by Pastor David Groendyk
After years of ministry, the hour for Jesus to be glorified has finally come (v. 23), meaning that it is finally time for Jesus to go to the cross. The Gospel of John is unique compared to the rest of the Gospels in that nearly half of his book is taken up by this final week of Jesus’ life. That should say something about its importance. Jesus did many, many things in 30 years of life and 3 years of ministry, but the most important is what happens in these last few days. What do we learn about Jesus’ mission in this chapter as we heads to the cross?
Jesus is to be worshiped (vv. 8, 13). Both individually (with Mary) and corporately (with the large crowd at the triumphal entry), we see Jesus being valued above all else. He is the one who causes us to sing praise to God. He was the one we treat as precious above all wealth and material gain. He is the one we dedicate our lives and all possessions to. He is the King that must be worshiped and glorified. While the crowds may have ended up being fickle, it’s still helpful to see both the corporate and individual responses to Jesus being with them. As a corporate body, we as his people magnify him above everything. As individuals, we must value him as the most precious thing in our lives, giving up anything and everything for him. Is that how you view Jesus?
Jesus comes to die (v. 24). Jesus is the grain of wheat that must go into the earth and die in order to bring about fruit and life for many. Probably everyone reading this devotional is familiar and comfortable with the fact that Jesus had to die. But think for a moment about the absurdity of that statement. Leaders of revolutions don’t die. Kings and warriors don’t die. If Jesus was really going to change the world, how is it possible that he would die before the movement even got off the ground (see v. 34)? Because he didn’t come to create an earthly kingdom. His mission is bigger than just ruling a country. He comes to give spiritual life. He comes to expose sin, cast it out, and save from it. Therefore, as his disciples, imitators, and followers, we must die to ourselves while living on this earth too (v. 25). Ours is not an earthly inheritance or an earthly mission. We spread the spiritual light in order to give eternal life.
Jesus is the light (v. 35). Light reveals, and light casts out darkness. Jesus reveals that he is the way of salvation for people, which is why he calls himself light and then tells everyone to believe in the light. But in order to be saved, you must let the light penetrate your life. One of the big themes in one of John’s letters is that because we have the light, we can longer let darkness dwell in us. Sin cannot remain in our lives. The light of Jesus casts out the darkness of sin. So, then, how can we who supposedly have the light continue to live in the darkness of sin? Jesus being the light calls us to live a holy and pure life, doing our best by the power of the Holy Spirit to cast out all sin in our lives, to the point that we shouldn’t be afraid to have any parts of our lives exposed. Just as surely as Jesus’ death and resurrection cast out Satan as ruler of this world (v. 31), so he has cast out the power of sin over each of our own hearts. Are you hanging on to precious sins? Do you have sins that you are unrepentant over? Go to God with them today.