John 12:20-50- Who Has Believed?
Explanation- In John’s Gospel, this is the final account where Jesus is active in His public ministry. From here on out His ministry will be centered around His disciples as He prepares them for His departure.
It is seen that certain Greeks came to find Jesus. Who these Greeks were, or what they sought of Christ we are not told, but it is quite amazing that there were those from so far away who were seeking to meet Christ. When Andrew and Philip come to tell the Lord that these Greeks were searching for Him, Christ reveals a great mystery concerning His own coming destiny, as well as every true believer that has followed Him since. He says that, ‘Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.’ First we see here that Christ explains something of His own death. He will be like that grain of wheat that dies. But in death He will rise up and bear much fruit. This He spoke of His own glorification wherein men will look unto the risen Christ and receive the gift of eternal life. This indeed is true fruit! Second, there is application for the believer in Christ. We are to be where Christ is and how can that be so if we are in love with our lives here on this earth? There is a deep desire in the heart of every believer that longs to be with his Lord. For we certainly cannot experience all of Christ while here on this earth. The believer, like Christ, must die in order to receive His eternal reward.
Although many came to seek Christ and longed for Him to perform some miracle, there were still those who did not believe. They seemed to understand Christ’s reference to the Son of Man’s death but did not grasp the concept of the resurrection. They knew that Messiah would live forever more but could not comprehend the aspect of suffering that He must undergo beforehand. This unbelief only brought surety to the prophesy of Isaiah which questioned, ‘…who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’ In an apparent answer to this question the prophesy continues, ‘He (God) has blinder their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.’ Surely this blindness was from God. For if these men would have comprehended the glory that stood before them then they certainly would not have crucified the Lord. But because the Scriptures must be fulfilled, they did not believe and therefore Christ was crucified.
Application- Christ’s purposes on this earth were perfectly executed. There were no surprises, no hinderances, and no setbacks. He accomplished all that He came to do. As we examine the passages of Old Testament Scripture that pointed to Christ’s coming, notice how precisely they fall into place. Here in this account we see Christ being rejected. Why? Because Scripture said He would be. Why did Scripture say He would be rejected? Because if He was not rejected then He wouldn’t have been crucified. It is amazing to think of how detailed our Lord is and should we think that this is any less so in our own lives? Do we believe that there are happenings in our own existence that escape the Lord’s notice? Are there events that take Him by surprise? Absolutely not! In the same way that every detail of Christ’s earthly life was planned and arranged in the counsels of eternity past, so the story of our own lives found their own origin there as well. We serve a God of order and detail, and as such, there is nothing that can or will happen outside of His perfect will. What hope this provides us! What great assurance! Jesus knows our every step, our every word, our every thought! There is no one thing that is unknown to Him. Let us pray therefore to have a greater trust in His perfect will. May our faith continually increase as we are confronted with the living God proclaimed throughout the word!