The Light Has Been Lifted Up

Dr. Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor

John 12:27-36 | August 18 - Sunday Morning,

Sunday Morning,
August 18
The Light Has Been Lifted Up | John 12:27-36
Dr. Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor

Let’s come before the Lord in prayer once more. Shine Thou, upon us, Lord, true light of men today, and through the written word Thy very self display, that so from hearts which burn with gazing on Thy face, Thy little ones may learn the wonders of Thy grace. We’ve just sung these words, and we trust, O Lord, that they have been our prayer, so we ask again, open our ears. We are hard of hearing and we want to hear your voice. Open our eyes. We do not see well, and we want to behold wonderful things from your law. Give us good hearts for they are often hard, and we want to receive whatever you have to speak to us this morning. We pray in Jesus. Amen.

We come back this morning and we’ll be here for the next two weeks, Lord willing, to the Gospel according to John. We have been on and off a bit of late, but in John’s Gospel for, well, the better part of two years now, and if you are new to Christ Covenant, you can expect that what we normally do on Sunday morning and Sunday evening is to move through a book of the Bible, usually verse by verse, section by section. I find that to be the best way for God to speak to us, and for God to set the agenda, what we need to hear.

And so as we pick up with where we left off at the beginning of the summer, we come this morning to John chapter 12, page 899 in the pew Bibles, verses 27 through 36.

“Now,” Jesus says, “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. Father, glorify Your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven: ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to Him.’ Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to show by what kind of death He was going to die. 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?’ 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. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.'”

I probably don’t have to remind you that the start of the school year is upon us. Maybe this week, if you’re at Covenant Day School, or other schools in the area, I think it’s the following week for the public schools. Perhaps you’ve sent kids off to college already. And on the one hand as we come to the beginning of another year of school, parents can say it’s a good thing, children may need some structure. Parents may need some relief. The brains may be receding into an iPad induced mush. Or maybe you’re just tired of driving them from all the birthday parties, pool parties, camps, practices, and they need to go to bed before you.

On the other hand, I think I can safely speak for many of the parents when I say that at least in the DeYoung household the start of school is, it’s a little bit like that scene in Helm’s Deep, you know, where all of the, the Uruk-hai or there outside of the fortress and all of the, the elves and the men, they look out and the king says “so it begins.” It’s a little bit like that. [laughter]

That the lunches are starting, all of the games, the practice, the band, the sports, everything is coming on in a rush, getting everyone out of bed in the morning, including the parents and then getting them clothes on, I guess that’s not optional, and then in the car, off to school… And the children… If you’re heading back to school, now I know CDS is great. You go to a different, your school’s great, but I have yet to meet very many children who get to this point and say “Yes, summer vacation is finally over! School is back.” Well, if your children feel that way, count yourself blessed.

For most people, even if you don’t have kids, you just know that traffic is coming. [laughter] The time has come, the hour is upon us.

Jesus says a different sort of hour has come upon Him, but we understand the phrase, “the hour is here.” It may not mean the literal 60 minutes, it means now is the moment. It begins.

We’ve seen it building and we’ve seen it often now in John chapter 12, and we’ve heard it already in this passage. Verse 27: “Father, save Me from this hour, but for this purpose I have come to this hour.” Jesus does not mean 60 minutes; He means “My time has come, My moment, My purpose has arrived, D-day is here, My mission is now.”

We’ve seen this building throughout John’s Gospel, but especially in these last two chapters. If you look back, chapter 11 you can see verse 45, “The Plot to Kill Jesus,” so the temperature has been turned up significantly. In chapter 12, verse 9, there is a plot to kill Lazarus, so the opposition to the Gospel and to the kingdom is growing. In chapter 12, Jesus was anointed at Bethany and He understood it to be in part an anointing to prepare him for His burial. The triumphal entry in chapter 12 signifies again the beginning of this last week of Jesus’ ministry, and then as the previous section showed us, some Greeks are now seeking Jesus.

Well, what’s the significance of that? Well, Jesus as the Messiah is a light to the Gentiles. He is the one who has already said He had sheep who are not of the sheepfold, meaning not just Jews, but also Gentiles, or Greeks. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins, not just of one race or ethnicity, but the sins of the whole world. And so the fact that Greeks are now seeking Him out is yet one more sign, yes, the hour has arrived.

If you look up at verse 23: “Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified,” which prompts then verse 24, well Jesus explains, though they don’t understand it fully, that the glorification of the Son of Man is paradoxically going to be fulfilled in His death, that unless a seed falls into the ground, it cannot grow and bring forth a harvest. The hour, then, is the moment of climax. The fulfillment, or the soon fulfillment of Jesus’ ministry, and it is for Jesus in His death.

We’re so familiar with that, but think about it for a moment. Most people reading through their biography and now they come for the hour, the moment for which they have come. It would be, you know, Winston Churchill for World War II, or it would be some great leader when he ascends to the office and elected as President of the United States, or appointed to the Supreme Court, but here the hour is not going to mean a new title for Jesus, at least not one that they can see immediately, or some new office, or some new award, but His death. The clock of redemptive history is about to strike midnight, that’s what it means.

And the gravity of this moment, with the hour upon them, prompts a series of responses.

Here’s the first. The first response, and we will have four, the first response is in verse 27. The first response to the hour is from Jesus Himself. He says “Now is My soul troubled.” This word, tetaraktai, is not to mean, “well, He’s a little fretful, He’s a little anxious, He’s biting a few fingernails.” It signifies revulsion, horror, the deepest anguish of the soul. He’s troubled. Remember, Jesus is a real man, with real emotions, feelings, the ability to experience pain, and what He was about to experience would be unlike any suffering that anyone in the world had ever known, and Jesus knew that was coming.

As a man, He could experience it. As the God-man, He also had supernatural insight into what was coming. He understands the manner in which He will die. He will be lifted up on a cross. A human messiah may be able to intuit, “oh, it’s getting pretty hot in here, and there’s people trying to kill me and I guess my time is coming to an end soon.” A human messiah could intuit all that, but a human and divine messiah understands that the death that is right around the corner will mean atonement for God’s people, and will mean the torment of God’s wrath for the Christ.

He is not going to die as a hapless victim. He is not going to die as some martyr so that we can feel sorry for Jesus. You understand that? Jesus did not die so you feel sorry for Him. That is not a hard emotion to come by.

You can watch any manner of television show and hear stories of sadness and tragedy and your heart goes out and you feel very sorry for people. I think there are a lot of people in a lot of churches in our country and probably even in Charlotte who have confused pity for Jesus with real faith. “Oh, boy, He was such a good man, wasn’t He? He did a lot of good things. He really helped people. And He died and the cross sounds awful. I feel so bad for Him.” Do you remember what Jesus said? Jesus, who was so, could be so unsentimental, when the women were following Him and weeping. We’ll get to that later in John. He says “Don’t weep for me. Uh huh. Weep for yourselves and the judgment that is coming.”

In other words, “I’m not here for people to feel sorry for myself and just die a martyr’s death and you can wipe away the tears and say ‘What a good man.'” No, many, many good people have died as martyrs and yet none of them, except for this one, did so as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. It is parallel to the cry that will soon be coming in the garden of Gethsemane where He is there sweating drops of blood and prays “take this cup from Me… Yet, nevertheless, not My will but Yours be done.”

It’s the same sort of cry here in verse 27. “What shall I say? Should I say ‘Father, save Me from this hour?'” Well, you understand that as a real man, there is a wrestling. Is there another way? Is this the only way to accomplish Your purposes?

And yet He says “for this purpose I have come to this hour.” In other words, Jesus is saying “I am not going to shrink back. This is the only way to do it, Father, and so though I am troubled, though I am anguished, this is Your way, and I want Your way to be My way.”

It’s such a puny comparison, anytime we compare what Christ suffered with what we might suffer, but we do suffer. And where might you, this morning, have to consider the choice that you’re facing. Where do you have an occasion, either to shrink back or to press forward in fulfilling your purpose? Jesus comes to this moment, and He says “My soul is in anguish. I’m tired. People hate me. Death is right around the corner. I’m going to suffer such that no one has ever suffered before and yet this is the only way to accomplish My mission, for God to be glorified, and so I do it.”

Now on an infinitely smaller scale, don’t, don’t you face those same sort of crossroads almost daily as a parent? You’re tired, your burdened, you’re angry in ways that are sinful that Jesus wouldn’t have been. And yet you find a resolution, hopefully in the Spirit. This is the way to fulfill what God has called me to be, perhaps it’s as a friend, a spouse, at a moment in your marital relationship you feel like, that this is too much, I don’t want to do this anymore.

And you know this verse 27, your soul is troubled, it is anguished, and you’re saying “God, there’s got be another way out of this.”

And will you have the same resolve that Jesus did? Nevertheless, God, Your will be done. However You might be glorified in this.

Where even this week do you know you have something hard to do that you don’t want to do? A phone call? A conversation? Ministering in some hard place? A job yet another week? And you have a choice, to shrink back from suffering or to do the thing that you know would bring glory to God.

The first response of this hour is from Jesus, and it is a response of anguish.

The second response to the hour is from the Father. You see in verse 28… “A voice came from heaven.” Now there are only three times in the Gospels that the Father audibly speaks. Think of them, think of them.. [sound effect] Ok, you’ve got them. How much did you wager? At His baptism, at His transfiguration, and here at this moment leading up to the crucifixion.

You think what do these three moments have in common? ‘Cause at first, it may not seem like they have much in common. You have His baptism, that’s sort of a good moment. You have the transfiguration, that’s a great moment. You have this leading up to His death, well, that’s sort of a sad moment.

Or maybe He’s just trying to mark out a chronology, well, that’s sort of baptism at the beginning, transfiguration in the middle, and then here we come at the end.

There’s much than that going on. Think of it. All of those moments… Baptism of Jesus, transfiguration on the mountain, and then here in this hour when it has arrived, all three moments are where Jesus’ true identity is being revealed. At His baptism, “This is My Son, the One in whom I am well pleased.” On the Mount of Transfiguration, where the disciples, at least a few of them, can see Him in His full, resplendent glory… “That’s who You are, Rabbi.” And then here at this moment where His glory is going to be most clearly manifest, again a voice from heaven speaks. It is the figurative and literal pulling back of the curtain of heaven. The moment where Christ’s glory and identity are being seen and so at that moment God, as it were, pulls back the screen from heaven and speaks down to authenticate who this man is. “I will glorify My name through You,” is what the Father says.

Now, how will the Father be glorified in the Son? “I have glorified it and I will glorify it again.” Think about it. The servant who sets aside his own will to do the will of his master glorifies, that is, he brings honor to, he shows the worth of, he magnifies, he points out as supremely precious, his master by his submission, especially when that submission will lead to death, even death on a cross. The worth of the Father is demonstrated in the unswerving obedience of the Son.

If you, if you’re a father, were to tell your son, “When you go out tonight, I want you to have fun, but I, I know some people want to see that movie, that movie not a movie that you’re to see. Even if everyone else goes, you don’t go. And you’re not of age to drink. Even if everyone else somehow is drinking, you don’t drink. If everyone else starts using language or starts looking at something on their computer, you don’t do it, and I want you home promptly at 11 o’clock.”

Now, if your son, probably your son is saying “you said I was going to have fun.” Well, there’s other ways. If your son goes out and ignores all those instructions, sees the movie, drinks, uses the language, looks at the stuff he shouldn’t, comes home at 2:00 in the morning, how does that reflect upon you as a father? Poorly.

Now it may or may not be your fault as a father, but it simply reflects his sense of estimation for you and for your word. Conversely, if your son does exactly what you ask of him, and the group goes into the movie and he says “I can’t do it.” And they sit down for the drinks and he says “I can’t do it.” And they speak and he says “I won’t do it.” And they say “Come on, one more trip we’re going on,” and he says “I must go home.” And he arrives precisely when you have asked him to, and he has done all that you have asked at great cost to himself, cost to his reputation, maybe he has even lost friends in the process. Does that not show great honor to you as his father? It shows you to be a person of worth. It shows that your word is supremely valuable, trustworthy, and that it indeed even if he may recoil against it, that somewhere deep down your son believes that you as a father have what is best for him in mind.

The obedience of the Son brings honor to the Father.

And so what brings more honor and glory and shows forth the surpassing worth and majesty of God the Father then that the Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, would with unswerving obedience do everything that the Father had appointed for Him.

This word from heaven, Jesus says, is “not for my sake,” verse 30, “but for yours,” meaning the crowd, and for the disciples. They don’t understand it. They think it’s thunder. Maybe it’s an angel. I’m sure the voice was some comfort to Jesus, how could it not be? But the purpose was explicitly for the crowd. That is to authenticate. Though they did not yet have the eyes to see it or the ears to hear it properly, to authenticate that this One who will die, who will undergo what you think to be the most un-Christ-like suffering imaginable, that this One, indeed, is My beloved Son. The One who is bringing Me glory.

And perhaps later the disciples, though they don’t understand it now, can look back. Jesus is already thinking of the other side of the cross and the empty tomb, that the disciples could say “Now we see. When we heard the voice from heaven, there at His baptism and transfiguration, and here at the dawning of the hour of His death, God Himself was authenticating this man and His mission.

There were plenty of messianic pretenders in those days. Who’s to say that this Jesus was the real deal? Remember, He was not Jesus, the one who has hymns and songs and great choirs singing about Him. He was “there’s Jesus. Some of us grew up with him. He looks like us. He sounds like us. How do we… He.. The messiah? The Son of God? Are you for real?” So they could use a voice from heaven to authenticate that this man who looked like them and sounded like them was one of them and yet He was one from another place.

Can you trust this Jesus? Is He worth following? We, too, as His disciples, are asked. In fact, we are instructed, to take up our cross and follow Jesus.

Now I live a pretty good life, I really do. I’m not the poster boy for Job-like suffering. Some of you may be. Many of you aren’t either. Lots of suffering, we all have hurts, we’ve lost loved ones, we have illnesses, we have relationships that are messy. But it is possible, in a place like this, a country like this, that maybe we can feel like life sort of owes us something. Maybe God sort of owes us something. And you know what? Following, following Jesus should just from start to finish make my life easier, better.

Well, it’s going to be better, it’s going to be sweeter in the end. But we’re not reading our Bibles if we think that “sign me up for Jesus so everything can be easier in life.” That’s not the Jesus here. You want that Jesus? Well, that’s going to be a false gospel that gives you that Jesus, ’cause this Jesus died on a cross, and He said if you follow Me, you take up a cross, ’cause which servant is going to be treated better than his master?

So can you trust this man? When He tells you hard things about repentance, hard things about sexuality, hard things about marriage and divorce, hard things about heaven and hell? Take up your cross, follow Him.

The first response is from Jesus. The second response is from the Father.

Here’s the third response to the hour. And it’s from what we might call the spiritual world. What I mean by that is the soon to be crucifixion of the Son of Man is setting in motion a series of cosmological and soteriological events. That’s just a big way of saying a bunch of important stuff is going to happen.

You see four of them real quickly here, verse 31. So number one, the judgment of the world. Now we know the Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world, and yet it’s been clear throughout John’s Gospel that there is a the flipside of that, that the world is going to be condemned for rejecting the Messiah who came to offer salvation. So yes, when the hour arrives, as it does here, it means judgment for the world.

Listen very carefully. Not to me, but to God speaking through the Scriptures, your indifference to Jesus will not go unnoticed. It will not. Do not think that there’s sort of a, you know, awesome heaven for the really on-fire Christians and then there’s hell if you’re Hitler or something, and then kind of the rest of the people just sort of, you know, kinda be decent people and they didn’t, like, hate Jesus and they went to church once in a while and, you know, they go, they go to heaven, too, and maybe they just have to, you know, drive a 4-cylinder or something, and they, they don’t get a really swanky house somewhere. That’s not how it works.

And let’s not kid ourselves, that, no one is going to end up indifferent to Jesus in this story. By the time you have a man who says “I’m the Son of God” and the Romans kill Him, there’s no sort of “eh, sort of go either way with Jesus.” No, they, they end up “yes, crucify Him” or “I’m willing to die for Him.” There will be no middle ground.

The situation with Jesus in the first world is increasingly the situation we will face in the 21st century. You are either for biblical Christianity or you are most definitely against it. There is increasingly no middle ground. Now there’s still lots of middle ground for just being “religious” or spiritual. There will be lots of middle ground for watered down Christianity, for sure. But the real deal? No, you’re going to be for Jesus or you’re going to hate this Jesus. The world will be judged.

Two, the ruler of the world, verse 31, will be cast out. This is the reference, of course, to Satan, the god of this world, 2 Corinthians 4:4, the prince of the power of the air, Ephesians 2, the one in charge of cosmic powers over this present darkness, Ephesians 6, this one is cast out, not that he no longer exists, or that the devil is no longer operative in the world, but rather that the decisive battle has been fought and the devil lost.

What a surprise that must have been to the devil. There’s Jesus on the cross, and I don’t know what the devil knows and how the devil thinks and what he’s talking at that moment to his legion of demonic angels, but there must have been some sense, “Can you believe… We did it. We won. We beat this guy. He’s dead. Dead. He’s in a tomb.” They must have thought they had won, and what a glorious triumph.

At that moment when the devil and all his minions and all of those who hated Jesus thought for all of the world that “yes, we have proven to be victorious,” it was at that precise moment their utter destruction knocked off his thrown an irrevocable defeat cast out. So, yes, the devil is still, can prowl around like a lion. He can still yelp and bark like a dog, and if you let him get too close to you, he can bite and do a lot of damage. But he’s chained up, he’s been defeated, he’s headed to the pound. Ok, well, I know you love your dogs, so I won’t continue with the analogy, but he’s cast out.

Number three, Jesus says I will be lifted up. Verse 33, this indicates the kind of death He would face, being lifted up on a cross. There’s a double meaning, of course. Lifted up physically above the ground, hanging on the cross, but also in that moment lifted up in His glory.

And then fourth, Jesus will draw all men unto Himself. Jews, and Gentiles, Greeks coming to Him as we have already seen. All men may seem repulsed by Him at that moment on the cross, when everyone wants to flee and hide and leave Him, and yet at that very moment, when it seemed that everyone was repulsed by this Jesus, He was drawing all men unto Himself, that is all kinds of people.

Do you, do you know that Jesus is always, underline always, doing more than you can see? And He’s right now doing more in your life than you know. When it seemed to the devil that he had won with Jesus on the cross, there was more going on. When it looked all of the people were repulsed by this Jesus, He was drawing all people unto Himself. When it looked he was suffering His moment of greatest humiliation and shame, it was, in fact, His moment of triumph and glory. Jesus is always doing more than you can see.

We talk in such hyperbole. Everything is historic, awesome, amazing, best. My kids had on America’s Got Talent this week and there was, you know, the judges used to be really mean. I kinda liked that better. Now they’re, someone must have told them “they don’t like it, they want you to be really nice all the time, otherwise the people don’t want to watch you be mean to people.” So they’re usually really nice and they said to someone “just keep on changing the world.” Keep on changing the world. I almost lost my lunch. [laughter] Oh, changing the world. America’s not a messiah complex, is what it has. Now I don’t know whoever it was, I mean, the person, you know, can be a nice a person and be a good singer or, you know, smash things over their face with knives or whatever they were doing. No, no, you have not changed the world. People may like you, you may have a billion views on YouTube… You are not changing the world. Hyperbole. All the time.

Except here. This man changed the world. This hour that had come changed the world.

There was a pop song from, I don’t know, ten years or so ago, and it said in one of the verses, you know, it’s teenagers singing to each other or something that after our love, the world will never be the same. You know what? Actually it’s exactly the same. [laughter] You fell in love, nothing changed for the rest of us. [laughter] It’s a good thing, it’s fine, get married, have kids… Still the same.

This is the one time when you could not speak with hyperbole, ’cause the world never would be the same. This hour was unlike any other. It set in motion, unleashed these cosmological events. The world will be judged, Satan is kicked off his throne, Jesus lifted up, drawing all peoples from all nations unto Himself in a little bitty corner of the world that most people had never heard of, a little thumbprint in the Roman Empire with some guy who got some delusions of grandeur, and dies another victim of capital punishment to the Romans. Yes, at that precise moment the hour had come and nothing would be the same.

Which brings us to the fourth response. Which is different than the other three; Jesus, the Father, the spiritual world, all utter their response to this hour. The fourth response to the hour is a question mark. Because the fourth response is really your response, my response. Here, it’s most immediately the response for the crowds, or for the disciples. Jesus responds “my soul is in anguish”; the Father responds “I will be glorified”; the cosmos responds “judgment is coming, the ruler is cast out, people will be drawn to Christ.”

And now what about you? Jesus is pressing home this very point to the crowds. You see, they’re still confused, verse 34, um, now we’ve heard from the law. I thought the Christ, remember the Christ is just the Greek word for Messiah, the Messiah remains forever. How can you say the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man? They’ve got a lot of questions. They don’t understand what happened to the Christ, they don’t understand what the Son of Man means, they don’t even know who is the Son of Man.

And Jesus, as He often does, works very hard to make Himself obscure. Because he really is only interested in being heard by those who have ears to hear. If you don’t really want it, if you don’t really want to see if, if your heart is hard, if you want to be blind, Jesus will let you be blind. But those who have ears, those who have eyes, will listen and seen.

His response, in verses 35 and 36, to their barrage of questions, amounts to “well, you better figure it out soon, ’cause the light is among you for a little while longer, walk while you have the light lest darkness overtake you. While you have the light, believe in the light that you may become sons of light.” He’s saying the lights are going out. The now is here, but the now will be gone, is Jesus points.

Now in that immediate context, he’s talking about His death. The light of the world will be killed. And then after that there will be a resurrection, but then there will be an ascension and He will go to be with the Father and He will no longer be here in bodily presence. No, it’s the light, Me, My physical presence, you will not always be able to, to see Me with your literal eyes, to be able to come and touch Me and be able to sit down and have a cup of goat’s milk together with Me. So you better believe in the light while the light’s still here. That’s what He means to the crowds, to the disciples.

Of course, we know with the rest of the New Testament, that that in fact has happened and that Jesus even says in the upper room “it’s better that I go to be with the Father that I can send the Holy Spirit so then My presence can be everywhere, not just localized in Judea, where my body is.” And yet, He’s not here in the flesh, not now.

The question for you, for me, is what you will do, what I will do, with the light that we have. So, okay, Jesus is not right here to, to physically shake your hand and look Him in the eye after the service, but you have the light of life. I’m talking about physical life. You’re here, you’re breathing, you’re alive. And you may think I got lots of time: “You know what? I’m 18 years old. Now I’m not anti-Jesus, but I’ll figure out the Jesus stuff later. You know, I gotta go to college. I gotta have fun. I gotta do some things. My parents are all into it, but that’s what you do when you’re old, in your like 30s. That’s old people.”

You don’t know you got 30s. 20s. 50s. We don’t know. You don’t know how long any of us have. Physical life? Or the light of the Word? Or even the light operative in your heart.

Maybe this morning you’re open to spiritual things. You think “yeah, I am kind of interested. But, you know what, I’m kind of also hungry. And I’d kinda like a nap. And I’ll kinda think about this when I’m older.”

Do not neglect what the Spirit is doing in your life now. Do not neglect what God is speaking to you now. The light that He is revealing to you now about Jesus.

I have to remind myself of it. There’s lots of times where, well, okay, there’s not lots of times, there are some times where I feel a strong, overwhelming sense to stop what I’m doing, to pray, to read, I feel like, you know, there’s something going on. Well, I’m usually busy. I think “um, God could you, you’re supposed to do that in my quiet time in the morning.” I have to remind myself, no, if there’s something going on spiritually now, stop now, the light is with you now.

I’ve said it before, let me say it again: To be in a Gospel preaching, Bible teaching church, we trust this is one of them, to be in a Gospel church on Sunday morning is the place of greatest privilege in all the world. Our culture talks a lot about privilege, all sorts of different kinds of ways we can be privileged. This is the greatest privilege in all the world. You just heard about Jesus. There’s almost three billion people who don’t even know His name. This, to be in a church and hear the Bible taught and the Gospel proclaimed, is the place of greatest privilege in all the world.

And it is a place of great danger. Here’s the danger: You can grow so accustomed to the light that you never really bother to see. Light all around you, all the time, Bible studies, sermons, songs, parents, school, light, light, light, light. You never really bother to see, never really bother to walk in the light as He is in the light. Never really bother to believe in the light that you might be sons of light. This is the place of greatest privilege and it is a place of great danger, that you would become inoculated to the truth of the Gospel. And there are people all over our country like that, all over the world. “Yeah, Jesus, been there, done that. Heard all about Jesus. Yeah, I went to church, sang the songs, went to the camp, yep, yep, yep.” And never really wanted to see. Happy to just stumble through and make their parents feel okay and make their teachers and just kind of get through it. Never open their eyes to see the light all around them.

Jesus knew the hour. Do you know the hour?

Jesus knew what awaited Him. Do you know what awaits you?

Jesus knee death was right around the corner. In a way, it’s right around the corner for all of us. Maybe months, years, decades… Maybe most of a lifetime, but it’s relatively soon. Do you know what awaits you after that? Do you know what that hour will be like? Have you taken provision for the anguish of your soul, that you will find in that day, or have you become so accustomed to the light that you would just as soon walk in the darkness?

Jesus responds, the Father responds, the spiritual cosmos respond… What will your response be to the hour of Jesus’ death?

Let’s pray. Our Father in heaven, we thank You for the light. We are a privileged people. We have Bibles everywhere. We have good Christian books everywhere. We have good teachers. We have good seminaries. We have good pastors, good songs to sing. You have given us, of all peoples, such brilliant light. May we not run into the darkness, but believe in the light, walk in the light, and so be counted sons and daughters of the light. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.