I exalt You, Lord Jesus, Crucified and Risen Lord. May Your name be praised in all the earth.
Read John 12:27-36
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Do you wish that God had made himself more obvious in the world? In what ways would you want him to? Tell him your thoughts on this.
“When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them” (36). This is more than just a little narrative conclusion to today’s passage. Actually, it concludes the whole Gospel thus far, and this vital theme of “hiddenness” carries us on into the next section. But it’s been with us through this passage, too, where Jesus has already been hidden behind the strange name “Son of Man,” which the crowd doesn’t understand (34), behind his puzzling words about his death, which seem to contradict Scripture (33,34; see Isa. 9:7) and behind the voice from heaven which Jesus says was “for your benefit,” but which they couldn’t hear clearly (28-30)!
He’s hidden, all the way through–and he’s hidden for us, too. We hear that “now the prince of this world will be driven out” (31), and yet we witness daily the apparently unrestrained power of the forces of evil in our world. We hear that, once lifted up, he will “draw all people” to himself (32), and yet we are forced to acknowledge the ineffectiveness of Christian witness in many cultures. Where is Jesus’ victory? To recognize him as the Light shining in the darkness (35,36) is to put our trust in one whose light we see by faith, with little glimmers in our experience every now and then (1:5; 9:5)–akin to the voice that thundered indistinctly.
And yet John heard the voice clearly! “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again” (28). God will glorify his name–not in the world’s way, by creating banner headlines and being cheered on all sides, but in and through one who hides himself, goes to his death insignificantly, and reveals his light to the eyes of trusting love. Yes, we really see him–don’t we?
In what ways have you really seen the Lord Jesus in your experience? Tell yourself and someone else if possible–and thank him!
Gracious Father, I want to learn lessons from You. Lessons when You reveal Yourself and lessons when You seem hidden. I want to walk in Your light for my life.