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Friday, May 17, 2019

2019.05.17 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 12:37-41

Questions for Littles: What had Jesus done before the people (John 12:37)? How many of them? But what did they not do? So that what would be fulfilled (John 12:38)? What is quoted from Isaiah 53 in verse 38? For what is this chapter famous? What is quoted from Isaiah 6 in John 12:40? For what is this chapter famous? When does John 12:41 say that Isaiah said these things—whose glory had he seen? Whose glory does Isaiah 6 describe? What does verse 41 say is being displayed about Christ in Isaiah 53?
In the gospel reading this week, we have an explanation for why the people (cf. John 12:34) still did not believe in Jesus. God gave them over to their blind eyes and hard hearts so that they could not be forgiven. It is difficult for us to swallow just righteous action on God’s part—precisely because we understand that we do not deserve to be forgivable; we have no right to the means of forgiveness, because we have no right to the forgiveness itself. Was God unfair? Of course not! This just shows how glorious it is that through giving Christ to die for a specific people, He made them righteous without sacrificing His own righteousness!

And there are two other glorious wonders here, which we can see if we are paying attention to John 12:41: “These things [plural!] Isaiah said when he saw His [Christ’s] glory [!!!] and spoke of Him.”

First, because of the plural in verse 41, we know that this refers both to the quote from Isaiah 53, and to the quote from Isaiah 6. So, in each of these cases, Isaiah had seen Christ’s glory and spoken of Christ.

This is amazing with reference to Isaiah 53, because this is the great chapter about the suffering of the Messiah. But the apostle tells us that as the prophet was seeing these things, he was seeing Christ’s glory!! This is just what Jesus has said in John 12:23 and John 12:32. His being lifted up on the cross is the greatest display of His glory that ever there was. Here, He is shown to be at least as great as the sins of His people, all of which sins are as weighty as the glory that they despise!

And, verse 41 is amazing with reference to Isaiah 6, because of what it means for whom Isaiah saw on the throne in the year that king Uzziah/Azariah died! It was Christ whom Isaiah saw enthroned, high and lifted up, with the burning angels hiding their faces from Him! How great is the glory of Him who glorified Himself most by His dying for our sins!!

Why is it that there are so many cults that refuse to believe that Jesus is Yahweh? Or that Jesus died a sacrificial death for His people? Because we wall deserve John 12:40. Christ’s glory is wonderfully clear, if we have eyes to see it. So, if we are starting to grasp it with our heads, but still having difficulty appreciating it in our hearts, we know where to go for better vision and understanding and faith—to God Himself! Won’t you ask Him to give you these for the glory of Christ?
Who is Jesus? What two things did Isaiah see Him doing and see His glory? How can you see that glory?
Suggested songs: ARP110B “The Lord Has Spoken to My Lord” or TPH270 “At the Name of Jesus”

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