Place Your Trust in Jesus | Charles Auld

John 12

Jesus predicts his death

20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we would like to see Jesus.’ 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.

23 Jesus replied, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.

27 ‘Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? “Father, save me from this hour”? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!’

Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’ 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

30 Jesus said, ‘This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

34 The crowd spoke up, ‘We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain for ever, so how can you say, “The Son of Man must be lifted up”? Who is this “Son of Man”?’

35 Then Jesus told them, ‘You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. 36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.’ When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

Belief and unbelief among the Jews

37 Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfil the word of Isaiah the prophet:

‘Lord, who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’

39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:

40 ‘He has blinded their eyes
    and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
    nor understand with their hearts,
    nor turn – and I would heal them.’

41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.

42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

44 Then Jesus cried out, ‘Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

47 ‘If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. 49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.’


Place Your Trust in Jesus

Throughout the Bible we see God calling individuals and whole nations to come back to his ways, as they continually went astray. Through the prophets, God made clear that he was ‘shaking’ the nations so that the godless manmade institutions would fall away and people would turn back to God’s plans.

Today God is shaking our nation. The political confusion is just one aspect of how as a nation we have trusted in our own strength and forgotten about God. In one of Jeremiah’s prophesies, God says ‘My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.’ How true that sounds today! In all the many views around Brexit for example, not many people are asking God for forgiveness and for a solution.

We don’t need to resign ourselves to confusion. We can look at the Bible and find some unshakeable realities. Firstly, that Jesus came to save, and all who turn to him will find salvation. Secondly, that without Jesus we are in perilous danger and need saving. The only way we could be saved was by the Cross. Some people think that all religions lead to God, and this is true in one way – they lead to God as judge. But only the Christian faith reveals God as Lord and Saviour. And that is the third unshakeable reality: that at the end of time, God will judge everyone.

Jesus tells his followers to walk in the light and trust it even in dark times. This inspired a poem made famous by king George the sixth reading it out on the radio at the start of the second World War. It began: 

‘And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” 
And he replied: 
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” 

Facing an uncertain future, we can put our hand in Jesus’ hand and let him lead us. The Christian life isn’t a matter of adding something beneficial to our own sorted lives. It’s a whole new way of life, with Jesus involved in every aspect, and where we willingly accept God’s rule over us. 

If that is the way of life you want to be leading, it might be good to look at how things get prioritised, particularly with regard to praying, fasting and giving. What priority do you give to prayer- the basis for this new way of life? Do you fast from time to time, assuming you have no medical reasons not to? This is a significant spiritual action that Jesus recommended. How do you prioritise the way you spend your money? How much of it goes towards God’s work?

Whether as individuals or as a whole nation, it is so important to recognise how much we need God to guide and lead us.

Charles Auld