Wednesday, March 28, 2012

John 12

     John's version of Palm Sunday. The crowd that gathered at the raising of Lazarus is still following; the crowd that has learned of the other "signs" comes running and we have an instant parade. Palm branches, banners, clothing and Jesus sitting on a young donkey. John 12:19 -- the Pharisees are exasperated and lament, "You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!".
     Jesus is now openly speaking of his impending death. He admits in 12:27 that his "glorification," which is John's word for Jesus coming crucifixion, is the the very purpose for which he came. There is an affirming voice from heaven and Jesus continuing admonition to "walk in the light!"
     Jesus did not come to judge the world (12:47) but to save the world. In context of the Gospel and in balance with other biblical passages this does not mean that there will not be a day of judgment. But Jesus did not come to condemn but to offer himself as the way to God. It is often difficult for modern believers to understand this very significant difference. It is like a team or an organization that has fallen into disarray when suddenly there comes a player or manager that does things "the right way". Play hard, treat people right, keep focused on the goal. The team or organization often fights and dislikes the intrusion because the intrusion serves as a judgement on what has been going on all along. Jesus, when he comes into a world that is lost and in total disarray, does not need to speak words of judgement. His very presence is judgment on the world lost and broken. He did not come to judge but to invite. He did not come to condemn but to save. But if we refuse the only help offered . . .

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