Sermon: For the Glory of God’s Name John 12:27-36


For the Glory of God’s Name

John 12:27-36

Primary Truth Taught- Jesus brings glory to His Father’s name by His perfect obedience.

Introduction

Last week we spent a great deal of the message focusing in verse 23…

John 12:23 (ESV)

23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

This verse focused on the glory that Jesus will receive through His death of the cross. The glory He receives comes about by doing the Father’s will. It is God’s will that Jesus be crucified. It is only through the death of His Son that God’s people are saved. Our Lord knows this and is willing to follow through with the crucifixion.
While last week’s passage focused our attention on the glory Christ receives as He dies and then bears much fruit, today’s is focused on Christ glorifying His Father also, through His death. God is greatly honored by the death of His Son.

The Trinity was completely involved in all the details surrounding the cross.   I just want to be very clear about this. It was God who had Jesus crucified. It was God’s plan, God working in and out of every event to bring about the cross. It was also God who raised Jesus from the dead and gave Him honor and a kingdom.
I’m making this point because if we are to fully grasp the verses before us we must see the truth that the cross was God’s eternal decree. God ordained that it would happen, God worked out a million or more things to bring it about, and God was the first cause of the cross.

Isaiah 53 (ESV)

53 Who has believed what he has heard from us?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

   For he grew up before him like a young plant,

and like a root out of dry ground;

       he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,

and no beauty that we should desire him.

   He was despised and rejected by men,

a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;

       and as one from whom men hide their faces

he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

   Surely he has borne our griefs

and carried our sorrows;

       yet we esteemed him stricken,

smitten by God, and afflicted.

   But he was pierced for our transgressions;

he was crushed for our iniquities;

       upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

and with his wounds we are healed.

   All we like sheep have gone astray;

we have turned—every one—to his own way;

       and the Lord has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.

   He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,

yet he opened not his mouth;

       like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,

and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,

so he opened not his mouth.

   By oppression and judgment he was taken away;

and as for his generation, who considered

       that he was cut off out of the land of the living,

stricken for the transgression of my people?

   And they made his grave with the wicked

and with a rich man in his death,

       although he had done no violence,

and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10    Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;

he has put him to grief;

       when his soul makes an offering for guilt,

he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;

       the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

11    Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;

       by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,

make many to be accounted righteous,

and he shall bear their iniquities.

12    Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,

and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,

       because he poured out his soul to death

and was numbered with the transgressors;

       yet he bore the sin of many,

and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Acts 2:22–24 (ESV)

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

John 12:27–36 (ESV)

27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness 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, that you may become sons of light.”

  1. God’s Glory is Paramount

27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine.

As we look to these verses I want us to see that Jesus’ primary focus when thinking about the cross was NOT our salvation. What He concerned Himself with first and foremost was the glory of His Father’s name.
I want us to look at Psalm 6:3-6. Jesus quotes from this here in our verses today. Something is changed. In Psalm 6, King David is praying to God for healing and deliverance.

Psalm 6:3–5 (ESV)

   My soul also is greatly troubled.

But you, O Lord—how long?

   Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;

save me for the sake of your steadfast love.

   For in death there is no remembrance of you;

in Sheol who will give you praise?

Our Lord is basically saying that He could pray that Psalm, asking God for deliverance. But notice what He does. To the Father He says, but healing and deliverance is not why I’ve come. I didn’t come to earth for peace and comfort but to do Your will God. God’s will is that Jesus would be faithful to His hour. He would fulfill His ministry and purpose, which is to be like the grain of wheat that goes into the ground and dies in order that it would bear much fruit.
Then He prays that God would glorify His name. What does that mean?

The best place to look of course is the Bible. So, lets look at a wonderful example of what is meant by glorifying God’s name.

Isaiah 48:9–11 (ESV)

   “For my name’s sake I defer my anger;

for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,

that I may not cut you off.

10    Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;

I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.

11    For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,

for how should my name be profaned?

My glory I will not give to another.

God was either going to pour out His wrath in judgment on Israel for her disobedience or He is going to refine Israel like fire refines metal. Under normal circumstances totally annihilating them would have been first choice. Perhaps like God did to the earth’s inhabitants during the global flood. But instead God has a reputation to uphold. So because He is jealous for His glory rather than wiping Israel off the face of the earth He refines her. When God made a covenant with Israel He also connects His name to them. His name is praised as He shows mercy instead of just wrath to His people.
This is the same exact principle behind what Jesus tells us today.

Then after Jesus prays for God to glorify His name…God answers!

Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine.

Do you see how in sync the Trinity is? God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are working completely in tandem to accomplish the exact same thing, namely, the Glory of God. When the Son is glorified the Father is too. When the Father is glorified the Son is too.
It seems that God is saying that throughout Jesus’ earthly life He has been glorifying His name and He will continue doing so through the cross and on through to the resurrection and the ascension.

  1. God’s Name is Glorified by Judging the World

31 Now is the judgment of this world

The judgment of the world is beginning with the hour of Jesus’ death. The entire world faces initial judgment when Christ dies of the cross. What we often don’t think about is that on the cross we too are judged. Our sin is judged.

Notice what Jesus says. He says that it begins now not later.

There is a great cosmic reversal taking place when Jesus rescues His people from this present evil age.
God is greatly glorified and His name honored when His Son is obedient to death even death on a cross.

John often uses the word world to mean the current world in his day under the influence of Satan and his demonic army. At the cross the world is divided. All who are in rebellion against God are judged.
The reversal is seen as when all who are in rebellion think that the death of Jesus would place them in power when in reality the cross will be their own undoing and their rejection of Jesus will be their condemnation. They think destroying Jesus will keep them in power but in fact the death of Christ is the great reversal of power.

In this reversal God’s name is greatly glorified.

  1. God’s Name is Glorified by Casting Out Satan

now will the ruler of this world be cast out.

Not only does the death of Jesus judge the world but it dethroned Satan, the ruler of this age. When Satan’s realm of rule, the world, is judged he has nothing left to rule over. Satan’s apparent victory at the cross marked his own destruction.

Hebrews 2:14 (ESV)

14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,

We must understand that at the cross Jesus destroyed the reign of Satan. He and his demons have lost their earthly realm of dominion. When His Father handed Jesus a kingdom, He became ruler of all creation. He will issue decrees and judgments. Satan is defeated and Christ rules.

We must ask what Jesus means here by cast out? Satan is defeated and he is no longer ruling this realm. He is still here and still has some power only he does not have eternal power any longer.
At the cross when Jesus paid for the sins of all God’s people Satan was cast out of the courtroom of heaven because he does not have anything to present to God as the prosecuting attorney. Before he could show thousands of reasons we should be condemned but when Jesus died those sins died with Him.

Lets think about this for a moment. Jesus is so sure that He will accomplish everything God desires, He’s so sure of God’s decree to save His people that He can speak of it as if its already happened.

  1. God’s Name is Glorified by Saving His People
    32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
    We can see for sure that Jesus knew exactly what kind of death He would suffer. He knew even beforehand that He would be crucified.

John 3:14–15 (ESV)

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

John 8:28 (ESV)

28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.

The cross had already been ordained by God. Even in eternity past the cross was on the horizon for Jesus. It would be through the cross that Christ would honor His Father and bring glory to His name.

When Jesus uses the all people or all men, we know that not everyone on earth will be saved by work of Christ. It literally means all the elect from all nations and all ethnic persuasions.
Here’s why this is what Jesus means…
-The word “people” is not a necessary part of the Greek word for “all” in verse 32. It simply says, “When I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all to myself.” I am suggesting it is all his sheep, all his children, all the elect.
The word “draw” is used in John 6:44, where Jesus says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” If the sense is similar, it’s a real, effective drawing. It’s not an attempt to draw which fails. It’s a successful bringing to Christ.
This is what Jesus said he would do for his sheep in John 10:16 when he dies for them: “I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also.” His death has a certain effect on his sheep. They come. All of them.
The death of Jesus does not draw all people this way. Judas, for example, knows the cross and the Savior, and is not drawn by the lifting up of Christ. He rejects Christ and perishes. In fact it’s Judas’ unbelief that is in view in John 6:65 when Jesus says, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

Jesus uses the term “all” for his elect the way he does here when he says, “When I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all to myself.” For example, “All that the Father gives me will come to me” (John 6:37). And the Son gives “eternal life to all whom you have given him” (John 17:2). This is the “all” of John 12:32, “When I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all — all whom you have given to me, all my sheep — to myself.”[1]

  1. God’s Name is Glorified as He Makes Us Sons and Daughters
    35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness 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, that you may become sons of light.”

Now we see a dividing line. The death of Christ marks the dividing line between the condemned and the vindicated. You are judged with Christ as a believer. God’s wrath is over because our death sentence was poured out on Christ.

Galatians 2:20 (ESV)

20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Romans 8:3 (ESV)

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,

Most see the light and rather than walking in the light would much rather walk in darkness.

John 3:16–21 (ESV)

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Jesus tells us that the hour of His death for God’s glory and for our reconciliation is at hand.

Beloved for the rest of John’s Gospel Satan is going to try with everything He has to get Jesus to not follow His Father’s will. He will try suffering, intense pain, anguish, abandonment by friends, hunger, fatigue, intense and ongoing agony.

You see Satan’s offer still stands. Jesus, if You just worship me You will have the world and everything in it.

Matthew 4:10 (ESV)

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

       “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God

and him only shall you serve.’ ”

 

 

 

 

 

 

****Commentaries used…

Ridderbos Gospel of John, John Macarthur, John Piper

 

 

[1] John Piper

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