A New Kind of Power in Power, pt. 2

John 12:20-26
Preached @ Harambee Church by Pastor
Michael Gunn on July 1st, 2007

“The beauty and the glory of Jesus Christ consists largely in a conjunction of such actually diverse excellencies as otherwise would have seemed to us utterly incompatible in the same subject.”
Jonathan Edwards

The first 35 verses of chapter 12 show us a new kind of power that is presented in the person of Jesus Christ. While the world operates in a “Survival of the fitness” me first mentality of leadership, Christ changes the world with an others first mentality. We saw last week that He was presented as King of His upside down kingdom as a lowly individual riding on a donkey but bringing forth the hope of salvation spoken of before by the prophets (Psalm 118: 25-26; Zechariah 9:9).

From the Head…
The Openness of the Gospel (John 12:20-22)
These three verses are not found outside of the book of John, which is not unusual in that John’s book is written for the Greek seeker. It’s John’s way of reminding us that when this King rode in on a donkey, He was opening the door to peace for all of the nations (see Zechariah 9:10). The world still seeks Him, and His story , and His forgiveness goes out into all of the nations.

The Paradox of the Message (John 12:23-26)
First we see that the “Hour” had come for Jesus to be glorified. God acts on purpose, and with impeccable timing. The “Hour” represented God’s perfect timing in regards to His glorification on the cross. Previously we saw that His “Hour” had not yet come (John 7:30; 8:20), but now in verse 23 we see it had come. John 10:18 reminded us that Christ’s life was not taken from Him, but He laid it down on His own accord. This is a timing that was prophesied in the Old Testament, and fulfilled in Christ. His “hour” had come (John 12:23, 27; 13:1; 17:1); the hour we see in John 19:14; “It was the day of preparation of Passover week, about the sixth hour (Noon). Here is your King, Pilate said to the Jews.” Christ’s glory came in His death and destruction for our sake. His revolution didn’t end in death; it was the death that initiated it!

With Jesus’ announcement of His glory, came three paradoxical statements with regards to His revolution that He is creating within the life of His people, who represent His kingdom on earth.
a. Life Comes by Death (v. 24)

b. Only by Giving Your Life Away Do You Retain It (v. 25)

c. Only Through being a Servant to You Become Great (v. 26)

…to the Heart
We live in a time that is structured with boundaries, yet defined by stress. We are a people that talk about community, yet lived sheltered from our neighbors. We spend our time and money to make ourselves happy, but we never seem content. Jesus comes and gives Himself up for the sake of the world, and calls His people to do the same. The best way to fulfillment is in emptying ourselves at His cross, and drinking in His glory on our behalf.

For Further Reading: “The New Daily Study Bible: The Gospel of John” William Barclay; “The Gospel of John,” F.F. Bruce; “The New Testament Commentary: The Gospel of John,” William Hendriksen; “Preaching the Word; John: That You May Believe,” R. Kent Hughes; “The NIV Application Commentary: John,” Gary M. Burge; “The Pillar NT Commentary: The Gospel According to John,” D.A. Carson

Next Weeks Verses: John 12:27-36


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