Not them. Not his fellow missionaries. Not even His home church. In fact they have an arrest warrants and death plans for Him. It’s only Lazarus, Mary and Martha. It’s His sending team.

Jesus accepted Mary’s anointing as His burial anointing. It seems crazy to the others. Jesus felt deeply loved and ministered to. Why did Mary do such an out of place thing? She knew, she understood, she had been listening, watching and taking to heart everything she had seen and heard. She knew the inevitable result of His presence in town the days prior to Passover. She knew the grief of death to come. She also knows the word is out for her brother – a death warrant. How intense the family’s emotions must have been.

When I let myself see, with my eyes, mind and perception, the loving, living and knowing Jesus gives me, then I know, by experiences, that I have been taught through the grit of living. Grief teaches reality in a way nothing else can. Take heed. Will I let it sink in-what Jesus means in regards to life and death?

John 12 He Went Where? Now?

Setting: Passover is coming up.  In the midst of the impending sacrifice, with all the temple guards and leaders seeking to seize Jesus, Jesus,  in full knowledge of the outcome,  comes to Bethany to dine and spend time with Lazarus, recently risen from the dead. With full understanding and power of a life that has seen death and resurrection, after four days dead. Not hours, days. What was Mary experiencing as she talked with her brother? What experience of death was there to share? Was that even the topic? What did his life mean to him now? How different did he live because he had been there and back again. He did not live much longer after this. His testimony was too big a threat for the authorities to tolerate. As the disciples ate along side this friendship, Lazarus with their master, what impact did it have on them? What hope did they draw from this in the next days to come? Did it also encourage Jesus as He dealt with His flesh and the knowledge of what was to come? There are so many things I wonder about as I ponder this scene.

JDSCN3139esus is anointed by Mary for his own upcoming burial. Clearly it is on His mind, He knows what the next week will bring, six days before Passover. He tells them He won’t always be with them. What a special dinner party that must have been! The mixed emotions of Lazarus returned life and the brewing trouble with the authorities. Here a great thing has come to the people and the reception is so mixed. Even among Jesus’ own followers we have Judas, a petty thief about to turn betrayer. Was this miraculous sign that they witnessed with their own eyes so great that it was hard to sink into their core beliefs?

What troubles may come to us we do not know. But can we face the future like Lazarus, with a confidence of resurrection, because we have the proof of the past to count on? Help me this day to trust confidently in all You have done.