in John's Gospel -- Part 18
The True Glory
By: A.J. Higgins, M.D.
chapter before us, John 12, shows the Lord Jesus moving
in three companies. In the first eleven verses He is
seen as the central attraction in the home at Bethany.
There amidst a small company of those who have known His
love and redemptive power, He is seen as the true glory
of the church.
verses 12-19 He enters Jerusalem to the acclaim of the
multitude, "Hosanna: Blessed is the king of
Israel..." Certainly as her king He would be
the symbol, the embodiment of the nationís glory.
And in verses 20-33, we read of Greek or Gentile
proselytes who sought to see Christ. They were attracted
to Him doubtless by the fame of His deeds. While
all this has interesting eschatological implications, a
far more discernible, and perhaps for us a more
important lesson lies upon the surface.
The home in
Bethany was characterized by Mary worshipping, Martha
working, and Lazarus witnessing. Now the essential
point to see in all this is that Mary is worshipping
Him, Martha is working for Him, and Lazarus is
witnessing of Him. He is the center of all. A
company of redeemed souls who have been brought into the
good of salvation by the knowledge of Christ find Him
their great attraction and true glory.
the once dead brother of Mary and Martha, now sits at
the table with Christ, his body pulsating with new life.
His every breath was a testimony to the life
giving power of the Son of God. No word is
recorded as coming from his lips; a new life lived for
all to see was his eloquent testimony.
By virtue of
Lazarus a crowd gathered. When the Lord Jesus
entered nearby Jerusalem the next day, the throng
enacted the famous palm procession. For a brief
moment, the nation hailed its king. He came with the
proper credentials, riding upon the ass in fulfillment
of Zech. 9.9. Excitement was at a fever pitch.
The crowd in Jerusalem had apparently gone out of
the city to meet the coming throng from Bethany. The
meeting of the two companies and the small party of
Christ and His disciples led to the outbursts of praise
company that day was the inquiring Greek proselytes.
Their desire was simply "to see Jesus." In
response to their request, the Lord Jesus made some of
the most important statements relative to His death that
Johnís gospel contains.
Jesus made clear the absolute necessity for His death.
Under the metaphor of a corn of wheat, He
explained that apart from His death, no one could ever
be in heaven. Apart from the atoning sufferings of
Calvary, no sinner would ever be able to enjoy divine
forgiveness. From the absolute necessity of His
work, the Lord Jesus moved to the actual nature. "Except
a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die..."
Death was the only way to bring life. Our sin had
brought the sentence of eternal separation from God
(Rom. 6:23). Only by His death could the Lord
Jesus Christ bring life and immortality to us (2 Tim.
32 of our chapter, the Lord Jesus made clear that His
death would be through crucifixion; "And I, if I be
lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto
Me." The cross was not a defeat for the Son
of God, nor was it a tragic end to a brilliant life.
While it was the crowning sin in manís long
history of rebellion against God, it was also the
divinely planned pathway for the Son.
to worship and sought to see Jesus. The hour of His
crucifixion was approaching. By virtue of the cross, a
day would dawn and has dawned when all men are drawn to
Christ: all men without distinction of race, distinction
of place, or nationality. Our lot has been cast in the
age of grace, on this side of Calvary. Today all can
come to Christ for salvation, finding in Him all that
the little household in Bethany found; finding in Him
the Kingly Lord Who brings salvation and rule to
shattered lives; and finding in Him the ultimate object