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John41 – the final message

So the crowd answered him, “We ourselves heard from the law that the Christ [the Messiah] stays into eternity and how are you stating that it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” (John 12: 34)
John, the first century eye-witness biographer of Jesus, in the above sentences, records the reactions of the Jerusalem crowd to the very latest messages of Jesus. The crowd cannot understand anything about Jesus being “lifted up” (on a Roman cross) and, at the same time, “glorify the name of his Father in heaven”. To the crowd he is almost certainly their Messiah – and their oft-promised Messiah would have an eternal kingdom. Can’t be.

So Jesus said to them, “Still a little time the light is in you. Walk when you have the light, in order that darkness may not overtake you! And the one walking in the darkness has not discerned to where he is going away. When you have the light, believe into the light, in order that you may come to be sons of light!” Jesus spoke these things and, having come away, was hidden from them. 

Above is Jesus’ final message spoken directly to the crowd. Turn to the light.

In fact, he having done so many signs in front of them, they were not believing into him, in order that the word of the prophet Isaiah may be fulfilled, who said, “Lord, who believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been unveiled?” Through this they were not able to believe: in that again Isaiah said, “He has blinded their eyes and he hardened their hearts, in order that they may not see with the eyes and understand in the heart and may turn, and I will heal them.”  Isaiah said these things in that he saw his glory, and he spoke concerning him. 

John the biographer faithfully reminds his Jewish readers that the writings of Isaiah – the Jerusalem prophet alive there around 740 BC – applied to them. Yes, the Lord God prophesied through Isaiah that people would struggle to be “able to believe” the Messiah when he came. Isaiah also gave the reason: “the Lord God blinded their eyes and he has hardened their hearts”. So be it.

Nevertheless however, even from the leaders, many believed into him, but, through the Pharisees, they were not confessing, in order that they may not come to be out-synagogued. Because they loved the glory of men even more than the glory of God. 

However, John puts the record straight in what he recorded above. There were many who believed – but their love – their love-in-action (Greek verb agapao) was to receive glory from men. So they did not “confess” Jesus. 

The final crying-out of Jesus (below A to D) must have been to his twelve disciples only, including John his biographer. Are these cries important?

In fact Jesus cried out and said, “(A) The one believing into me is not believing into me, but into the one who sent me. And the one observing me is observing that one who sent me. (B) I myself, a light into the world, have come in order that everyone believing into me may not stay in the darkness. (C) And if anyone may hear my messages and may not preserve himself, I myself do not judge him because I have not come in order that I may judge the world, but in order that I may save the world.” 

First, (A), Jesus cries out about who he really is. Second, (B), Jesus cries out that he wants all to come to him, a light in the darkness of this world. Third, (C), he has not come to judge those who do not believe into him – those who do not “safeguard” by following him. Instead, he has come “to save”

“(D) The one rejecting me and not laying hold of my messages has the one judging him: the word that I spoke, that one will judge him in the last day. Because I myself did not speak from myself, but the Father himself who sent me gave me a command what I may say and what I may speak. And I have discerned that his command is eternal life. So those things I myself am speaking, just as the Father has said to me, in this way I am speaking.” 

Fourth, (D), Jesus cries out to his disciples regarding any person rejecting him and not receiving his messages (the messages contained in his life and his death for others). Such a person has “that one” judging him or her “in the last day.” He gives the reason for that equitable judgment. It’s because “that one”, the LORD God, the Father, has spoken very clearly in Jesus and “his commandment is eternal life”. To reject and refuse the “eternal life commandment” is to fail to “safeguard” oneself.

Sinner Syvret

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