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Monday, June 25, 2018

Jesus' Hour has Come – John 12

    

          Jesus’ hour – death on the cross – not only provided salvation, but also glorified God. Jesus would face His “hour” for the glory of God and the benefit of the whole world. Jesus knew that the love for God and for humanity behind the cross would live on long after in the hearts and lives of His true followers. The foundation of Jesus’ Kingdom is sacrificial love. The love, mercy and grace extended to sinful humanity at the cross of Jesus Christ is the greatest act of love the world will ever know.

Jesus wasn’t the only grain of wheat to die in order to bear fruit. Those who love Jesus must also die to selfish and self-serving desires. We must love the glory of God more than our lives. The cross not only showed how much God loves humanity, it also shows how much God hates sin!  Jesus suffered and died for the sin of the whole world.

Glorify Your Name – John 12:28-29

        Jesus said, “Father, glorify your Name.” John 12:28 The glory Jesus received came about by doing the Father's will. The glory He receives from His death will bear much fruit. No one would be saved if Jesus had not willingly laid down His life on the cross. Jesus didn't come to earth for peace and comfort but to do the Father's will. “Glorifying” confirms the presence of the holiness and power of God.
To glorify God’s Name is to glorify and honor God because His Name represents Him and His character. A name is also what makes a person accessible to others. Jesus called God Father, indicating an intimate love relationship as a father for his son. Throughout the Older Testament no believer ever called God “Father.” In a prophetic psalm about establishing David’s line forever, Psalm 89: 26 says “He will call out to Me, ‘You are my Father.” Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophetic psalm. The Lord also spoke to the prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 36:20-23 saying that the house of Israel had profaned His Holy Name, but He would vindicate them and then glorify His Name among the nations. Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy also. God’s mercy and grace were at work in the Older Testament as well as the New. 
God had been glorified in Jesus’ birth and His death. At His birth, a great company of the heavenly host appeared to the shepherds with the angel and said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” Luke 2:14 Now God will carry Jesus through His sufferings and death bringing glory to God. This was Jesus’ Divine destiny on earth.

How Did Jesus Glorify God?
·        Jesus glorified God in His obedient life.
·       Jesus glorified God in His humble servanthood…. “who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death --
·        Jesus glorified God by only speaking the pure Truth.
·        Jesus glorified God by only doing what the Father told Him to do.
·        Jesus glorified God in His “self” denial.
·        Jesus glorified God in His submission to God.
·        Jesus glorified God by His love for God and humanity.
·        Jesus glorified God through His miracles, signs and wonders.

God Speaks
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again. The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to Him. John 12:28-29 The crowd wanted to explain away the voice, but Jesus and His disciples heard God’s voice. Jesus is the Word of God – the voice of God from the beginning of scripture to the end of scripture. All things were created through the voice of God – the Word of God -- Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. All things must be recreated by the Word of God Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Jesus uses the Word of God along with the power of the Holy Spirit to recreate us back into spiritual beings who hopefully reflect the light and glory of God in Christ.
Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine.” Jesus didn’t need to be convinced, nor did He need to be saved. He remained sinless.  Before creation, Jesus was with God’s glory as God’s Word (voice). He is still and will ever be God’s voice who will reflect the glory and light of the Father.
The crowd around Jesus needed to be convinced that the voice was God speaking. God had been silent to His people for over 400 years. No doubt this is the reason the crowd didn't recognize God's voice. 
Only a remnant of Jews and Gentiles will follow Jesus, but God will do great things through this remnant. In the Older Testament, most of God’s followers were Jews with a remnant of Gentiles. In the New Testament, most of God’s followers are Gentiles (every nation) with a remnant of Jews. God equaled the playing field. No human or nation is to receive the glory that belongs to God alone. Neither Jews or Gentiles can obey God perfectly because of their inherent fleshly nature that is sinful. Because of this, God had to send His Sinless Divine Son into the world to satisfy His justice for disobedience. Jesus must obey the Law perfectly to set us free from the Law in order for Him to rule and reign in grace and truth through all who truly follow Him. God had to do it. Man couldn’t no matter what nation, tribe or tongue, so we must be careful not to give glory to any nation including the Jews or the Christian Church. Both the Jews and the Christian Church need to humble themselves and become servants of Christ through obedience to His Word and radiating His love, truth and grace to all.
God wants to bring the two – Jews and Gentiles -- together as “one new man” in Christ Jesus. (see Ephesians 2;15) He will use this Body of Christ made up of both Jews and Gentiles to reach the whole world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. This cannot be done unless we give up our pride and so-called chosenness and humble ourselves as Christ did. We must understand that it is GOD who did it all beginning with the Jews and then the Gentiles including teaching, training and equipping His Body of believers so no one can boast. All glory must go the God!


            

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