Tuesday, January 17, 2012

John 12 12 to 18

12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
17 The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.
18 For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle.

Key Observation:

As these things were happening, the disciples were not comprehending that it was all part of God’s plan.


People are excited about Jesus and want to make Him king. Their excitement resounded from the raising of Lazarus. Lazarus, I need to remember, was dead four days, and the message of his death would have traveled throughout his community. I think the message of his being raised again would have spread even farther. I think the disciples were just caught up in the crowds and the business of the schedule, and most likely, did not piece the prophetic happenings together until later.

It is the power of these people testifying that gives credence to Jesus being King, and the Pharisees sought to stop that, not for the sake of stopping it, but because they would have been afraid, dreadfully so, of the civil authorities. Remember that Israel is a captive nation, and they have one king—that king is Caesar. If the people, in their exuberance, were to proclaim a new king, would not the whole nation be in danger of being declared in rebellion? I think it is to this end Caiaphas speaks, when he utters the immortal words that it was necessary for one man to die for the nation. There is great irony in the fact that Caiaphas never dreams for an instant that this really is the Son of God, the promised Messiah, whom the Jews are watching and waiting for.

How much of this crowd really believes Jesus to be the Son of God? I certainly do not know, and John does not seem to give much information. We do know that all throughout John there are many people following Jesus, some who evidently have genuinely life-changing faith, but also some who do not. In my town, we have a basketball team. In their winning years (of which there have been not many) people emerge with renewed excitement, and attendance goes dramatically up, and I find unexpected fans all over town. But let them go back to losing (normal?) and the fans become much harder to find. So it is, I expect, with these followers of Jesus. In just a few hours Jesus will be lifted up on the cross, and where are the crowds then? Apparently they were ready for a king, but not ready for a crucified king. Even the disciples fled away from Jesus, with only his best friend and mother, being faithful to the end.

It bothers me a great deal when I see someone profess to take Christ as their Savior, but then their life does not show much change. Year after year goes by, and except for a very small spark, I see no change. Often old lifestyles continue to be embraced and the expected changes just do not seem to happen. What am I to make of this? Sometimes I do wonder (but never know, for God alone sees the heart) if that person was saved at all.

What changes should happen to a new Christian? I am glad you asked. Lewis Sperry Chafer says this: “The ransom price has been paid for all; yet for the one who believes there is a further work of redemption which is manifested in the transforming and sanctifying power of the Spirit.” What, then, is the work of redemption that I should see?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22, 23) I should see love and joy and faith and gentleness marking the Spirit-filled believer. I am convinced the reason I do not many times has to do with the Christian never having learned the things of God. What a tragedy! I think of the parable of our Lord told about the seed. Some of it, I am told, is thrown unto hard and rocky ground, and springs up, but the sun comes and quickly withers it away.

If you find yourself lacking power in the Christian life, perhaps it is because you need to learn more of the truths of the Word. God has planted His very Spirit in you, and as you learn more about depending on Him, your walk before both man and God should start showing the fruits of the Spirit.

Lewis Sperry Chafer (2008-07-24). Salvation (p. 42). Taft Software, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Fill Me Now

1. Hover o'er me, Holy Spirit,
Bathe my trembling heart and brow;
Fill me with Thy hallowed presence,
Come, O come and fill me now.
2. Thou canst fill me, gracious Spirit,
Though I cannot tell Thee how;
But I need Thee, greatly need Thee,
Come, O come and fill me now.
3. I am weakness, full of weakness,
At Thy sacred feet I bow;
Blest, divine, eternal Spirit,
Fill with pow'r and fill me now.
4. Cleanse and comfort, bless and save me,
Bathe, O bathe my heart and brow;
Thou art comforting and saving,
Thou art sweetly filling now.

Fill me now, fill me now,
Jesus, come and fill me now;
Fill me with Thy hallowed presence,
Come, O come and fill me now.

Lyrics: Elwood Haines Stokes

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