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Grace Lutheran Church Devotional: John 12:20–33


By Administrator

March 29, 2024

Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. 27“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

Inscribed on the ancient temple to Apollo at Delphi are the words “Know thyself.” It urges people to look into their hearts to see what thoughts are in there. However, people try to overlook their own failings, considering them slips or setbacks on the way to better things. Outside the Kingdom of Christ, the word “sinner” is not in the vocabulary of the unregenerated, but in the presence of Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God, all our goodness shows up with all its attached shortcomings. So, people stay away, because Jesus disturbs. It is too humiliating to come to Jesus and confess, “I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight” (Psalm 51:5).

Yet while Jesus walked on earth, saints and sinners were eager to meet Him. Some Greeks attending the Passover, approached Philip wanting an introduction saying: “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” (21). Jesus knows that the coming of these Gentiles means “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (23). Jesus explains, And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (24,). Christ lifted up on a cross brought about His being lifted out of the grave and then from the earth. His crucifixion, resurrection, His ascension. With these “liftings up” Christ draws men to Himself. Without these “liftings up” no one can see God because God must be seen in the way He wants, not the way people want. After Jesus finished speaking about His “lifting up,” John comments, “He said this to show by what kind of death He was going to die” (33).

Jesus gives us life by dying. “The hour has come” Jesus says to His disciples. The hour for which He came to lay down His life on the altar of sacrifice as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29). On the altar of the cross Jesus shed His holy, innocent blood as the price for our salvation. Looking at us through the Cross of Christ, God sees us as whiter than snow, because Christ’s perfect, spotless holiness completely covers our uncleanness and makes us acceptable to God.

Blessed are you; on that cross, Jesus reconciled us to God and made peace with Him. Jesus lifts you up out of your sin and shame and draws you to Himself. He is undoing what Adam did, which draws us down to the grave with him. But in His glorious death, Jesus releases us from the blame placed upon you by the Law and the guilt that burdens your conscience. He alone lifts you up from death to life. By His death on Golgotha, followed by His glorious resurrection, your sin is forgiven. Truly, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (23).

Grace Lutheran Church LCMS
825 North 1st West
Cheyenne Wells, CO, 80810-0728
Sunday Service begins at 9:00 AM
Reverend Steven Zandstra

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