Save the World
John 12:13 (Hosanna!)
John 12:35-36 (Lazarus Resurrected)
John 12:44-50 The Message
Matthew 19:13-14 (Let the Children Come)
When Jesus spoke to the crowds in Jerusalem, He had come into Jerusalem with great fan-fair and shouts from the crowd saying, Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in God’s name! Hosanna in Hebrew is Yasha and it means ‘save now’.
Remember that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead prior to His entry into Jerusalem. Word of the miraculous resurrection had spread and people came!
Then, following Jesus’ Triumphal entry into the city, Jesus spoke to the crowds who had gathered.
His final words are found in John 12:44b-50, “Whoever believes in me, believes not just in me but in the One who sent me. Whoever looks at me is looking, in fact, at the One who sent me.
I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in me won’t have to stay any longer in the dark.
If anyone hears what I am saying and doesn’t take it seriously, I don’t reject him. I didn’t come to reject the world; I came to save the world. But you need to know that whoever puts me off, refusing to take in what I’m saying, is willfully choosing rejection. The Word, the Word-made-flesh that I have spoken and that I am, that Word and no other is the last word.
I’m not making any of this up on my own. The Father who sent me gave me orders, told me what to say and how to say it. And I know exactly what his command produces: real and eternal life. That’s all I have to say. What the Father told me, I tell you.”
When Jesus spoke to the crowd that day he was giving them final remarks. Jesus knew what the days ahead would bring.
He knew He would be arrested, tried, and condemned.
The words He spoke to the crowd that day needed to clarify who God is, who He is in relationship to God, and why He came.
Jesus started by telling them He was sent by God the Father. He clearly told them to believe in God. Jesus was establishing a connection for His Hebrew audience. They understood Yahweh God and He needed them to see that the same Yahweh God was who sent Him. The God of Moses sent Him.
Jesus even told the crowd that since they have seen Him they have seen the Father. He needed them to see the Father and Son are ONE.
Jesus’ next words gave them an object to think about (verse 46). In His example, Jesus talked about a light (which for them would have been a sunrise, or a candle when they walk into a dark room).
Jesus was saying to them in the middle of the night if they walk into a room carrying a candle the light gets rid of the darkness. Jesus wanted them to think of Him being a light in their darkness and pain. These people knew something about physical pain. They knew physical darkness, and Jesus was equating that to Spiritual darkness.
Jesus explained it straight up. He said He IS the light and WHOEVER BELIEVES in Him won’t stay in a dark place.
I spoke with a woman years ago who came to our small country church looking for help. She stepped into the church after everyone was gone. I was still there because I was picking up the mess my children made during church. (I actually sent them outside to play so others could visit).
The young woman who came didn’t know what she was looking for or why she came. She was young and she was pregnant. I could tell she was hurting. She said she had done bad things and she felt bad about it. The year was 1984. She told me she didn’t know God or Jesus but she had heard she could go to church to ask questions. She asked me to help her. I told her about Jesus and God. I told her Jesus loved her and when she turns to Him He will love her and forgive her. I’d taught children’s church for years and I explained Jesus the same way I would explain it to a child.
I told her Jesus loves You.
I told her by asking Jesus to forgive her, she WILL receive forgiveness.
I knew she was in a scary place and she needed the light of Jesus. She wanted to be forgiven and I told her Jesus forgave her. I told her Jesus wouldn’t fail her or reject her…ever.
She prayed that day and I told her she was loved and forgiven and she could talk to Jesus/God anytime. I gave her a Bible because she didn’t have one.
Jesus became her light that day.
Jesus also told the crowd in the 1st Century (verses 47) He wasn’t sent here to reject people; He was sent to save them. Now, for the crowd that day, telling them He would SAVE them would have perked up their ears. Words like ‘love’ ‘forgiveness’ and ‘salvation’ would have given them hope. They desperately needed hope in their dark world. They lived in a world where common people were powerless. They heard about Jesus who healed the sick and defended the poor. Jesus treated them like they mattered. They heard Jesus even let children climb into his lap (Matthew 19:13-14). That was unheard of in their world.
In verse 48 we read that Jesus told them if they reject Him they WILL have a judge at the end. That’s because we choose God/Jesus or we don’t. It’s our choice. Jesus gave them a choice. Jesus asked them what THEY wanted. No religious leader in their time had asked them what they wanted.
Jesus wrapped it up by telling them (and us) that God gave Him a command to tell them about eternal life. Jesus told them about an everlasting of love and forgiveness with God/Jesus.
I’ve often thought about the girl that day who stepped in to talk to me after church. She didn’t come back after that. I’m glad she came in to ask about forgiveness. I’m glad I was there tell her Jesus loves her. I’m really glad she wanted to pray to ask Jesus IN. I’m glad she took the Bible.
Whenever I think about her I pray for her still. The day Jesus sent her into the church my youngest son was a year old. Today he is 38.
When I pray for her I ask Jesus to remind her HE is the light of the world and she is forgiven!
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Forgiven
Sit with Jesus and thank Him that He forgives you…
In God, Deborah
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