Summary: How much does God love us? 1. Enough to go through the greatest grief for us (vs. 27). 2. Enough to miraculously speak to us (vs. 28-30). 3. Enough to suffer and die on the cross for us (vs. 31-33). 4. Enough to miraculously draw us to Him (vs. 32).
How Much Does God Love Us?
The Gospel of John
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - May 31, 2017
(Revised December 15, 2019)
*Please open your Bibles to John 12:20. A couple of weeks ago in John 12, we looked at the Lord's triumphal entry into Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday. This happened during the annual Passover Feast. One source estimated that 3 million people were in Jerusalem for that Passover, both Jews and gentiles. Last week, God's Word focused on some of the gentiles, Greeks who had come to the city to worship at the Passover feast. They believed Old Testament Scripture, but not being Jews, they were very restricted in how they could participate. (1)
*But these Greeks had heard about Jesus, and they told His disciple Philip that they wanted to meet with the Lord. That probably happened on the day after Palm Sunday in the Temple's court of the gentiles. You see, that was as far as these Greeks were allowed to go, and Jesus was probably in the court of Israel.
*John Phillips gave this important background: "The entire Temple area of that day included 19 acres, and this area was divided into four courts. Coming in from the east and moving toward the sanctuary, a visitor would pass through the court of the gentiles, then the court of the women, the court of Israel, and the court of the priests. (2)
*There was a dividing wall which separated the court of the gentiles from the other courts in the Temple. Signs were posted in Latin and Greek to warn Gentiles not to go any farther into the temple under the penalty of death. (3)
*Those Greeks wanted to see Jesus. But they couldn't get past the wall, so Andrew and Philip took their request to the Lord. And in vs. 20-26, they got an unexpected answer:
20. Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast.
21. Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus.''
22. Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
23. But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.
24. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
25. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
26. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor."
*We might think that Jesus would have said, "Hey. Sure. Give Me a few minutes, and I'll be right there." But the Lord was, as always, focused on the cross. Jesus was pointing everyone to the only way we could ever see Him forever: And that is by trusting in the cross of our Risen Savior, trusting in the true Lamb of God who came to earth to die on the cross for our sins.
*In tonight's Scripture, Jesus was still speaking in the Temple, and there was a mixture of people listening to the Lord. Some of the Lord's closest followers were there. There were also some Jewish seekers there, still wondering if Jesus was the Messiah. And there were people present who hated Jesus with murderous passion.
*With this background in mind, let's read John 12:27-33, and as we read, please think about how much God loves us.
*How much does God love us? We know that He loves us far more than we can measure, but tonight's Scripture helps us understand.
1. FIRST WE SEE THAT GOD LOVED US ENOUGH TO GO THROUGH THE GREATEST GRIEF FOR US.
*Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God went through terrible grief for us. We see this truth in vs. 27, where Jesus said, "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour."
*Jesus was "troubled." It's the same word used in John 11:33, when Lazarus was still dead, and Jesus saw Mary and the people with her weeping. There the Bible tells us that Jesus "groaned in the spirit and was TROUBLED." This same word "troubled" was also used in John 13:21, on the night before the cross. There God's Word says, "When Jesus had said these things, He was TROUBLED in spirit, and testified and said, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.'''
*The original word for "troubled" had the idea of being turbulently stirred up like a fierce, stormy ocean. Our Lord was in great mental anguish in those last few days before the cross.