January 6, 2019 Last Things

Last Things

Our previous studies of the first eleven chapters of John’s Gospel have covered three years. Jesus has revealed God (John 1.18) as the Source of Grace and Truth (John 1.17). He has shown “grace upon grace” (John 1.16) through His “I AM” statements: John 6.35 (Bread of Life), 8.12 (Light of the World), 10.9 (the Gate into Eternal Life), 10.11 (the Good Shepherd), and 11.25-26 (the Resurrection and the Life). Jesus will add two more: John 14.6 (the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and the only way to Father God) and 15.5 (the Vine, from which the branches receive nourishment). Jesus has explained the Kingdom of God to us through His explanation to Nicodemus (John 3.8, entered by verses 3 & 5, and explaining the activities of John 2.23).

Chapters 12 through 21 begin six days before the Passover of Jesus’ Crucifixion and continue into the 50 days after His Resurrection (John 12.1; Acts 1.9). Our focus for this study is four points from Chapter 12 that, I believe, are important for believers’ understanding today.

John 12.23: “And Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.’” How did Jesus know?

  • Remember that Jesus had protested on other occasions that His hour had not come (John 2.4, 6, 8) and John had expressed the same (7.30, 8.20).
  • Did the Greek inquirers trigger Jesus’ deduction (John 12.20)? I believe that God sent them for His reason, just as He sent Jesus for a reason to be baptized by John the Baptist (Luke 3.2-3, John 1.29-34). Jesus’ baptism revealed Messiah to the Jews! The Greek inquirers were God’s signal to Jesus that His ministry on earth was completed to that point and were a way of affirming to Jesus that the disciples were ready to take the message of salvation by faith into the world (Matthew 28.18-20 & Mark 16.15-20 & Acts 1.8).
  • It is God Who determines when His servants are prepared for their ‘mission’ (Judges 13.12, Jeremiah 1.5, John 3.27). He may, even, ‘fire, then hire’ to get His servants before the next teachers of additional competence in His protocol of development.
  • Additionally, how do John 12.24 & 28 and Hebrews 2.14-15 explain ‘glorified’?
  • John 12.31: “‘Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.’”
  • How is the ‘judgment of this world’ explained in John 3.16-21? What is the ‘judgement’? What insight do Jeremiah 13.10 and Ecclesiastes 7.29 give about the cause of ‘judgment’? Genesis 6.12 is an example of this.
  • Now, my understanding of “‘now will the ruler of this world be cast out’” is settled that Jesus is telling that He will subjugate and consign satan to the Pit of Hades between the time of placing His body in the tomb and His resurrection three days later (remember that God counts days from sundown to sundown; Ephesians 4.9-10 (Jude 1.6), fulfilling Isaiah 14.12-15). Consequently, satan would be in the Pit until he is released after the Thousand Years Reign of Jesus, in Revelation 20.7.
  • However, my understanding is correct only if the ‘angel’ in Revelation 20.1-3 is Jesus, fulfilling Isaiah 14.12-14, since the Revelation is allegorical and not chronological (for instance, Revelation 12.1-6 about Jesus’ birth).
  • Further, some New Testament translations of Matthew 6.13 use either ‘evil’ (meaning the system of evil) or ‘the evil
one’ (meaning satan, himself). Thus, James 4.7 might be read as resisting evil, like in Jesus’ Model Prayer. Either understanding concludes that Jesus is the One who subjugates satan…even now…and for all time! This is good news for believers as is explained in Luke 10.17 & 19!

John 12.42-43: “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; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”

  • Jesus confronted the Pharisees about this in John 5.44. Notice Jesus emphasis on their choice, a deliberate decision, and with eternal consequences (Luke 9.62; Hebrews 6.4-6). Seeking affirmation from mankind blocks affirmation from God!
  • Jesus’ Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13.18-22 illustrates satan’s intimidation of Christians by Islam, progressive philosophers, social media ‘friends’, and college professors. This is happening today, perhaps for cleansing of the church (2 Timothy 3.1-7; Matthew 7.13-14). Are you ready for this challenge? Suited in the ‘armor of God’ (Ephesians 6.10-18)? Are your children and grandchildren?

John 12.48: “‘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.’”

  • In verse 47, Jesus is the Savior of the world, not the judge. This seems to contradict Paul’s word from Jesus in Acts 17.31 and, even, His separation of ‘sheep and goats’ in Matthew 25.31-46. But, knowing that Jesus never contradicted Himself, His statement in John 12.47 is understood by distinguishing between the ‘person’ of Jesus and the ‘name’ Jesus. The name ‘Jesus’ is the Judge! Paul is saying that the power of the name Jesus raised the person of Jesus from the dead (Acts 17.31). [Consider Paul’s statements in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5, then 24.]
  • In the same way, notice how Jesus distinguished between His “words” and His “word” in John 12.48. His “words” are truth given to Him by God (John 12.49). But, His “word” (“Jesus”) will distinguish His followers. Why? Because…
  • John 12.44 connects Jesus’ name to that of God (John 17.12, 14, 26)! Thus, as God listed in the Decalogue—“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain” (Exodus 20.7), the name “Jesus” is not to be used as cultural slang! Paul describes the importance of the name of God in Philippians 2.9-11. “Jesus” is to be used as a statement of power against evil and an affirmation of wisdom from God (John 1.9, the Source of all human knowledge)!
  • A correct understanding of the Name “Jesus” is a matter of life or death (John 3.16-21; 31; 14.6).

These teachings were among those of Jesus’ last few days of earthly life before His crucifixion and resurrection. His teachings until His trial will be like the proverbial ‘drinking water from a fire hydrant’. Be alert and don’t miss one drop of this fine ‘wine’ (John 2.1-10).

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Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2019. www.sozoclass.com.