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Doing the Father’s Will
Jesus comes face to face with the cross and
is willing to submit to God the Father’s
will in going to the cross.
Scripture Text – John 12:20-33
"And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:
The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and
desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew;
and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them saying, The
hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto
you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it
die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that
hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let
him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me,
him will my Father honor. Now is my soul troubled: and what shall I say? Father, save
me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father,
glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both
glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and
heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus
answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is
the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if
I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying
what death he should die."
Notice verse twenty-three which says, "The Hour Is Come." Jesus has come to that climatic turning point of His ministry on earth. He has come to that great hour of realizing His own destiny in this world. Jesus has just entered Jerusalem in that triumphal entry, as we call it. He has been welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd of people as they've cried aloud, "Hosanna, blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord." That word "Hosanna" means save now. Jesus has entered Jerusalem with thousands welcoming Him on the verge of something great and wonderful. At this moment they would embrace Him. They would accept Him.
A. The Setting for the Words, “The Hour Is Come”
1. The Jews Are Ready to Proclaim Him King
They reach out with open arms to receive Him as King. In fact, they welcome
Him now and call upon Him to exert His great power and authority that they know He
has to disperse all enemies of Israel – to put down all enemies of the people of God,
to drive from their midst forces and powers from foreign lands, especially the heavy hand of
oppression by Rome. They are crying out, "Save us now!"
It is the voice of a crowd that looks to the crowning of a King. They strewed palm
branches before Him as He comes riding upon a small donkey. This is symbolic of all
those events in the Old Testament where Israel has crowned a King – Coronation Day. It
is symbolic of giving honor and adoration to a man who is about to become King and be
crowned and be honored. They bow before Him and they are worshiping Him and
strewing the palm branches before Him.
2. The Gentiles Request to See Him
In the midst of it all when the great crowds are ready to acclaim Him King, the
Gentiles stand on the side lines not having the right yet or not having opportunity yet to
be included in the kingdom of Israel – wanting to come closer and see Jesus and get a
glimpse of Him who is receiving such praise and adoration and worship at this moment.
They tell some of the disciples, Andrew in particular, " we would see Jesus."
3. Jesus Says to the Disciples, "The Hour Is Come"
Philip and Andrew come and they tell Jesus about it, but His answer is, "The hour
is come that the Son of man should be glorified." And what He is really saying is, "I can't
right now go and speak to the Gentiles. I can't answer your request or theirs at this
moment. But there is an hour hanging upon me that is so much more important that I
must give myself to that hour. Later I will go to the Gentiles. It will be through somebody
else. It will be after some of the greatest events, but now an hour hangs upon me that I
must turn down this human request."
4. Jesus Has Said Before, "My Hour Is Not Come"
We're a little bit surprised to hear Jesus say, "...the hour is come." We have heard
Him and we have seen Him three times already in this great book say, "My hour is not
yet come." Sometimes people are making requests of Him. Sometimes pressure is being
put upon Him. His own brothers want Him to do certain things. His own mother and
close friends are pressing upon Him but each time He has said, "My hour is not yet
come." Now then when a world lies at His feet crying out and saying, "We want to see
Jesus," He says, "The hour is come."
A. The Meaning of the Words, “The Hour Is Come”
1. This Is the Hour of the Father's Will
You see, the request of the Gentiles is going to mean a lot more to Him than those
human requests that have been placed upon His heart from time to time. What does He
really mean? He means that this is the hour of God's divine destiny for His Son. That
which has been planned from eternity is about to take place.
This is the hour when He will make that great and grand decision to surrender His
entire will into the will of the Father. This is the hour of doing perfectly the will of the
Father without any complaint, without any drawing or shrinking back from duty, without
any turning aside from His mission in the world. He turns and looks at this hour of
destiny that hangs upon Him and says, "It's come and in a sense I welcome it."
2. This Is the Hour of Death
This hour means not only doing the will of the Father, but this hour means also
death. For He says, "Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth
alone." He is saying that there is no way for a life to reproduce itself unless there is first
death. Every seed that bears fruit and life and reproduces itself must first of all lose its
own identity. It must die just as a grain of wheat falls into the ground and loses its shape
and its identity and it dies only to have coming out of that very death and out of the
remains of the ashes of that burned out life, a new plant of life that will spring forth and
multiply itself many times and bear fruit.
C. There Must be Death Before There Can Be Life
1. The Divine Principle
It is a divine principle that God has established in His work and in His people and
in the entire universe. That is, there must be death before there can be life. The world has
never been able to understand this – that out of death comes life and out of the power of
what seems to be weakness comes strength. What seems to be shame and dishonor of the
cross and the death of Jesus and the curse – out of that shame comes glory and out of that
horribleness comes beauty and love and out of that shame comes glorious power and out
of that weakness comes strength and out of that day of darkness comes the brightest light
that ever shined upon this world. Oh, hallelujah!
2. The Resurrected Life Is In Power and Glory
Let the grain of wheat sown in weakness be sown but it will be raised in power
and glory and that principle survives and lives. It's in God's Word. It's in God's will. It's
in God's own purpose even for you and me because we can never hope to see the
splendor of the new birth without first dying to self and to sin.
3. Our Will Must Die at the Cross
We can never expect to see the beauties of real yielded service to Jesus Christ
unless our will is broken at the foot of the cross. We can never expect to walk in the light
of truth until we have been down near the gates of the darkness of death and there thrown
ourselves head long before the feet of the lovely Son of God and said, "
Lord Jesus, be the Lord of all my life."
So He says, "..a grain of wheat must fall into the ground and die or it abides
alone." Look at that last part of that principle. A life of selfishness that refuses to bow
down, a life that's lived in selfishness that refuses God's Word and God's will, a life that's
lived in selfishness that refuses to surrender to the cross and to Jesus Christ, it abides
alone in its own selfishness and becomes a living death failing to reproduce.
D. The Mission to Win the World Must Be at Calvary
What He is saying is, Jesus must go to the cross before He can save or before He
can go to the Gentiles as they request. There's another tremendous principle. Before you go on mission in this world to do anything for God – before you give yourself to any kind of service – you have to first go to Calvary and die.
1. Some Try to Reach the World Without Calvary
I see so many people start out and I see them overwhelmed and excited about the prospect of mission and service and ministry for God. Then I see them turning aside when they are face to face with counting the cost and face to face with what it will take to have God's hand upon their lives. They shrink back because of some selfish desire. But to reach the Gentiles and finally go on mission and to finally reach the hearts of men around the world, Jesus has to first die on the cross. He has to go by way of Calvary.
2. The Need for the Crucified Life
I want to tell you that if you and I can realize the complete fullness of what it means to live the crucified life then we'll render a service to this world and the people around us such as we have never seen before. For when people who have been to Calvary and they come away with the dripping blood of Jesus covering their lives and their wills are crushed and they're able to say, "Lord, not my will but Thine be done," just as Jesus said, then they can go on mission with power and authority and have the great hand of God upon their life.
3. We Must Leave the Earthly in Order to Gain the Heavenly
Jesus said, "What shall I say? Shall I say Father save me from this hour? Oh, no, because it was for this hour that I came into the world." Oh, hallelujah! Here He is embracing the end of an earthly ministry so that can begin a heavenly one. Here He is embracing the invitation to come to the cross and to death – going in victory and strength and grace and power for He will say, "I have power of my own to lay down my life and no man can take it from me."
Jesus is going in triumph and glory and victory to the cross, hallelujah, so that every man who follows Him may be able to climb that mountain side and kneel on Golgotha's brow until he is touched with holy blood and touched with holy purging fire and he comes away from there not his own, but yielded to God completely. Oh the joy, the joy, the unspeakable joy when self is hung on that cross. The unspeakable joy when all the threshing and striving is gone out of a soul and surrender is made to the will of God.
4. The Lord's Commitment to the Passion of Suffering
His words in verses 27 reveal His own commitment to the passion of suffering that's ahead of Him. He says, "Now is my soul troubled;.." That's the same word we looked at before in chapter eleven when He stood and going toward the grave of Lazarus, "His heart was troubled within Him." When we looked at that word and what it really meant, that troubling means a mingling of grief and also wrath.
When Jesus stood at the grave side of Lazarus He was grieving and yet was filled with wrath because of the ugliness of death and filled with wrath because He knew that it would cost Him His life when He gave Lazarus his life. He now stands faced with the surrender of His own will and again His soul is troubled. That means a deep shaking experience – convulsions, grief and wrath. Grief over what sin has done to the people of the world. Grief for the people but wrath toward sin. Grief toward the pitiful plight of humanity but wrath toward that enemy that has sown man under.
Oh, I want to tell you, Jesus in this hour when His soul is troubled said, "Shall I say Father deliver me? No, it was for this hour came I into the world." Like it is in Matthew, Mark and Luke, the prayer in the garden when He prays three times, "If it be possible let this cup pass from me," ending each prayer with that solemn commitment to His suffering and passion when He says, "Not my will but Thine be done." This is John's account of His surrender to the will of God.
5. We Must Be Committed to the Passion of Suffering
I want to tell you that there is some heart searching and there is some grief process and there is some troubling of the heart when you come face to face with whether or not you do God's will. Because you see, the divine will of God coming down in a vertical position from His holy Word and from God on high cuts across the will of your own life. And where it cuts across, that's where your cross is raised up and that's where you have to decide whether you will be crucified or whether you will say, "What shall I say of my life? Shall I save myself from this hour or this commitment? Shall I save myself from this price I pay for consecration and service?"
That's where you decide to say that, or, "No, this is God's will and this is the place of God's purpose and this is the place where God uses me and touches my life." You hear me today, the most wonderful place you'll ever find is that place at the altar somewhere where you lay yourself there before God and you tell him, "Lord, not my will but Thine be done." Hallelujah!
I want you to see something beautiful. When He said this, "Father, glorify Thy name." When He said, "For this hour came I into the world." When He made known publicly His commitment to death – being sown in death like a grain of wheat – the heavens opened up and the voice of the heavenly Father was heard thundering down words of approval.
I want to tell you friends, when you obey God and when you surrender your will to God's will, that's when the heavens open up to you. That is when the voice of Father, you can hear it. That's when the hand of God reaches down to you. Hallelujah! For in that surrender, you allow the will of God to flow through your life. In that surrender and the time when you quit struggling in your own strength, you allow the strength of God, the Holy Ghost to come flooding and filling your life. When you quit fighting against God, His divine power can fight through you for His glory and honor.
It is a surrender that is victorious. It is a surrender that brings power. It is a surrender that brings glory. It pays off in this world and in the world to come. The approval of the Father – cherish that thought. It is better to have God's approval upon your life than the approval of anyone in this world. Seek earnestly to be approved of God. The hour is come!
Jesus comes face to face with the cross and is willing to submit to God the Father's will in going to the cross.
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