John does not tell us exactly who Jesus is talking to in our reading today but I’m pretty sure they are Jewish and possibly from the earlier mentioned crowd. Some of them have apparently become believers while many others have not. He is approaching His final days before the cross so is most likely in Jerusalem as He addresses this crowd.
The first thing that He admits is that His soul is troubled by the upcoming events. I would say He had HUGE butterflies in His belly! But He was determined to see the Father’s plan through regardless of how He felt. “For this purpose I have come to this hour” (verse 27b). This is the reason He was born. If He were to stop at this point everything He had gone through so far would be useless. God’s plan HAD to be completed; not for Jesus’ sake but for God’s sake.
God would have fellowship restored with man. Jesus was already living among men, but God remained separate. Sin was still separating us. God wanted that separation removed and Jesus was the only one who could do it. And by doing what no one else could do, God’s name would be glorified. His promise and word would be honored. His eternal plan would be known and rejoiced over.
After Jesus’ words of commitment to the Father’s plan God spoke audibly for those listening to Jesus. Only those who believed in Jesus heard the words. The spiritually blind and deaf heard what they thought was thunder. Did they interpret that thunder as God’s approval of Jesus’ words? Or did they think God was disapproving of Jesus’ words? Those that heard the voice didn’t realize its origin though. They thought it was an angel.
Jesus doesn’t identify the speaker for them but does tell them that the voice was for their benefit. Those that thought the voice had spoken to Jesus were only partially correct. God’s voice was answering Jesus’ request but it was for their benefit. It was to give them one more proof of who Jesus really was/is.
Satan is being put on notice here. “Now is the judgement of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out” (verse 31). Get ready Devil because here it comes! Satan still thinks he can win this battle. He even thinks he can win today. He refuses to believe that EVERYTHING Jesus says is going to happen WILL happen. I love how God lets him think something is his own idea that that this will surely let him get one over on God, only to find out that that was exactly what God had planned all along.
It sounds like (and my bible commentary says so too) that the people had some idea of how Jesus was going to die. Did they know what the religious leaders were planning? Or were some of the religious leaders present in the crowd that day? But their questions wasn’t centered on how but who. Who was the Son of Man? Surely the Christ wasn’t going to die! So was the Christ and the Son of Man one in the same? And which was Jesus claiming to be? That was their question.
Jesus didn’t answer them directly. He had given so much proof already that any that actually wanted to believe would. Even the voice from Heaven gave them proof. Instead He said that it was coming down to the wire and they needed to make a decision. I’m wondering how many of those listening in during this occasion finally made that decision when Peter shared the first sermon on Pentecost. How many of these listeners were present when Jesus stood before Pilate? How many of them would carry the guilt of participation? The true light of the world would be darkened for a moment by their refusal to see. But even more than that, by God’s design.
Father God, I can’t imagine the guilt I would feel if I had actually participated in the crowd calling for Jesus’ death. I know that they were acting in accordance with Your plan, but to have cried out for Jesus’ death and later realize my role in my Savior’s death; guilt upon guilt! My sins also nailed Jesus to the cross. My words often wound Him too. Is it the same guilt in Your eyes?
Lord Jesus, I’m so sorry for the pain I cause You. I know I fail far too many times. Please let me be one of those who heard the voice. One who hears the spiritual world. One who truly sees the light. Please don’t let me walk in darkness ever again. Thank You for Your willingness to do the Father’s will, no matter how much it troubled You. Did You know that one moment was coming when You would be all alone? Was that the reason You were troubled? You showed amazing love in Your actions in the face of Your human fear.