The Gospel of John now moves to the early ministry of Jesus, both in demonstrating his authority as from God, and reaching out to all beyond Israel alone. The message of Jesus has gone out from now from multiple witnesses, not just Jesus. From John the Baptist, following on the predictions and words of the Old Testament and of Moses. And even so: I know you do not have the love of God in your hearts (5:42), how are you going to believe what I say (5:47). And the challenge has been: No fence sitting now about the person of Jesus. The miraculous signs of John’s gospels now speak to the identity and authority of Jesus as the Son of God:
- Changing water into wine at the wedding at Cana (Jn 2:1-11);
- Healing the royal official’s son (Jn 4:46-54);
- Healing the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem (Jn 5:1-15);
- Feeding the 5,000 (Jn 6:5-14);
- Walking on water (Jn 6:16-21);
- Healing the man born blind (Jn 9:1-7); and
- Raising Lazarus from the dead (Jn 11:1-45).
It is Tuesday of Jesus’ final week, with the crucifixion to happen on Thursday. 48 hours. To anyone who has heard Jesus message, or the revelation of God in nature, a certain duty follows. No more fence sitting. The results with be light or darkness – no middle ground.
34 The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”
35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. 36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. John 12:34-36.
1. God’s Grace Has Time Limitations. No one stays neutral or straddling the fence with the Person and message of Jesus. No perpetual neutrality. Revelation demands a response. You are going to have the light just a little while longer. To those who put off a decision or commitment as to Jesus in the first century led them down a path that removed the opportunity to respond with the original gospel message.
2. Our World with Two Kingdoms. Jesus’ offer of grace was for his listeners a message of light. Walk while you have the light. Grace was among them, God’s Kingdom and favor and approval through Jesus. They only had to believe, as did the thief on the cross. But to not believe, to decline, brings the realm of the second world or kingdom. Before the darkness overtakes you. To enter this second realm leads to confusion, being lost, not know where they are going, a spiritual realm of fear and judgment and condemnation.
3. Faith Leads to Light, Life and God’s Blessings. Jesus has promised that with His death and resurrection, upon belief, will result in God’s favor. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself. (John 12:32). The promise is that faith leads to light, and being children of the light brings God’s favor and blessing.
There are both general and specific revelations of God in the Bible. First, as to the general revelation:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[a] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:18-20.
And the second specific revelation:
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. John 1:6-9.
To the whole of the Biblical message, and to the message and Person of Jesus, the point is clear – we are without excuse. We have been given substantial evidence and Truth from which to believe. To not believe is a willful rejection of the clear message of God. To believe is the respond with faith to the revelation of God, which leads to salvation, to being children of the light, to the blessing and approval of God. Best to you this week in your spiritual journey.