Nov 28

The Ministry of Christ, Part 47

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Passion Week – Tuesday

The Sadducees had just questioned Jesus about the resurrection.

When the Pharisees saw that they did not have success, they approached Jesus with a question about the commandments.

Remember, they felt they were the authority on the Law of Moses.

The Widow’s Mite – Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4

Mark 12:41 (NKJV) 41Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much.

  • The treasury was inside the Women’s court in the Temple compound.
  • These brazen chests were called trumpets because of the appearance of their openings.
  • This story is referring to one of thirteen money chests into which gifts were placed.
  • Nine chests were for temple tax, sacrifice-tribute, and gifts of money in place of sacrifices.
  • Four chests were for freewill offerings for wood, incense, decorations and burnt offerings.

Mark 12:42 (NKJV) 42Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans.

  • A mite was a small copper coin.
  • A mite was worth less than a fourth of a penny.
  • A quadrans was a copper Roman coin that had a value of 3/8 a penny.

Mark 12:43–44 (NKJV) 43So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

Does God pay attention to the percentages of our giving? Why or why not are percentages important?

Matthew 6:3–4 (NKJV) 3But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

How should we give?

2 Corinthians 9:6–7 (NKJV) 6But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

Jesus predicts His death – John 12:20-36

  • Jesus was still in the Temple when this group of Greeks came to see Him.

John 12:20–22 (NKJV) 20Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.

  • These Greeks represent certain Gentiles who had converted to Judaism.
  • By coming to Jerusalem to worship at the feast, they demonstrated that they had embraced the Jewish religion.
  • They are in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover.
  • This section represents the introduction of salvation coming to the Gentiles.

As soon as they came, Jesus indicated that the hour had come for Him to die and be raised from the dead.

Before we go into this dialogue, remember that Jesus is speaking to these Greeks and to His disciples.

John 12:23 (NKJV) But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.”

  • Prior to this, the Lord told them that His hour had not yet come.
  • All of a sudden, the hour has come for Jesus to be glorified.
    • “Glorified” refers to His death and resurrection.

From this time forward, Jesus knows that His hour has come.

John 12:24 (NKJV) Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.

  • Jesus is primarily speaking of Himself.
  • Unless He dies and is buried, new life is not possible.
  • His death and resurrection make eternal life possible.

John 12:25–26 (NKJV) 25He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

  • These two verses refer to Jesus and all who hear these words.
  • Two views of life are referred to in this text.
    1. This present life with its temporary pleasures
    2. Eternal life
  • Everyone must develop personal priorities in life.
    • People with correct priorities put God first.

What does it mean to “love one’s life?”

What does “if anyone serves Me, let him follow Me” mean?

What is the reward of that kind of life?

Jesus models for us living with correct priorities.

John 12:27 (NKJV) “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.”

  • This verse shows the agony that the Lord was already in over His impending death.
  • This demonstrates the human struggle that the Lord had with walking in obedience to the Father.
  • “Troubled” indicates acute distress or agitation.
  • Before Gethsemane, Jesus was feeling the distress and agony of the cross.
  • He is determined to follow God’s eternal will and plan, even though it required great suffering and death.

John 12:28–29 (NKJV) 28Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” 29Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”

  • By saying “Father, glorify Your name”, Jesus is offering Himself fully to the Father.

How had the Father’s name been glorified by Jesus?

John 12:30–32 (NKJV) 30Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. 31Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”

  • Jesus did not need encouragement to persevere in doing the Father’s will.
  • This voice was for their sake.

Why did they need to hear “this voice?”

  • Jesus is prophesying the destruction of Satan and his kingdom.
  • Satan’s power, the power of sin, is about to be broken.
  • “Now” refers to the cross.

John 12:32–33 (NKJV) “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” 33This He said, signifying by what death He would die.

John 3:14 (NKJV) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.

John 12:34 (NKJV) 34The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

  • Isaiah 9:7 prophesied that “of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of Host will perform this.”
  • They could see the Christ that was eternal.

Who is the Son of Man that must be lifted up?

John 12:35–36 (NKJV) 35Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. 36While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.

Discourse on Unbelief – John 12:37-50

John 12:37–38 (NKJV) 37But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

  • What Jesus did before them should have been enough to convince them that He was the Son of God.
  • There are consequences for not believing what God revealed to them.
  • It is interesting that they could quote the prophets about the eternal nature of the Christ and miss the prophecies about His suffering.

John 12:39–41 (NKJV) 39Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: 40“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” 41These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.

Why would God blind their eyes and harden their hearts?

What does God expect of them and us?

John 12:42–43 (NKJV) 42Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

  • Their actions brought their own condemnation.

John 12:44–50 (NKJV) 44Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. 46I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. 47And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”

  • If anyone rejects the word and works of Christ, they are rejecting the Father who gave Him command.
  • The result of that rejection is the loss of everlasting life.

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