The Gospel of John is not meant to be difficult to understand – it was written so that that message could reach everyone. It’s not trying to disguise itself.
What I love about this series is trying to put ourselves in the story. We know so much more now than any of them knew then. Jesus becomes real in this gospel and John still puts us right in the middle of the story.
So right before this Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead (it is because of Lazarus that everyone is enthralled with Jesus) and then the triumphal entry happens.
The Palm Sunday story (vv. 12-19) concludes with these words:
“The multitude therefore that was with (Jesus) when he called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, was testifying about it. For this cause also the multitude went and met him, because they heard that he had done this sign. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, ‘See how you accomplish nothing. Behold, the world has gone after him'” (vv. 17-19).
17Many in the crowd had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, and they were telling others[j]about it.18That was the reason so many went out to meet him—because they had heard about this miraculous sign.
19Then the Pharisees said to each other, “There’s nothing we can do. Look, everyone[k]has gone after him!”
Once the Pharisees enact their plan to get rid of Jesus the whole world will know him. Let’s look at the story together.
20Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration21paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.”22Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus.
These Greeks were probably nervous about asking for an audience with Jesus, so they approach someone they thought of as “Safe.”
Apparently, Philip is nervous about this, so he goes the get Andrew and they both go to make the request of Jesus.
So, Philip and Andrew go and make the request of Jesus.
23Jesus replied,“Now the time has come for the Son of Man[a]to enter into his glory.
24I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone.
The eternal life for many comes through the sacrifice of the One.
And we must let go of our selfish existence – our self-centered lives to produce the fruit that is available to us through surrender to Jesus and the working of the Holy Spirit – we must die to self to produce fruit.
25Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.
When you create a life that you think you love outside of Jesus, you destroy yourself – but when you hate your life outside of Jesus you gain life forever.
26Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.
The word for servant is Diakonos: waiter, or one who serves other’s needs, follows, and cares for others.
27“Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came!28Father, bring glory to your name.”
Jesus is the only one here that knows what is to come.
Is He asking the Father to save him from that hour or declaring, “Father save me from this hour?”
Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.”29When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him.
30Then Jesus told them,“The voice was for your benefit, not mine.31The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out.32And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”33He said this to indicate how he was going to die.
This voice is for you – Jesus knows all of this – but the crowd does not.
Huposo – Lifted Up
This word has two meanings:
Physically lift up.
On a cross
To exalt or give honor.
Both are about to happen to Jesus
And when He is lifted up – he says:
I will draw everyone to myself.
Everyone – His gospel was for all, and He was making that clear here.
16“For this is how God loved the world: He gave[a]his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.17God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
Will you die to yourself?
The Greeks are very possibly standing there as He is saying this to His followers.
The world is watching us.
And we will not win them with power and might and swords – but with self-giving love.
Jesus sacrificed himself for the message of the gospel – will you?
Jesus died to himself to give life to others – will you?
Jesus was determined to bring glory to the Father – even when he is troubled – are you?
“That's what love does - it pursues blindly, unflinchingly, and without end. When you go after something you love, you'll do anything it takes to get it, even if it costs everything.”
―Bob Goff,Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World