The Gospel of John – Lesson 34 – John 12:27-50

27 “Now my soul is troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, this is the reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!” A voice came from heaven: “I have glorified my name, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said it thundered. Others said an angel talked to him. 30 Jesus answered, “This voice was not for my sake but for yours. 31 “Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be thrown out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate what kind of death he was going to die. 34 The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Scriptures that the Christ will remain forever. So how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 Then Jesus told them, “The light will be with you just a little while longer. Keep on walking while you have the light, so that darkness does not overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become sons of light.” Jesus spoke these words, and then went away and was hidden from them. 37 Even though Jesus had done so many miraculous signs in their presence, they still did not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet, who said: Lord, who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 39 For this reason they could not believe, because Isaiah also said: 40 He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes, or understand with their heart, or turn—and I would heal them. 41 Isaiah said these things when he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him. 42 Nevertheless, even many of the rulers believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing him, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue. 43 For they loved praise from people more than praise from God. 44 Then Jesus called out, “The one who believes in me does not believe in me only, but in him who sent me. 45 And the one who sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that everyone who believes in me would not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears my words but does not hold on to them, I do not judge him, for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words does have a judge. The word which I spoke is what will judge him on the Last Day, 49 because I have not spoken on my own, but the Father himself who sent me has given me a command regarding what I am to say and what I am to speak. 50 And I know that his command is eternal life. So the things I speak are exactly what the Father told me to speak.”

We all probably face this situation multiple times in our lifetime. We have a job to do. We know the work is going to be very hard and perhaps even painful. We don’t want to do the job. We might put it off as long as we can. But finally we must face the task at hand. The work needs to be done. Jesus found himself in that situation. His purpose for coming to Jerusalem on this occasion was so that he could be handed over to his enemies to suffer, and die, and have his body placed in the grave. Jesus hadn’t put off his assignment from his heavenly Father. He had waited until the appointed time to go to Jerusalem. Now the time had come. Jesus’ soul was troubled by the suffering and death he needed to endure. His assignment was made even more difficult by the fact that he needed to endure all this while carrying the crushing burden of the sins of the world. It’s not hard to imagine why Jesus was troubled. He is true God, but also true man. His human nature would suffer in ways no other human being has ever suffered.

But Jesus knew there could be no avoiding this painful task. Only he could be sufficient sacrifice to pay for our sins and the sins of the whole world. Instead of asking to be spared from his task, Jesus prayed that by his work he would glorify his heavenly Father. God the Father answered his Son in a powerful way. A voice from heaven said, “I have glorified my name, and I will glorify it again.” God the Father was glorified as Jesus fulfilled God’s Law in our place during his entire earthly life. God would glorify his name again as Jesus died and rose again from the dead to defeat sin, death and the devil. God is also glorified with every soul that believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior and comes to eternal life in heaven through faith in Jesus.

Jesus was about to make the ultimate sacrifice for all of humanity. But John proclaimed the sad reality that most of the people rejected Jesus. Jesus urged the people in Jerusalem to walk in the light of salvation while he was still with them. But the words of Isaiah 6:9-10 said that although the people would see the miracles and hear the message of salvation, they would refuse to understand the truth. According to Jesus, those who reject him will face God’s judgment on the Last Day. Without Jesus, they will remain in the darkness of sin and be sentenced to an eternity in the torments of hell.

John does record that Jesus’ work did bear fruit. According to verse 42, there were many who heard Jesus’ message and believed. We praise our Lord that he graciously caused his message to be proclaimed to us. By the grace of God we heard and believed. We are no longer living in the darkness of sin and unbelief. We walk in the light of salvation Jesus brings. We have God’s sure promise. Because of Jesus, we will see God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and dwell with them eternally in heaven.

Discussion Questions

1 – Why would God the Father speak audibly from heaven when Jesus asked that God would glorify his name?
Jesus said the God’s voice was for the benefit of the people. They needed to see that Jesus had brought glory to his Father by the perfect life he lived on earth. Now God would be glorified again as Jesus completed the work of salvation and won eternal life in heaven for all who trusted in him.

2 – What was Jesus speaking about in verses 31-32 when he said “Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be thrown out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself?”
God had promised in the Garden of Eden that a Savior would come to crush the head of the serpent. (Genesis 3:15) That time had come. Jesus would suffer and die, but he would be triumphant. Satan would be defeated. After Jesus died and rose again many would believe in him and have eternal life.

3 – Why would God finally blind the eyes and deaden the hearts of some so they will not believe the truth about Jesus?
God’s grace and mercy are beyond our comprehension. But when people totally harden their hearts against God again and again, God will finally give them over to their unbelief. We see an example of this when God finally hardened the heart of Pharaoh the unbelieving King of Egypt in the days of Moses. (See Exodus 10:20 – 11:10)

4 – What does Jesus teach us about the relationship he has with his heavenly Father? (Verses 44-50)
They are in perfect agreement on everything. It was the will of both God the Father and God the Son that Jesus would come into this world to carry out God’s plan of salvation. They are in perfect agreement on who will receive eternal life and who will be eternally condemned. As Jesus said in verse 50, “And I know that his command is eternal life. So the things I speak are exactly what the Father told me to speak.”

If you have any questions about the Word of God we studied in this lesson please contact Pastor Greg Tobison. You can send your questions to