A reading and a reflection
St John 12: 27 – 36
‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—“Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. The crowd answered him, ‘We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?’ Jesus said to them, ‘The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not k
now where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.’
History is littered with celebrities who died prematurely and never attained their finest hour of glory in their careers, Elvis, Jackson, Whitney, etc. But in our passage, Jesus goes down in history as One whose death produced his finest hour of glory. This amazing glory continues to influence and change lives twenty centuries later. This passage helps to separate Christ’s earthly life and ministry with his final journey to the Cross.
Previously, John tells us in chapters 2, 6, & 8 that His hour had not arrived. But now we read: The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.’ Jesus is no longer talking in future tense, but now confirms that the time had arrived.
Unlike Jesus, most of us cannot tell when our work on earth is finished. We can and make plans, but they remain just plans. They can be scampered any moment by forces beyond our control. We only need to look at the lamentable situation in Ukraine. However, Jesus knew exactly what He was going to endure- betrayal, crucifixion, and the anguish of being forsaken his Father. That must have been tough! This knowledge troubled him and he said, “Now my soul is troubled”. Two days later, still troubled he said: “O my Father, if it were possible, let this cup pass from me”.
Here is where I find hope in this passage. That Jesus could feel just as troubled, and sad as we would in the face of similar trials. Being fully divine, he was nevertheless like us since He is fully human. This is a tremendous source of comfort in that we have a Saviour who fully understands our feelings, hopes, fears, dreams, and weaknesses because He Himself was troubled by the very things. If we have a need, we should take it to Him in prayer for He has been there and he got the t-shirt! Amen.
Lord Jesus, we thank you because you went through the trials and sufferings we encounter here on earth even though you were without sin. Because you triumphed we can join the songwriter in singing; oh what peace we often forfeit and what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer-Amen.