John 12:27-33. Glory

John 12:27 “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.

Jesus’ hour has come. Like a teenager on a roller coaster that is cresting the first big hill, Jesus knows that an inevitable chain of events is about to unfold. Humanly speaking, there must be some anxiety. But Jesus knows that this is the hour where he glorifies his Father. God’s greatness will be magnified by Jesus’ willing self-sacrifice. His perfections will be seen with greater clarity through the cross.

In response, the Father speaks to encourage and affirm his Son (v28). Even though our human relationships are only derivative of those within the Trinity (and so we struggle to comprehend), we delight to know that the Father addresses his Son in such affirming words. The mutual giving of glory between Father and Son further reveals the life of the Trinity.

The Father’s glory means that his enemy is driven out (v31). Judgment will be executed. And yet, for now, the judgment of which Jesus speaks is the cross. He will be ‘lifted up’ (v32-33). And the crowd understands that Jesus is referring to his own death because they respond in verse 34 saying, “…the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’?” The judgment to be enacted now will be borne by Jesus, on behalf of the world, and so Satan’s bond will be broken. Death’s sting will be removed. Judgment will recoil upon Evil itself.

This is now the second time that Jesus has declared that he will be lifted up (see Jn 3:14, referring to Num 21:9). As an object faith publicly displayed, Jesus will bring salvation out of judgment for all who entrust themselves to him.

Great God and Father, Beloved Son and Holy Spirit, please grow in me such an appreciation for your glory and love that my delight would be to see you glorified. Amen.