“Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!” John 12.17-19
Although here we are examining only three verses, we find in it deep meaning, inspiration and hope. Three things are happening in this passage and they are 1) the spreading of the Gospel by believers, 2) the crowds coming to see Jesus, 3) the Pharisees upset because people are responding to the message of Jesus.
These three responses over the three verses should be a model for Christians today. This should be our pattern of practice and behavior. We are called to preach and proclaim the gospel message and should do that not only with believers (discipleship) but also with not believers as well (evangelism).
What was happening in this moment is a screenshot of what has been happening since. Some believe, others are close to receiving and interested in the message and others are opposed to Christ’s saving message of hope and redemption. Now this gets broken down in greater detail, of course, and within the church there is sometimes a bit of confusion over what exactly is the “gospel”. I believe it is this — “Jesus Christ came to die for sinners of whom I am the worst,” 1 Timothy 1.15.
I wonder when was the last time you obeyed the law of the Lord and shared your faith? It’s convicting to me as well! I work so regularly inside the church with like minded people that I don’t often stray to those who have little frame of reference for Christ or the Christian faith. I too need to use words to communicate the gospel coupled with love and action. I need to join in the model of faith-sharing as people who are amazed by Jesus want to know more.
And in all situations, there will be opposition. The Pharisees were upset because as they coined it — “the whole world has gone after him.” But isn’t that our goal? Didn’t Jesus come to save the whole world? Didn’t he die so that all of humanity might find life, truth and grace through his death, burial and resurrection?
Let’s obey the Lord together today by proclaiming to the whole world a message of redemption, grace and forgiveness. Be the hands and feet of Jesus but also his voice and mouth. Communicate the Gospel to a world deep in need and lost in the lies of enemy and sin.
“O Lord God, come now, to me, help me live inside your Spirit. Help me tune in to your gospel and live according to your Scriptures. Help me know the truth, to memorize your Word, and to realize the everlasting love of the Father. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen