Summary: Don’t drown with the hand that can save you in plain view
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ 22Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. 27‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—“Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ 29The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ 30Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ 33He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.
The sign has been posted on many pulpits throughout the land; it can be seen by the preacher as he shares the bread of life: Sir; we would see Jesus.
It was a simple request. Yet in response Jesus said that his soul was troubled (the word means “agitated”. Why is it that the man who could stand on a rocking, sinking boat full of frightened fishermen and command the seas and the storm to hush, goes weak-kneed in response to a simple request from a handful of outsider/curiosity seekers who want to have a talk with him.?
Easy answer – the cross! Well, who wouldn’t be agitated? Jesus knew what was in store for him. But, going deeper, we have to unpack the phrase to get to the bottom of the “troubling” of Jesus’ soul.
The cross was bad from a physical standpoint. Untold sermons have been preached that describe the excruciating agony of the beatings and crucifixion.
The weight of the sins of all mankind which Jesus would take upon himself was worse than the physical. Someone once remarked to me that Jesus chose to bear the marks of my sin throughout all eternity. That it can be proved is tenuous, but we do know that after the resurrection Jesus invited Thomas to put his hands right in the nail prints and spear hole in Jesus’ hands and side!
The most pressing issue was the weight of the mission. The weight that troubled or agitated Jesus’ own soul was the reality that our souls were hanging in the balance on the outcome of what He had come to do.
31Now is the judgment of this world;
The judgment (or “crisis” in Greek) was that Jesus had come to make a dividing line. Once the cross was lifted to destroy the work of Satan, there would forever be a line drawn between salvation and damnation. Men would get to choose upon which side they would go, but Christ himself would be the dividing line.
Now, none of this is a surprise; we have heard the Gospel story perhaps many times. But what of the weight; what was gripping Jesus’ soul and wringing it like a sponge? What would make him sweat great drops of blood in Gethsemane later?
It was us!
The bottom line about the agitation in Jesus’ inner being is you and me. Souls were at stake, and the Father loved each of us so much that the Holy Spirit groans over our sin; Christ feels our burden…and it troubles His soul.
When the Gentiles came seeking an audience with Jesus, nobody had really seen Jesus; nobody understood the mission yet. His disciples didn’t understand, the crowds followed mostly for healing, loaves and fishes. The fact is many people still don’t see Jesus.
It was us the thought of us saying “no” that troubled Jesus’ soul
Jesus’ mission was to drive out Satan; His strategy was unconditional surrender – not to Satan, but to the Father’s will. He gave us the picture of the kernel of wheat grain. It isn’t any good to the farmer until it yields itself to the farmer’s plan and gets buried in the soil; then it can produce.