A Blogged Bible Study entry.
Chapter 12 of the gospel of John moves us from the Seven Signs of John into Jesus’ final week of walking on the earth. At the end of the chapter we are given His last public address. I find it interesting how closely this parallels His conversation about eternal life * with Nicodemus in chapter 3. It appears from John’s gospel that Jesus’ public teaching began and ended with the same words.
“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die. The crowd then answered Him, “We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?” So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.”
“If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. * ” ~John 3:12-15
And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me.”
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. * ” ~John 3:16
“I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.”
“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” ~John 3:17-21
“For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; * therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”
The Son of Man must be lifted up — He must die on the cross. If He is lifted up, then He will draw all men to Him. We have eternal life * through His death and resurrection.
The Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness more than the Light. The Light is the Word of God and we will be judged according to His Word — the Father’s commandment.
I want eternal life. * I want the Light. I want Salvation.
I will follow the Son.
What is eternal life?
* Zoe is used in the NT “of life as a principle, life in the absolute sense, life as God has it, that which the Father has in Himself, and which He gave to the Incarnate Son to have in Himself, Joh. 5:26, and which the Son manifested in the world, 1Jo. 1:2.
From this life man has become alienated in consequence of the Fall, Eph. 4:18, and of this life men become partakers through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Joh. 3:15, who becomes its Author to all such as trust in Him, Ac. 3:15, and who is therefore said to be ‘the life’ of the believer, Col. 3:4, for the life that He gives He maintains, Joh. 6:35,63.
Eternal life is the present actual possession of the believer because of his relationship with Christ, Joh. 5:24; 1Jo. 3:14, and that it will one day extend its domain to the sphere of the body is assured by the Resurrection of Christ, 2Co. 5:4; 2Ti. 1:10.
This life is not merely a principle of power and mobility, however, for it has moral associations which are inseparable from it, as of holiness and righteousness. Death and sin, life and holiness, are frequently contrasted in the Scriptures.
“Zoe is also used of that which is the common possession of all animals and men by nature, Ac. 17:25; 1Jo. 5:16, and of the present sojourn of man upon the earth with reference to its duration, Lu. 16:25; 1Co. 15:19; 1Ti. 4:8; 1Pe. 3:10. ‘This life’ is a term equivalent to ‘the gospel,’ ‘the faith,’ ‘Christianity,’ Ac. 5:20.”*
[* From Notes on Galatians, by Hogg and Vine. pp. 324,325.]
Death came through sin, Ro. 5:12, which is rebellion against God.
Sin thus involved the forfeiting of the “life.”
“The life of the flesh is in the blood,” Le. 17:11.
Therefore the impartation of “life” to the sinner must be by a death caused by the shedding of that element which is the life of the flesh. “It is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life” (id., RV).
The separation from God caused by the forfeiting of the “life” could be removed only by a sacrifice in which the victim and the offerer became identified. This which was appointed in the typical offerings in Israel received its full accomplishment in the voluntary sacrifice of Christ. The shedding of the blood in the language of Scripture involves the taking or the giving of the “life.”
Since Christ had no sins of his own to die for, His death was voluntary and vicarious, Joh. 10:15 with Isa. 53:5,10,12; 2Co. 5:21.
In His sacrifice He endured the Divine judgment due to man’s sin. By this means the believer becomes identified with Him in His deathless “life,” through His resurrection, and enjoys conscious and eternal fellowship with God.