Last week, we saw how Jesus turned the focus from His Kingship of the Kingdom of God to it citizens.
• He “Kingdom Called” us to live in “Kingdom Submission” to His reign.
• This submission was to take the form of a life lived in self-denial.
• A pursuit of “zoe” life instead of “psyche” life.
• In living this life, we would be honored by the Father.
This week Jesus brings us back to His role in the fulfillment of the Father’s call on His life.
• Among other things, John gives us some insight into the Proclamation and the Battle we talked about a couple of weeks ago.
• We are going to spend our time on these two themes.
1) DIVINE PROCLAMATION
John 12:27–30 (ESV) — 27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine.
Jesus expresses the anguish he feels over his coming death.
• It is an awesome confluence of His humanity and divinity.
• The book of Hebrews describes it as follows:
o Hebrews 5:7 (ESV) — 7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
• He asks the Father if He should seek salvation from the cross.
• D.A. Carson suggests this is a prayer which “is entirely analogous to Gethsemane’s ‘Take this cup from me’ – D.A. Carson.
• Yet Jesus acknowledges his commitment to a life (zoe) of self-denial and obedience, “But for this purpose I have come to this hour”.
o A purpose that would glorify the Father – “Father, glorify your name”.
• Many believe this text from Ezekiel speaks of this moment.
o Ezekiel 36:22 (ESV) — 22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name [to glorify His name], which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.
• A simple admission of a profound truth – all of Israel’s call and history were designed to lead to this moment.
The Father’s Answer:
If Jesus’ words were a prayer, then the voice that “came from heaven” was His answer.
• The voice from heaven was in full agreement with the purpose of the hour and the glory it would bring.
• But, as Jesus said, there was more to the voice than this.
• Jesus said in verse 30, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine”.
o BTW – Some heard only thunder – perhaps they did not have ears to hear.
How was the voice for their sake?
• One reason has to do with the proclamation by the Father about Jesus.
The Father’s Proclamation:
We spoke a couple weeks ago about the expectations Jews had about their Messiah.
• We saw that there would be two moments in His life, one of which was a moment of proclamation.
• Typically, a proclamation (kerysso) is an “official announcement” or “public declaration” – BDAG.
Interestingly, in the Roman Empire at Jesus’ time, such proclamations were made when a new Caesar assumed power.
• In fact, during Jesus’ life, Caesar Augustus died and was replaced by Caesar Tiberius.
• This event would have been “proclaimed” throughout Palestine.
• Such a proclamation would have declared that Tiberius, like Augustus, was the divine “son of god” (i.e., son of Julius Caesar).
• And a “proclamation” in a “trouble spot” like Palestine would have been made with heralds accompanied by soldiers as a show of force and continuity – N.T. Wright.
• This event is something Jesus probably witnessed Himself.
But why was there a Jewish expectation of proclamation for their Messiah?
• The expectation was fueled by Israel’s history and prophecy.
• Throughout Israel’s existence, its prophets, priests and kings were “proclaimed” as chosen by God.
• These proclamations often took the form of a public anointing and sometimes included God’s specific instruction.
• 1 Kings 19:16 (ESV) — 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you [Elijah] shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place.
• Here, Elijah is told by God to anoint the next King and Prophet.
• Exodus 29:7 (ESV) — 7 [God Speaking] You shall take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him [Aaron].
• Exodus 28:41 (ESV) — 41 [God Speaking] And you shall put them on Aaron your brother, and on his sons with him, and shall anoint them and ordain them and consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests.
Later, we are told that though Moses anointed them, it was really God that anointed them.
• Leviticus 7:36 (ESV) — 36 The LORD commanded this to be given them by the people of Israel, from the day that he anointed them. It is a perpetual due throughout their generations.”
• 2 Chronicles 23:11 (ESV) — 11 Then they brought out the king’s son [in public] and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony. And they proclaimed him king, and Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and they said, “Long live the king.”
• 1 Samuel 16:13 (ESV) — 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him [David] in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.
There was also the expectation of proclamation taught in the prophecies pertaining to Israel’s Messiah and King.
Prophetic and Exilic Expectation of Proclamation:
• Isaiah 12:4 (ESV) — 4 And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.
• Isaiah 48:20 (ESV) — 20 Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea, declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it, send it out to the end of the earth; say, “The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob!”
• Isaiah 61:1 (ESV) — 1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
• Jeremiah 23:5–6 (ESV) — 5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’
• And in these prophetic texts about Israel’s coming king, “YHWH’s anointing of the king denotes the exclusive, intimate relationship between the God of Israel and the king whom he has appointed and given the power to reign in his name” – AYBD.
Finally, we have in the Gospels, the proclamation of Jesus.
• And as in the prophetic texts, these too denote the “intimate relationship between the God of Israel and the king whom he has appointed”, King Jesus.
• In our text today, we see an example of the Father’s proclamation of Jesus.
• The Father proclaimed in a loud voice “that came from heaven” that Jesus’ “purpose” (death, burial and resurrection) will glorify the Father’s name.
• D.A. Carson calls this a “supernatural attestation”.
And this was not the first time that Jesus was proclaimed.
• John 1:29 (ESV) — 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
• Mark 1:9–11 (ESV) — 9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
• Mark 9:7 (ESV) — 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”
But we aren’t done yet.
• Because just as Jesus did unusual things like forgive sins and redefine the law, He also proclaimed his own Kingship.
• “Jesus was going about declaring, after the manner of someone issuing a public proclamation, that Israel’s God was at last becoming king. ‘The time is fulfilled!’ he said. ‘God’s kingdom is arriving! Turn back, and believe the good news!’ (Mark 1:15). ‘If it’s by God’s finger that I cast out demons,’ he declared, ‘then God’s kingdom has come upon you’ (Luke 11:20) – N.T. Wright.
“Think for a minute about what that means. As soon as the initial announcement had been made…it would have been tantamount to treason…” – N.T. Wright.
• Herod Antipas (the one who beheaded John the Baptist), the Chief Priests and the Roman authorities all would have had something to say as the proclamations of Jesus’ Kingship spread.
• It was not a mistake that Jesus was crucified as the “King of the Jews”.
Everything about Jesus incarnation, life and mission was anointed, consecrated, testified to, and proclaimed by God the Father.
• And those who had eyes to see and ears to hear could rejoice in this.
• We can rejoice in this.
• Yet, as we will see in a couple of weeks, many still did not believe (which was a fulfillment of prophecy).
So we have seen how Jesus was Proclaimed.
• Now we will take a look at His Battle.
2) THE BATTLE
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 [Jews and Gentiles] to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
Jesus speaks here of being “lifted up” and casting out the “ruler of this world”.
We dealt with the “lifted up from the earth” language in John 8.
• We learned that this phrase referred both to the cross and to sitting on the throne at the right hand of God
• The OT references in view here are:
o Psalm 110:1 (ESV) — 1 The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”
o Isaiah 52:13 (ESV) — 13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted.
• Both of these, the cross and throne, were seen as an exaltation of Jesus Christ
• In John’s Gospel, “the exaltation of the Servant of which this verse speaks [Isaiah 52:13] is the whole sequence of humiliation, suffering, death and vindication beyond death which [Isaiah] 53 describes” – Richard Bauckham.
• So to be “lifted up” is both:
1) Exalted and on the Throne – King, Ruler and Creator
2) Lifted up and on the Cross – Servant and Savior
• For more info on the Christ’s exaltation and “lifted up” refer back to the lesson from John 8:12-20 – Location, Location, Location.
The casting out of “the ruler of this world” speaks to the Battle we spoke of a couple of weeks ago.
• Just as we mentioned the expectation of proclamation, there was also an expectation of a Battle that God’s King would fight and win.
Jesus’ Battle – Clash of the Kingdoms:
The Battle Jesus waged was not directly against the Romans, or the corrupt priestly leadership.
• It was against the power that had dominion over this world and those walking in the dark.
• This certainly included the Roman Empire and much of the Jewish leadership, but was not limited to them.
• Jesus’ Battle was against satan.
• John put it like this in 1 John.
• 1 John 3:8 (ESV) — 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
N.T. Wright calls this battle the “Clash of the Kingdoms”.
• And throughout the Gospels, this Battle took numerous forms.
• One remarkable example is from Matthew.
• In Matthew 12, Jesus cast out a demon from a blind and mute man.
• The crowds were amazed and even wondered, “Can this be the Son of David?” (Matt 12:23).
• The Pharisees took this as a chance to discredit Jesus.
• They explained Jesus’ power over the demonic and his ability to cast out demons as being derived from satan.
Jesus response gives a clear indication that the Battle against satan is under way.
• He states that His power over demons means that the Kingdom of God is here, now!
o Matthew 12:28 (ESV) — 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
• And then, oft overlooked, but profoundly, Jesus makes the following remarkable statement.
o Matthew 12:29 (ESV) — 29 Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.
• In other words, Jesus has this power because under God’s direction and authority he has come into satan’s kingdom and as bound him up.
• The Battle has begun and Jesus is in control.
• Jesus has bound up and restrained satan and is plundering satan’s house – Jesus the Plunderer.
When did Jesus’ Battle begin?
The Battle, the Clash of the Kingdoms, seemed to begin at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry.
• And interestingly, it was precipitated by the will of God.
o Mark 1:12–13 (ESV) — 12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.
• Satan tried to establish Jesus as King on his terms.
o Matthew 4:8 (ESV) — 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
• Jesus, however, chose the way of the Father which would take Him to the cross – the “zoe” life way.
• Satan’s ultimate fate was sealed as a result.
• In fact, in Luke, Jesus says the following – Luke 10:18 (ESV) — 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
In our text today, we have Jesus acknowledging that, as N.T. Wright puts it, the Clash of the Kingdoms, the Battle, reached its climax with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
• John 12:31–33 (ESV) — 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
• The Passion events are the incarnation’s final battle.
• The coming death of Jesus will be the death blow to satan’s kingdom.
• Satan will be defeated and his eternal judgment is a done deal.
o Revelation 20:10 (ESV) — 10 …the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
N.T. Wright sums up the judgment and defeat of the “ruler of this world” this way:
• “Jesus…takes to be the true vocation of Israel’s king: to fight and win the key battle, the battle that will set his people free and establish God’s sovereign and saving rule, through his own suffering and death” – N.T. Wright.
Kostenberger puts it like this:
• “Paradoxically, at the cross the world and its ruler are judged, while Jesus is glorified and salvation is procured for all”.
Lesson for Us:
• So we have seen how Jesus fulfilled the Jews’ prophetic expectations of a divine proclamation and a battle.
• And as we suggested last week this story is part of the Gospel; it is the Good News!
• Soon enough, we will see how Jesus restored and cleansed the Temple and the exact nature of His ultimate victory in the battle against Satan.
• Noting these things should do at least two things for us.
o 1) Make us thankful that we have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a born again heart with which to recognize and embrace what Jesus did.
o 2) And cause us to wonder why so many Jews didn’t.
• This question we will deal with in a couple of weeks.