What Jesus Did! 'Limited Opportunities' — John 12:34-36

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The people said, "But our law says that the Christ will live forever. So why do you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this 'Son of Man'?" Then Jesus said, "The light will be with you for only a short time more. So walk while you have the light. Then the darkness (sin) will not catch you. The person that walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. So put your trust in the light while you still have it. Then you will become sons of light." When Jesus finished saying these things, he left. Jesus went to a place where the people could not find him.
— John 12:34-36
Illustration of John 12:34-36 — "But our law says that the Christ will live forever. So why do you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this 'Son of Man'?"

Key Thought

So often, people think they will have plenty of opportunities to decide about Jesus. Satan ensures that this is not true. This was brought home tragically to me when a good friend of mine in high school was killed in a motorcycle accident a few months after I had tried to share Christ with him. He said, "I will do that when I am older. Christianity is for old people." He didn't take advantage of the light when he had the opportunity. His words will forever haunt me and remind me that God wants his grace to reach its mark. Let's share Christ with a greater sense of urgency for we don't know when the opportunity for someone to come to the Light will end.

Today's Prayer

Father, forgive me for not living with a greater sense of urgency, especially in my relationship with my non-Christian friends. Please be with me as I try to share my faith in Jesus with the following people: ... In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

There were some Greek people there too. These were some of the people that went to Jerusalem to worship at the Passover festival. These Greek people went to Philip. (Philip was from Bethsaida, in Galilee.) The Greek people said, "Sir, we want to meet Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew. Then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Now is the time for the Son of Man to receive his glory. I tell you the truth. A grain of wheat must fall to the ground and die. Then it grows and makes many seeds. But if it never dies, then it will always be only a single seed. The person that loves his own life will lose it. But the person that hates his life in this world will keep it. He will have life forever. The person that serves me must follow me. Then my servant will be with me everywhere I am. My Father will give honor to people that serve me. "Now I am very troubled. What should I say? Should I say, 'Father save me from this time {of suffering}'? No, I came to this time so that I could suffer. Father, do what will bring you glory!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have already brought glory to myself. I will do it again." The people standing there heard the voice. Those people said it was thunder. But other people said, "An angel spoke to Jesus!" Jesus said to the people, "That voice was for you and not for me. Now is the time for the world to be judged. Now the ruler of this world (the devil) will be thrown out. I will be lifted up from the earth. And when this happens, I will bring all people to me." Jesus said this to show how he would die. The people said, "But our law says that the Christ will live forever. So why do you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this 'Son of Man'?" Then Jesus said, "The light will be with you for only a short time more. So walk while you have the light. Then the darkness (sin) will not catch you. The person that walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. So put your trust in the light while you stillhave it. Then you will become sons of light." When Jesus finished saying these things, he left. Jesus went to a place where the people could not find him.

John 12:20-36

Related Scripture Readings

God says, "I heard you at the right time, and I gave you help on the day of salvation." I tell you that the "right time" is now. The "day of salvation" is now.

2 Corinthians 6:2

But Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. The Son can do nothing alone. The Son does only what he sees his Father doing. The Son does the same things that the Father does. The Father loves the Son, and the Father shows the Son all the things he does. {This man was healed.} But the Father will show the Son greater things than this to do. Then you will all be amazed. The Father raises dead people and gives them life. In the same way, the Son gives life to the people he wants to. Also, the Father judges no one. But the Father has given the Son power to do all the judging. God did this so that all people will respect the Son the same as they respect the Father. If a person does not respect the Son, then that person does not respect the Father. The Father is the One who sent the Son. "I tell you the truth. If a person hears what I say and believes in the One (God) who sent me, that person has life forever. That person will not be judged guilty. He has already left death and has entered into life.

John 5:19-24

Paul continued speaking: "King Agrippa, after I had this vision from heaven, I obeyed it. I began telling people that they should change their hearts and lives and turn back to God. I told the people to do things that show that they really changed their hearts. I told these things first to people in Damascus. Then I went to Jerusalem and to every part of Judea and told these things to the people there. I also went to the non-Jewish people. This is why the Jews grabbed me and were trying to kill me at the temple. But God helped me, and he is still helping me today. With God's help I am standing here today and telling all people the things I have seen. But I am saying nothing new. I am saying the same things that Moses and the prophets said would happen. They said that the Christ would die and be the first to rise from death. Moses and the prophets said that the Christ would bring light to the Jewish people and to the non-Jewish people." While Paul was saying these things to defend himself, Festus shouted, "Paul, you are crazy! Too much study has made you crazy!" Paul said, "Most Excellent Festus, I am not crazy. The things I say are true. My words are not the words of a foolish man; I am in my right mind. King Agrippa knows about these things. I can speak freely to him. I know that he has heard about all of these things. Why? Because these things happened where all people could see.

Acts 26:19-26

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.