Day 16

The Father’s Son

from the John reading plan


John 12:1-50, Psalm 118:25-26, Isaiah 6:10, Isaiah 53:1

BY Guest Writer

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.

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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.

Post Comments (86)

86 thoughts on "The Father’s Son"

  1. Katalina says:

    I remember how much I struggled in the past with so many questions and how to get through my darkest moments. I suffered for years because even though I had loving parents and a mother who prayed day and night for God to save her daughter, I felt like I had no way out. I became my own worst enemy…. until I realized God was the One I needed to break free. He was with me all along but I left Him in the background of my life when He should’ve been front and center. He saved my life and I want Him to use me so I can helo Him save someone else. He is the answer to all my questions, all my fears, my doubts, my blessings, my happiness. He is endless and I love Him so much!

    1. Leslie says:

      So thankful for mommas that pray fervently for their lost kiddos. This is certainly encouraging to me as I have a prodigal son. Trusting the Lord will bring him back…

      1. Kylee says:

        PRAYING for your beloved prodigal, Leslie — he is important to God, too!

  2. Kelly says:

    He is the answer!

  3. Diane says:

    “now the prince of this world will be driven out” These words need to be engraved in my thought life,daily. As I often attempt to stand strong in spiritual warfare, this is the truth that needs to be written on my sword of faith. It,the works of darkenss have already been destroyed!!!
    The Lord has fiven me a new fevelation,recently,it is the picture of an anchor with the word Hope written on it.
    Jesus, I bless your name this morning for this incredible gift of eternal life and freedom to walk with peace in my heart!

  4. Diane Huntsman says:

    Once again I am humbled and forced to do introspection.. as I see Judas attempt to cover his true heart with false statements, pretending to care about the poor when he wanted the money for himself.. how often to I try to fool Jesus with the “right talk”when my heart is in the wrong place.. I may fool myself and even others with just the right “verbiage” but Jesus knows my heart and He reveals my motives behind what I spew out.. it doesn’t matter how wonderful my words my sound, it matters what my heart is.. Jesus, help me not try to fool You or anyone else including myself with dishonest speech.. and may my heart be so in love with You that whatever comes out of me is sincere and honoring of You.. may I not be blinded by my own foolish heart.

    1. Christine Marie says:

      Yes indeed. What a great prayer.

    2. Emily says:

      Amen, amen, amen! I did not even think of this that way. I was quick to judge Judas by his heart, when I have done the SAME exact thing. I pray that we will come to Jesus with a transparent heart and that he will transform our hearts desires and prayers into ones that glorify him!

    3. Heather Fringer says:

      Diane this is perfect! Thank you! Do you mind if I borrow this prayer for myself? :)

    4. Leslie says:

      Yes! Thank you for this prayer! It is so easy for us to read these passages and judge those that didn’t believe. But the Lord meant these words for me…it hurts, it cuts, but it transforms. So thankful for these words that reveal my wickedness and yet so thankful for God’s grace that changes me to be more like his son.

  5. Diane Huntsman says:

    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.

  6. Sarah says:

    Could someone explain John 12:40 to me? I know it was referencing Isaiah 6:10, but I’m not sure what they mean by it. Why would He have blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts?

    1. Diane says:

      Hi Sarah! Look back at v. 37, this was why He hardened that particular group of people.:))

      1. JoAnn says:

        So it was to fulfill a prophesy? Does it mean only those truly seeking Him could “see?” I am in another study of Proverbs and Proverbs 2:1-6 says you must cry out for discernment and seek wisdom like treasure…

        Wow, some will simply never see…

    2. Jessica says:

      Hi Sarah. I don’t have the answer you are looking for, but I did want to share what I do when I come across tough scripture like this. I reaffirm the things about God that I know to be true: He loves us (John 3:16, Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:9-11, Zeph 3:17- the list goes on and on), He is just (Isaiah 30:18, Duet 32:4), that His ways might not always make sense to me, but I can trust in His goodness (Isaiah 55:9, Psalm 136:1, Psalm 86:5), He hears those who call on Him and will not turn them away (John 6:37, Romans 10:9), and I can believe all these things because God’s promises are true (2 Cor 1:20).
      I have several questions like this for God: why do bad things happen, why did He create Adam and Eve knowing that they would sin and cause mankind to be separated from him, why does He harden some hearts of people, why, why, why? And the answer that keeps coming back to me is this: It’s all for the Glory of God. It’s much like God’s response to Job. My personal understanding of all the moving parts of the universe is so incredibly, incredibly small. I can barely see the path that’s immediately in front of me, let alone what tomorrow will bring. But I can trust in the One who does know such things. I will sing His praises, and be thankful of His calling on my heart.

      1. Sarah says:

        Thank you for this!! This was really encouraging and I’m going to write this in my journal. :)

      2. Leslie says:

        Wow, Jessica! You really hit the nail on the head! Thank you so much for your insight!

        1. Roberta says:

          This is the perfect way to break down this inomifatron.

  7. Caroline says:

    How beautifully written. I love that God seeks US. That he died for US. Such a beautiful and humbling reflection

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  8. Carly says:

    I was reading the message translation this morning and the end of the chapter really showed Christ’s heart to me. Vs 47-50 “I did not come to reject the world but to save it….The Father who sent me gave me orders, told me what to say and how to say it. And I know exactly what his command produces: real and eternal life.” I think a lot of non-believers feel rejected by the church, and not only is that heart breaking, it’s the very opposite of His message. He came to save and gave His commands not to give us a limited life—but a real and eternal life. I pray that I reflect His mercy and message to those who need it. Amen

    1. Naomi LaBoo says:

      Love this insight!

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