What is My Motive?
The Son Of Man Must Be Lifted Up, John 12:20-36
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. "Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say - 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.
Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.
The crowd answered him, "We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?" Jesus said to them, "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light." After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.
As we move on in Holy Week, we see that the religious leaders needed to get rid of Jesus without causing a stir with Rome. Their tactic: attack Jesus with a bunch of questions. The goal was to trick Jesus into blaspheming so they could prove He was not the Messiah, but a lunatic.
If Jesus was merely a man claiming to be a god, He would be a traitor to Rome and a heretic among the Jews. But Jesus answered every question with wisdom, and His popularity grew instead of shrinking (Matthew 22:33).
As we read about the religious leaders it would be easy to judge them, but we do the same thing. When was the last time you asked demanding questions to God? Where you trying to gain understanding? Often, we pretend we're looking for understanding when we're hoping to find justification. We need a reason to do what we want to do. This rebelliousness breaks God's heart the same way the religious leaders' questions broke Jesus' heart.
A lot of us are looking for answers right now. We may shout our demands for more knowledge, but God whispers with wisdom and truth. We must lean into Him to truly hear what He has to say.
God is a good Dad who knows when He's being manipulated. He doesn't begrudge us for asking questions. He welcomes our worries, our fears, our questions, and our concerns (1 Peter 5:7, Philippians 4:6-7). But if we're not looking for honest answers, we’ll walk away disappointed just like the religious leaders in Jesus' day.
When is the last time you demanded answers from God? Did you get what you were looking for?
Does any area of your life feel under threat today? How is that affecting the way you talk to God?
Not sure about your motives? Ask God to show you. Borrow the words from Psalm 139:23-24, "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
At Anchor Church, we exist to love and lead one another with the hope of Jesus. We hope this devotional is an encouragement and an inspiration.
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