Bible Reading Day 153
Day 153 – John 12:20-50
Today we see Jesus as a Light in the Darkness.
First some Greeks (Gentiles) come to Philip and ask to see Jesus. Philip is a Greek name so we can assume that Philip was of Greek heritage and/or spoke Greek. When Philip and Andrew came to Jesus with the request it was a sign to Jesus that His ministry was touching lives outside the people of Israel, and in response He said “Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory.” This is the culmination of His earthly ministry when all nations come seeking Him.
He goes on to tell them how fruitful a grain of wheat is if it dies, and tells them to let go of their lives as He will do first.
When Jesus goes on to say “this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name” a voice from heaven declares “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” John, being spiritually sensitive, hears the voice for what it is – further affirmation from God the Father, while the crowd mistake it for thunder or an angel. Jesus tells them that the voice was for their benefit and that the time for judging the world has come; satan will be cast out, and Jesus (being lifted up – on the cross) will draw everyone to Himself. This confuses the crowd again (John tells us later that many still did not believe), but Jesus tells them they have His light for just a little longer.
As John explains about the unbelief of the crowd, he also mentions that some of the Jewish leaders believed secretly because they loved human praise more than the praise of God. This is a hard concept for us to grasp in our easy lives, but many of our brothers and sisters in the persecuted church know how tragic that indictment is – that some Jewish leaders would keep their faith a secret.
Just as persecuted Christians today live in a darkened world, where evil seems to reign, so the believers in Jesus’ day were surrounded by evil on all sides – the evil religious leaders persecuted them, and the evil Roman occupiers oppressed them.
Into that darkness Jesus tells them “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.” What a promise for those who suffer under persecution!
Finally, Jesus shares the fundamental secret of His earthly life and the power behind His ministry: “I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”
That is the power of the Word of God – speaking what the Father is saying, and doing what the Father commands. Words and Works are the same to Jesus and He is our model of obedience leading to power, faith, and freedom. All that He has done in the past three years was done in obedience to the Father, and by speaking what He heard.
We can do the same today. Where does God want you to begin?
Have a great day!
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