Light of the World - John 12:20-50

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On Sunday Jeremy talked about two examples of proper responses to Jesus: the grateful affection of Mary, and the hopeful exuberance of the crowd who welcomed him into Jerusalem. We were challenged to include these kinds of reactions in our own responses to Jesus. The conversation we will cover today takes place (presumably) on Palm Sunday, after Jesus has ridden in victoriously and enthusiasm about him was once again at fever pitch.


Opening Discussion:

The word “glory” is often used in the Bible, and occasionally in everyday language. What do you think it means? What kind of experience would it describe in life today? Try to come up with a definition based on your own impressions (and maybe with a little help from Google!)





Looking at Scripture:

Read John 12:20-36


In two previous scenes (2:4, 7:30), Jesus explains that his time had not yet come. But in v. 23 he declares that “the time has come,” and specifically for him to enter his glory. What are the implications of this? How is all of this related to “glory” and how you defined it above?





Read Daniel 7:13-14 (in the NIV preferably). It is this passage from which one of Jesus’ favourite names for himself comes, “the Son of Man.” How does it shed light on what Jesus is saying…and how the people respond in v. 34?





Interesting Tidbit:In the Greek language of the New Testament, v. 23 reads more literally “It is arrived!”, which has a grammatical construction that is very similar to Jesus’ final words from the cross in 19:30, “It is finished!” These two pronouncements can be seen as bookends to Jesus’ final days, his “passion.”





How is Jesus’ wheat analogy in v. 24 connected with his invitation to follow him? How is this reminiscent of other times he invited people to become disciples?



In v. 31, Jesus refers to Satan as “the ruler of this world,” who is about to be “cast out.” What does this tell us about what is going on “behind the scenes” (something John is uniquely interested in helping us understand)?





Read John 12:37-50


With this passage, John brings to a close the first part of his gospel (sometimes called the “book” of signs) and prepares for the second section (the “book” of glory). How does it serve to sum up the journey John has brought us on so far? How do you think John envisioned it challenging his readers to examine their own faith?





Personal Application


We are called to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, even when that means he leads us to the cross. But v. 27 lets us know that even Jesus struggled and was “deeply troubled” by what he needed to face for God’s sake. Is there anything God is calling you to that is emotionally difficult for you? How does Jesus example in this passage give you courage and hope?







The gospel so far has called us to consider our response to Jesus. How do verses 42–43 challenge you personally to consider your own faith in Jesus?







Are there any other things from this passage that challenge you to change your life and your thinking?