Tom: We’re continuing with the Gospel of John, and we are in John, chapter 12, and we are going to pick up with verse 44, but Dave, I think you want to back us up a little. We said last week that we were going to back up a little but let’s back up a little more.
Dave: Yeah, a little more is right, Tom. Let’s go back to verse 41. I’m sure we must have emphasized this, but it needs to be repeated: “These things said Esaias, or Isaiah,when he saw his glory, and spake of him.” Well, whose glory did Isaiah see? Well, “I saw the Lord, high and lifted up”—we covered that, I believe. Now this is a very clear indication of the deity of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the one that he saw in glory, high and lifted up. He is God, but nevertheless, among the chief rulers also, “many believed on him but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”
That’s something we have to be aware of, Tom. If we would please men, we can’t please God. We must seek to serve God alone and be true to Him and not compromise. We have an awful lot of that.
Tom: Dave, I think that’s what we were referring to in our earlier segment on Hebrews. That was the problem that Paul was having with these converts to the Lord, to Christianity, who were Jews.
Dave: How can we possibly love the praise of men more than the praise of God? In other words, we are catering to human beings. We want their “well done” instead of God’s “well done.” I think we probably covered that, Tom, but I think it just needs to be re-emphasized—to my own heart! Lord, deliver me from wanting to please men instead of you.
And I think we even quoted from John 5, where Jesus said, “How can you be men of faith, you who receive honor from one another, and don’t seek not the honor that comes from God alone?” He doesn’t say, “Well, seek the honor from men plus the honor that comes from God.” No, He says you must seek the honor that comes from God alone. And if you are seeking honor from men, you’re not going to have honor from God. I want to underline that in my own heart: “They loved the praise of men of men more than the praise of God.” That’s just incredible! It’s insanity to exchange God’s praise—which you are not going to have if you get the praise of men—to exchange God’s praise for the praise of men.
Tom: Dave, I like to punch this up a little bit. And not just the praise of men, but now we are looking for the wisdom of men. When I say “we,” I’m using that in terms of those who claim to be Bible-believing Christians, evangelicals, who are looking to the wisdom of men.
Dave: You’re talking about Freud and Jung, Rogers, Maslow, and so forth. You know, “The Bible doesn’t have enough wisdom—let’s go and see what some of these guys have said, and then we’ll integrate it with the Bible.” Yeah, we don’t have time to get into that, Tom, I guess, but we can sure hammer away on it.
Tom: Well, let me give you a verse, because it has been on my heart—I just want to throw a verse in here. Dave, I think this is John, chapter 6:66, Jesus says to His disciples, “Are you, too, going to go away?” Peter says, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Wow!
Dave: “…and we know and believe that thou art the Son of God.”
Tom: Yeah, but instead we go to the wisdom, so-called, of men. It’s unfathomable!
Dave: It doesn’t make sense.
Tom: All right. Verse 44—we’re going to revisit this again, Dave. I know we covered this a little bit: “Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.” There’s a statement that He is God.
Dave: Well, Jesus is saying that He didn’t come in His own name—He has said that a number of times. “I didn’t sent myself; the Father sent the Son to be the saviour of the world.” In other words, “This is not My independent mission. I don’t do anything except what the Father commands Me to do.” It’s not denying His deity—in fact, He is expressing His oneness with the Father: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—three persons, one God; they do not act independently of one another.
Tom: And He’s not talking about physically seeing Him. We talked about the term, “See what I mean?” It has a lot more to do than just the physical aspect….
Dave: “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father”—we’ll get to that in two more chapters, but, “You believe on Me? You’re not believing just on Me alone, but you are believing on the one who sent Me as well.” We quoted earlier, “He that hears my words,” John:5:24, “and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life.” So, you can’t take Jesus just as some independent guru, some independent founder of some new religion or something. The whole Old Testament is tied in—all the prophecies that He is fulfilling. This is a powerful book, the Bible, and again, you know, we have said it before, but 40 different men, inspired of God over 1,600 years, most of whom did not know one another—they came from different cultures, different times in history—and yet they write a book that hangs together. The only thing they really had in common was they claimed to be inspired of the one true God. And Jesus is saying, “Even I do not stand alone, but I’ve been sent by the Father.”
Tom: Verse 46: “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” Now, again, Dave, this is figurative language. When we think about darkness, we can think about evil and wickedness, and so on, but all it has to be, as we mentioned earlier, the ideas of men, the thoughts of men—that which is contrary to Him and to His Word, and that’s a darkness—those are lies, those are deceptions, those are delusions—and that is darkness. We quoted before: “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is death.” Those are man’s ideas, and they are his ways.
Dave: “I am come a light into the world….” Well, He has exposed the darkness. He is the perfect man, the last Adam, the second man, the last Adam, and He exposes the failings of all mankind. His perfect holiness—they didn’t like Him. Isaiah 53 says: “He came unto his own and his own received him not.” The life He lived exposed, in contrast, the sinfulness of all of the human beings, just as light exposes darkness. He’s the light of the world: “I am the light of the world. He that followeth me,” John 8 told us, “shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.” And then, in John, chapter 1—amazing how consistent the Bible is and how it hangs together—In John, chapter 1, it says, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” The darkness didn’t extinguish it, but the darkness didn’t understand it, and light and life are connected together. “I am come a light into the world that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” Men are in darkness—in the darkness of sin, of ignorance…
Tom: Of their own deception, delusion.
Dave: Paul writing in Ephesians, chapter 4, tells us somewhat the same thing. He says, “They are blinded, separated from God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts.” A blind person is groping for the way, for the light. Powerful statement from Jesus. If He’s not God, if He’s not who He claimed to be, then you wouldn’t want to follow Him. He’s just the ultimate impostor. He’s either a liar or a lunatic. No, you cannot escape it, Jesus is who He claimed to be.
Tom: Verse 47, “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” So, it’s what He says—it’s His truth—that’s going to judge. In other words, He’s not stepping in with a sword to judge and to deal with people.
Dave: Yeah, you have to have verse 48 with that. and we probably, again, don’t have time to deal with it but, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him.” What judges him? “The Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” And Jesus is the living Word: “In the beginning was the Word…”—that’s how John’s Gospel starts—“the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And the words that He has spoken, that is the standard that will judge us. It will either save us: we believe His Word, or we reject His Word. We will be judged or saved by His Word.
Tom: Right. He said in John:8:31,32: “If you continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Dave: Or, if the truth does not set you free by believing it, then that truth will condemn you.