In the following article you will find a brief commentary on John 12 that goes along with our Riverside Church Two Year Bible Reading Plan (Volume 1 & Volume 2). This plan will allow you to read the New Testament and Psalms once every year and the Old Testament once every two years.
John 12:31–33 (ESV)
31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
Jesus enters into Jerusalem to redefine what “Messiah” means. He rides on a donkey and prepares to die. He is demolishing the popular ideas of his day (and ours) that triumph will be in the form of secular power or military might. The waving of palm branches represents national pride, but Jesus has other plans.
The Greeks arrival for the feast is highlighted. Jesus is the Messiah for all, not just the Jews. He will indeed be lifted up (both exalted and crucified) and his death will accomplish three things:
- The judgment of the world – the world appears to be so powerful, tempting and overwhelming. But it stands judged already. The world and its systems rejected God and this is the greatest sin of all, rejecting his messenger in the form of his Son. As you focus on the gospel allow God to properly align your view of the world. Trust in Jesus and his gospel to destroy worldliness within you.
- Satan is cast out – the spiritual forces of evil are disarmed at the cross. Your Lord desires to manifest his power over evil through your life as his kingdom comes as you lay down your life (12:24-26).
- All people are drawn to Christ – As he is exalted and as the gospel is proclaimed, the power of the cross frees men to respond to the compelling nature of our Savior. Lift him up; proclaim the cross and the good news and watch him draw all to himself.