Jesus makes his way into Jerusalem, being followed by a growing number, those who had heard of his works and those who had seen him raise Lazarus. For a long time, Christ had been mostly mocked and scrutinized by Pharisees and the Jewish community. Now, I imagine there must have been a general feeling of welling anticipation as more people were drawn to His teaching and desired to follow Him. Some were just looking for more miraculous wonders, others truly caught on to the weight of glory before them. All they hoped and feared was soon to take place, the fulfillment of prophecies and God’s masterful plan.
- Gain and Loss in the Way of Christ
Jesus responds to Andrew and Philip in verses 23-26 with a disclaimer about what it takes to follow Him. Loving one’s own life leads to its loss, and hating one’s own life in this world leads to keeping it for eternity. What a difficult thing for his people to grasp!
What do we gain and what do we lose in following Christ? Is Jesus worth it? (see Philippians 3:7-11)
- God’s Glory in the Life of Christ
Jesus knew what was to take place not long after these events. His life would soon be given for a people that didn’t deserve it, and didn’t even recognize it. His soul was troubled, yet He knew that at work through it all was the wondrous plan of the Father, that though it was by His own suffering, its aim was to bring helpless sinners to God! (1 Peter 3:18). It was so fallen mankind might be brought near to God. It was so God’s name would be glorified. Christ’s life was to demonstrate the holiness of God, the compassion of God, the power of God. People followed Him because they needed God and were drawn to Him through this God-person before them. I love verses 28-32. God’s glory is supreme. In all things, God is lifting up His own name, that we might be brought to the recognition of who He is, and the adoration of Him. This is the most loving thing God can do.
What’s loving about God pursuing His own glory? What is our best good? (see Psalm 73:24-28)
- Hope for Mankind in the Death & Resurrection of Christ
Many people who had witnessed the works of God through Christ remained blinded by their sin to the Truth of His deity. Isaiah had seen a vision of the Lord and thus prophesied this very thing (Isa. 6:1). Multitudes of people since then have passed through this life onto the next having been blinded, never believing the Truth about Jesus. Yet Jesus died in the stead of sinners. It was for us that he was to die and rise again. Though we are dead in sins, blind to reality, living in darkness, God, in infinite mercy and holy judgment, provided the way for us to have life! This is our hope! If we are in Christ, we no longer live in dark blindness. This is made possible by the grace of God, empowering dead hearts to beat, blind eyes to see the light, and numb souls to be awakened to deepest delight, having been cleansed from sin in the blood of Christ.
While there is light, are you believing in the Light that you may have life? (see verses 35-36)
There’s life in no other name.
By: Taylor Gilliam