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  • Writer's pictureDustin L. McCarty

Some (very rough) reflections on John 12:27-50

Some (very rough) reflections on John 12:27-50

Jesus still contends with the people for their own good. They don't understand the specifics. "How can the Son of Man be lifted up? Who is he? The Law says he will remain forever..." (v34) But Jesus does not answer these specifics. He goes to the root. BELIEVE! It will be easier as you have seen the miracles and heard me speak! Believe now! Once I am gone, you will find it to be a greater challenge - especially with your present mindset! If you wait, you might just get lost in the darkness. BELIEVE! (v35)

How this must grieve his spirit. How heavy this must have been upon his heart! He had done the miraculous before their eyes. He had raised the 3-day dead! Yet, they continued to trust in their understanding and interpretation of the word of God more than they did the actual Son of God who stood before them. They still didn't believe. This disbelief had to come from the sovereign will of the Father and His calling. He blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts. (v40) Why? I don't know. One reason might be to fill the crowd of protestors who would cry out for Jesus' death very soon. If everyone believed right then, who would stand against Jesus so the death, burial, and resurrection could be fulfilled and salvation come? There are many things I still don't understand.

And yet, possibly worse than the unbelieving who had seen so much would be those who really did believe. They got it. He was Messiah - the Promised One! Son of God and Son of Man! He was the one they had been looking forward to since the beginning! The Deliverer! They got it! But even with this understanding, they loved another more. Even knowing this is THE genuine Bridegroom, who has come for them, His bride... they wanted their diseased, abusive, live-in deadbeat man. They were more afraid of losing their positions which brought the praise of men than they were desirous of receiving the true blessing of God. How this must have hurt - so much more than disbelief. Understanding, yet selecting the lesser thing. (v42-43)

I do this, and so do you. When I sense the guidance of the Holy Spirit toward starting a conversation with a stranger, yet for fear of being inconvenienced, I move along without saying a word - I choose the lesser thing. When I stare in lust over a 2-dimensional image instead of hold in love my 3-dimensional wife - I choose the lesser thing. When I turn down an opportunity to serve because I just don't want to - I choose the lesser thing. When I see the homeless beside the path I walk upon and avert my eyes instead of simply saying 'hello' - I choose the lesser thing. When I reduce my committed giving to church or missions because I really want ______ (whatever _______ may be) - I choose the lesser thing.

How many daily choices am I making toward lesser things? How many blessings am I missing out on by creating a habit of going against God's call in small ways. It is no wonder that many consider the Christian life boring! They have never actually lived a life following Christ! Yes - believe for salvation! But what does obedience look like? Is it simply avoidance of sin - solely a moral purity... not doing bad stuff and feeling remorse when we do? Or is it believing to the point of listening and trusting the direction of the word of God and the indwelling Holy Spirit? Whose glory am I seeking? The glory of man?... my own glory?... or the glory of God and all the benefits it entails?

May God continue to bless you, and others through you,

- Dustin

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