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Monday, July 9, 2018

God is Glorified – John 12 -- Part 3

            We learned last week that Jesus knew the “hour “of His death on the cross had come. His death would bring glory to God as well as salvation for all humans.  God saves us for His glory, not our own glory or selfish ways! Christ is the pattern of how bringing glory to God is done. As Jesus was the perfect reflector of God, we too were designed to be full of God’s glory. God said to the prophet Isaiah, “You are My servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” 49:3 God was to be glorified through His people Israel. Again in Isaiah 60:21, God said, “Also, your people shall be righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I might be glorified.” God wanted His people to glorify Him through their actions, words and deeds. The New Testament also says that Jesus should be glorified in us. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:12 We are not to exchange the glory of God for worldly, selfish desires.

     God is glorified by driving the prince of this world out

         Now the prince of this world will be driven out.”  The cross of Jesus shows the defeat of Satan.     
The blood of Jesus strips Satan of his condemning, accusing weapon. (see Revelation 12:11) The blood of Jesus has settled our case! The power of the blood of Jesus and our obedience to His Word by the power of the Holy Spirit will strip Satan of his power over us. When we resist the devil, he will flee. In what seemed to be Satan’s greatest triumph, it was just the reverse! Jesus will suffer great agony, pain, abandonment, hunger and thirst through those who unknowingly are doing Satan's will in his attempt to abort God's will of Jesus dying on the cross to save sinful humanity.

    God is glorified by the power of Jesus and the lifting up of Jesus on the cross to draw people to Him

     “But when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” V32 When Jesus uses the word "all," He means all that the Father brings to Him. God is glorified in drawing people to Jesus. John 6:65 says that no one can come to the Son except the Father draw him/her. It is God’s doing as well as Jesus’ because the two work in complete agreement making them one.  
          In Isaiah 52:13, God says to His prophet, “See, My servant will act wisely; He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.” God’s Servant-Messiah will be lifted up on the cross and highly exalted. Jesus is the fulfillment of this scripture. Through Jesus’ suffering and death, many would be saved, forgiven, justified, redeemed and healed. Jesus’ suffering would lead to His exaltation and glory.
            God saves us for His glory, not our own! God is glorified when the Light of the world – Jesus Christ – shines from those who believe in Him. All that Jesus did while walking on the earth in His flesh body was not to glorify or draw attention to Himself but to glorify God. The Apostle Paul says that believers in Christ are to “to do all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31  To God be the glory” means there is no room for “me.”  Jesus said in John 7:18, "He who speaks for himself seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him." We can know God but not glorify Him as He deserves. We can exchange the glory of God for worldly and selfish desires. In the beginning, Adam and the Woman were perfect reflectors of God’s glory. They were sinless and full of God’s glory and light when the Godhead created them. All of humanity was designed to be full of God’s glory. The Godhead will progressively fill willing hearts with God’s glory once again. Christ is the pattern of how we become reflectors of God’s light and glory. Paul considered all the suffering he went through as a follower of Christ was “not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18 

The Naysayers Question Jesus
          The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ will remain forever, so how can you say, “The Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” John 12:34 Throughout the Older Testament, it says that the Messiah would have an eternal kingdom.  (see Daniel 7:14) The only time the Son of Man is mentioned in the Older Testament is in this scripture in Daniel in verse 13. “In my vision at night I looked and there before me was One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days (God) and was led into His presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” In a vision, God showed Daniel Jesus as the Son of Man who would also be God with authority, glory and sovereign power. Jesus is the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy.
            The religious crowd is asking, “If the Son of Man is to be eternal – without death – then who is the Son of Man you speak of?” Jesus claimed to be the Christ, but now is saying He will die. This confused them. They had overlooked Isaiah 52:13-15 – 53:1-12 about the suffering and glory of God’s Servant Jesus. “For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of My people He was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death, though He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.” Vv 8b-9
            Instead of answering the naysayers, Jesus gave them a warning and a truth. He warned those who rejected Him that they would be in darkness but those who believed in Him would walk in His Light and become children of Light. This is His final notice to those who reject Him. Right to the end, Jesus pleaded with mankind and spoke Truth. He wanted that none would perish but have everlasting life in Him. God provided the Light in a Person – Jesus Christ – to take us out of darkness. The choice to believe in Him is ours!
At creation, God separated the light from the darkness. Jesus is now dividing the light from the darkness in John 12: 35-36. God’s ways don’t change! Jesus is the Eternal Light for all mankind. In His Light we see light. (Psalm 36:9) In the New Jerusalem of Revelation, “there will be no more night (darkness). They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.” 22:5 In other words, we will reflect the Light of God and Jesus!

LIGHT – John 12:35-36
          Jesus gives His last words to the public. After this, He spoke only to His disciples. Jesus will soon be leaving the earth and return to His former glory with the Father in heaven. Jesus says to the crowd, “You are going to have the Light just a little while longer, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.”v35 Jesus is standing in the midst of God’s chosen people in Jerusalem. Sadly, God would blind the unbelievers because they were rejecting the Truth and Light – Jesus. 

Believe in the Light
           “ Put your trust in the Light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” Vv35-36   Jesus wants these unbelievers to become children of the Light. Those who reject Jesus, the Light of the world, will walk in spiritual and moral darkness.  They will not know where they are going!  Jesus is telling the crowd to enjoy the light and learn from Him while He is with them. Without Jesus’ enlightenment, we have no spiritual understanding of God -- His Word and His Character. The Truth is found in Jesus because He is Truth – all Truth. Out of His love for all, Jesus is warning those who reject Him of the darkness and confusion that will overtake them. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 Light is invincible. Light triumphs over darkness. When we shine the Light of Jesus, we triumph over darkness and darkness cannot overtake us.
                  The Word of God tells us that God is unapproachable Light. (see 1 Timothy 6:16) Jesus made the Light of God approachable! Jesus wants humanity to walk in His Light and put our trust in the Light so we become sons and daughters of the Light. We can’t be a participant in the life of God without the Light of God. Light and life go together. When a person walks in the Light of Christ, he or she becomes a sharer of His Light.
          Walking in the Light of Jesus while we are on the earth is a prelude to living in His Light in the New Heavenly Jerusalem.  Revelation 21:11: having the glory of God. Her Light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.  Revelation 21:23: The city had no need of the sun or the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its Light.  Jesus, the Lamb of God, reflects the glory and light of God in this New Jerusalem. Believers in the Godhead will also reflect the light and glory of God like Jesus in this Holy City, as we are to do as we walk this earth. Ephesians 5:8: For once you were in darkness, now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of Light. When we walk in His light He will guide our path and help us on our journey. The Word, Spirit, faith and obedience will mold and shape us. “This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6 Jesus is Light and Truth. Both guide our walk with Him. “For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth), and find out what pleases the Lord.” Ephesians 5:9-10
God has called us out of darkness into His marvelous Light. (1 Peter 2:9) Jesus said to His Heavenly Father, in John 17:22, “And the glory You gave Me, I have given them, that they may be one as We are One. Unity brings glory to God and defeat of the devil. Unity can only come through pure Truth. Jesus, prior to His statement on giving God’s glory, also said in John 17 that He had revealed God to His disciples and “I gave them the words You gave Me, and they accepted them.” V8 In other words, He is the revealer, the truth teacher and the glory giver. His disciples accepted His Word as Truth. God will be glorified through them.
                In summation, believers are to:
·         believe in the Light
·         trust in the Light
·         walk in the Light
·         be sons and daughters of the Light

when He had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid Himself from them. John 12:36

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