Chapter 12 closes this distinct section of John in which the author (John) builds a case for Jesus as God by the miracles He had worked.
- First miracle? (Water into wine.) Last Miracle? (Raising Lazarus).
- John caps it off with the words of Jesus who Himself confirms that His ministry comes directly from God, the father.
- We’ll see two important aspects of the trinity tonight. First, the unity within the trinity (in other words, how each member of the trinity is in a single sense God).
(John 12:44) And Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.
(John 12:45) And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.
- Here’s some of what people have thought about Jesus in recent history.
Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind. Mikhail Gorbachev
2,000 years ago one man got nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be if everyone was nice to each other for a change. Douglas Adams
- Jesus wasn’t just a guy who had thought a lot about life and being nice to people. His message was straight from God, in fact, He Himself was God.
- Here’s an abridged response from C.S. Lewis:
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be either a lunatic […] or else he would be the Devil of Hell. […] Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. […] But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.
- So here’s the claim that the people that say Jesus was just "a great teacher" miss from verses 44 and 45 "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me."
(John 14:8-11) Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
(John 12:46) I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
- Like we said last week, Jesus is the light of the world, and without Him, there is darkness, but those that believe in Him can have the light right now.
- How do we have the light: We are in Jesus, the Holy Spirit is in us, and He helps us understand Him through His word, and we can bring that light to others around us.
(John 12:47) If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
- So we have the now familiar idea of people that hear the word, but do not "keep" them, or "believe them".
- ?Did Jesus come to judge, or not?
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead 2 Timothy 4:1
- Jesus, at this time, is here for the purpose of saving mankind by going to the cross. Judgment comes later.
- Why prolong judgment? Why not just give humanity what they deserve now?
- Because God is patient. Why is God patient with us?
Do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? Romans 2:4
- God is patient with us and prolongs judgment for humanity so we can "be lead to repentance."
- God is patient with us Christians individually, too, and for us it is for the same reason.
- Unfortunately, as humans, we can abuse that time of mercy and start to feel comfortable in our sin.
- We need to be careful not to presume on God’s patience, but to use the opportunity to confess our sins and get them right.
(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.
- "the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day." What does that mean?
- The message that Jesus brought, the light, as He put it, people will be held accountable for receiving that message and rejecting it.
(John 12:49) For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.
- God (the Father) told Jesus not only what to say, but what to speak.
- We’ve been reading about so many lately that rejected the word, and lest we forget there were some that believed:
For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. John 17:8
- Also seen in v 49, the second aspect of the trinity mentioned tonight, although the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are God and unified, they have different roles.
- The Father tells the Son what to say and what to speak.
(John 12:50) And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me."
For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:38-40)