Summary: Following the example of Christ Jesus, our prayer in the difficult places of our lives should be for God’s name to be glorified.
John 12: 20 – 33 My Soul Is Troubled
Intro: We’ve all heard the old spiritual, “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen.” --- We earnestly believe that nobody else in the world has had the same troubles we have or to the degree that we have. What we are forgetting is the second line of that song, “Nobody knows but Jesus.”
I. What we have in these verses from the gospel of John is an expression of just that -- Nobody knows but Jesus. There are 3 basic theologies of the meaning of Jesus’ death or as theologians call it, “the doctrine of atonement.”
A. Ransom – the death of Jesus was the price paid to set us free from sin and ultimately, death.
B. Substitutionary – the death of Jesus was a sacrifice for our sins and our guilt.
C. Moral Influence – the death of Jesus shows us how much God loves us.
II. But the 27th verse gives me yet another insight into the meaning of the death of Christ Jesus for you and me. “Now my heart 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.”
A. When trouble or adversity comes our way, what are the words of the first prayer we pray? --- Lord, don’t do this to me! --- Lord take it away! Lord, save me from this!
B. In that respect we are no different than Jesus. He asks himself if this is the attitude with which he is to approach God. And then, immediately answers his own question with a resounding, NO!
C. “it was for this very reason I came to this hour.” Jesus is saying in essence, “you’ve been with me from the beginning, through good and even now you are with me because You love me.
III. And in verse 28 Jesus prays a simple prayer to God and in so doing, gives us a model prayer to follow when our hearts are troubled. “Father, glorify your name!”
A. Jesus does not pray to have the difficult situation taken away. Rather, he prays for God’s name to be glorified by what is happening.
B. Jesus wants people see that even in the toughest of places, God is close at hand, loving His child. And in seeing this relationship, they may be brought to faith. Jesus’ death is the ultimate expression of his relationship to God and to his own people.
C. So then, for us, the Christian faith is based on a personal relationship between God and humanity, a relationship that exists in every situation, in every circumstance of our lives. And how we handle those situations reveals to others the love God has for us and we for God.
Conclu: Is your heart troubled? --- Do you find yourself in a place where the difficulties you face threaten to overwhelm you? Do you think that nobody knows troubles like yours? --- Think again! This passage from John assures us that God knows and our prayer should be, Father, glorify your name!