Photo. Macinac bridge, upper Michigan. 2011 photo by Richard Blick
The Big Idea: In the final week of his public ministry, Jesus offers three truths that challenge our cultural status quo.
Point One: Jesus is a crummy postmodern (vv. 35-36).
Just because we can pick somewhat our kid’s birthday, don’t be fooled into thinking that we can control all things. We can’t conform things in our reality into what we want. Jesus says that there is darkness and light. Postmodernism says that we can conform our reality to what we want it to be. Reality, however, doesn’t conform to what we want. We need to conform our life to what God reveals.
Point Two: Belief is to be lived, not merely held (vv. 35, 47).
True belief is not believing in belief. Authentic belief is not just mental ascent to a group of ideas, but rather what we believe is to be lived. Unbelief means that we are not keeping Jesus’ words. There is a liveable quality to the Christian life. The beauty of the gospel ought to transform our lives. When we behold that kind of beauty we are changed.
Point Three: Certain judgment (vv. 47-48).
Jesus says that he did not come to judge but to save on this trip from heaven. He says we already have a judge. John 3:17 says that those who do not believe are condemned already. On his next trip he comes as the judge, judging by the words that he spoke which were given him from God.
The irony of the cross is that Jesus did not die for his injustice and disobedience, but rather he died for us and our sin.
What is your story? Are you conforming to the world or to what Christ revealed.
The Sermon Passage: John 12:35-36, 44-5
35So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.
When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them
44And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.