Summary: When the going gets tough, look up! It may be the right thing to do.
March 30, 2003
Text: John 12:27-36
Subject: Jesus Predicts His Death
Title: Things Are Looking Up
I don?t know how many of you have ever had to do this. I consider it to be one of the most difficult things that there is to do. Saying good-bye. I remember as a youngster how difficult it was to go to a funeral to say good-bye to my Grandma and Grandpa Rickman. I was five when Grandma passed away and 11 when we lost Grandpa. Of course at the time I didn’t have any understanding of heaven or hell. I didn’t know anything about the Lord that could give me comfort. All I really remember is that for the very first time in my life I heard grown men cry and weep uncontrollably over a loved one. It is memory I will never forget. I didn’t think there could ever be anything as difficult as that. And just when it seemed as though things couldn’t possibly get any worse than they were, they did. Our girls grew up one by one and decided to go to college. You guessed it. Soon I became one of those grown men that wept over saying good-bye. Then they had the audacity to want to get married. I think they all just wanted to see their dad cry. We got over it. How did we do it? By looking up.
Now we are experiencing the same thing again with our middle daughter and son-in-law moving to Colorado.
Good-byes are tough aren’t they?
There came a time in the life of Jesus when He decided it was time to say good-bye as well. Don’t you know that it was a difficult time for Him? The problem was, He was the one who was leaving. His disciples had not fully grasped what was about to happen even though Jesus spoke plainly about it. It wasn’t something that was easy for Jesus to do, "My soul is troubled", He said.
But there is good news for us who morn and weep over departed or departing loved ones. We can always look upward for our help. Jesus did.
When Jesus looked up He glorified the Father.
When Jesus looked up He defeated the enemy.
When Jesus looked up He dispelled the darkness.
What are we to do in our times of loss? Be like Jesus!
I. When Jesus looked up He glorified the Father.
Because He knew where His strength came from. We like to do good things don’t we? And everybody enjoys getting a little recognition, a pat on the back, once and a while. Jesus didn’t operate that way. How often did Jesus tell those around Him that He wasn’t acting on His own account? John 8:28, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things." God gets the glory. Jesus never performed a miracle for His own benefit. John 20:30-31, "And truly Jesus did many other things in the presence of His disciples which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."
Do you get that?
People receive eternal life and God gets the glory.
Jesus glorifies the Father through physical evidence.
When the people heard God’s voice they knew something was going on. They did not understand the voice but there was supernatural evidence of God’s presence.
John 16:7, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to You". Who is the Helper?
The Holy Spirit!
What does the Holy Spirit give?
What are the gifts for?
They are physical evidence of spiritual realities.
They are for edifying the church and bringing glory to God.
"Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you." Why? Because Jesus is truth and His word glorifies God who is truth. Jesus also said that if He went away He would ask the Father to send "another" helper.
a. "Another" = allos - means one that is the same as. God would send the Holy Spirit who is exactly like Jesus. He will glorify the Father and the Son. Our response in suffering can go two directions. We can pray, "Father save me". We have every right as children of God to believe that He will. Or, "Father be glorified in my trials." As Christians we know that we will go through times of difficulty. Our prayer should be that God be glorified.