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.


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. Beth Hinson says:

    God glorify your name!!

  2. Danya Ho says:

    He has come at great cost to Himself in order to seek relationship with us, offering us the resurrection and the life.

  3. Kersti says:

    I would love if you ladies would pray for me and some friends in my class. I have felt a lot of fear, over talking about some touchy & controversial topics in my classes. I know I need to not walk in fear, it has come up many times this week even, but I do. Please pray God fills my lungs and mouth with words if I must speak, and to admit and surrender fear of others, rejection and ridicule. I need him to do this work, because I cannot.

    1. Anna says:

      Praying for you. Remember “The Lord gives His people strength, The Lord blesses His people with peace.” May you know that strength and peace deeply.

    2. Danya Ho says:

      For He has not given you a spirit of timidity nor of fear but of boldness and of a sound mind. Lord I bow before you and ask that you will give Kersti your wisdom , your grace your boldness in love to speak for you. Please help her to love her class mates as you love us even when we are so unlovely and unloveable.

  4. Ginger says:

    I love your writing, Carolyn, and even better, your biography is preciously hilarious! Thank you for shedding light on this, but what about the Holy Spirit? I often have a hard time acknowledging the Holy Spirit in my rest time, but I know when He shows up…when I’m calm, focused, need directing, recalling scripture, but I only call on Him occasionally. I don’t want to forget about Him, because He’s part of the Trinity. How to keep the Holy Spirit present in my thoughts, words, and actions like when I’m focused on Jesus? Am I viewing the Holy Spirit incorrectly? Anything I should be doing that I’m not doing right in my prayer life? Any tips? Anyone who answers would be very welcome to do so.

    1. Lynne says:

      Hi Ginger. I always feel the same way about the Holy Spirit too. I never feel that I give Him enough praise but I think that is how He like it. He is the one who points us to Jesus and God the father. When we pray the Bible says that there is one mediator between God and man and it’s the man Christ Jesus. I think by honoring Jesus that the Holy Spirit is honored. He’s not like us where we need praise to feel good. He is confident in his position in the trinity. I think. This is just my opinion but I hope it helps.

    2. Leslie says:

      So understand where you’re coming from but agree with Lynne. I think we should not put so much pressure on ourselves to “do it the right way”. The Lord knows your heart and knows your intentions.

    3. Zoe says:

      They are all one. I had a hard time conceptualizing this. But the Holy Spirit is the way Jesus works in the world since His resurrection. I find them synonymous. When I praise Jesus or God, I feel that the whole trinity is acknowledged. Pray about it. Ask the Spirit for understanding. Ask for guidance. Your prayer will not go unanswered.

  5. Angela says:

    I have never paid much attention to v17 until today. “The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness.” But… it really jumped off the screen at me today. Why am I such a poor witness of the great things I have seen Him do in my own life? He has healed me of a medical condition, restored my marriage, and rescued me from a bad lifestyle. Although I gave Him praise at the time, I need to CONTINUE to bear witness to his power. Praying that I am thankful each day and not afraid to speak out about what He has done for me.

    1. Jenn says:

      This is an awesome reminder! So many things in life to be grateful for and to continue to thank God for.

    2. Michele says:

      Amen sister! Thank you for the humbling reminder.

    3. Jordan says:

      I just thought of this today too, in a slightly different form.. Why do I not run to God with praise more often. It is only with him that I have ”victories” in this life, so why am I not shouting praise every chance I get?

    4. Leslie says:

      Yes, agreed. We all do this. It’s almost like we’re the crowd that is constantly asking for yet another miracle. We become numb almost. We need to use our transformation as the witnessing tool. These miracles are the evidence the Lord gives us to witness. Let us all use these things to shout what our great God has done and continues to do in our lives!

  6. SusieP says:

    “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.” Suddenly it makes sense! Recommitting myself today to praying for those who find themselves unable to submit to our Lord and Creator (yet!).

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