Text: John 12:1-50, Psalm 118:25-26, Isaiah 6:10, Isaiah 53:1
There’s an old church joke that the answer to every question in Sunday school is “Jesus.” As I am trying to teach my boys the gospel, I’ve realized how true this is. The answer to almost every major question really is Jesus.
Unfortunately, one of my sons has a terrible time remembering names. Our conversations might go a little something like this:
Me: Who came to save us?
My boy: God!
Me: Who died on the cross for our sins?
My boy: God!
Me: And what’s God’s other name?
My boy: [Silence]
I’m constantly wondering how he can possibly forget the Great Sunday School Answer. But when I read through John chapter 12, I’m see he’s not the only one.
Modern culture often wants to distance Jesus from God, to turn Jesus into a great teacher or a prophet. If He were just a good teacher, a great man—anything but the Son of God, and God incarnate—then we could pick and choose from what He said. We wouldn’t have to submit to Him.
When we read the New Testament we see this is not just a figment of modern culture; it was a part of first-century culture, too. The religious elite attacked Jesus for blasphemy because they understood that He was claiming to be God. They knew what Jesus meant when He said He was God’s “only Son” (John 3:16), doing His Father’s will (John 6:38). Up until that point, no one else would have dared to call God their “Father” (John 5:18).
In this chapter, we again see Jesus fulfilling His calling as the Son of God: speaking life to all who will listen, shining light in the darkness, and bringing glory to God the Father. We even catch a glimpse of the relationship between God the Father and God the Son, as Jesus wrestles with what’s to come:
“Now My soul is troubled. What should I say—Father, save Me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again!” (John 12:27-28).
It is a precious insight into the Trinity, our relational God. He has come at great cost to Himself in order to seek relationship with us, offering us the resurrection and the life.
No wonder Mary was led to worship Him. No wonder the Greeks wanted to see Jesus (John 12:20). No wonder the crowd sang, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 23:39). God—Jesus—truly is the answer to our most important questions, the remedy for our greatest fears.
Carolyn Denny dabbled in the Navy, politics, business, and publishing before she discovered her true calling: household management (or so it seems as she raises three boys and a baby girl with her husband, Josh). In those precious moments tucked between bedtimes and carpools, Carolyn loves to teach the Bible and write about how God shows up in her messy world. She and her family live in Nashville, Tennessee.