John 12 Part 2: John’s Analysis Of Israel’s Response To Yeshua’s Ministry

We are walking with Yeshua in the Book of John. We are in the last week of Messiah’s earthly life. Yeshua knew that His Father was asking Him to die in Jerusalem to make atonement possible for the sins of humanity, so that human beings who know Yeshua and become loyal to Yeshua can be reconciled to God.

Did Yeshua want to die, even though it would save millions of people? No. He was a man, a real man, and dreaded what His Father was asking Him to do. And He could have said no and spared Himself the humiliation, torture and death. However, doing the will of His Father was more important to Yeshua than anything else, so He made His decision: in spite of humiliation, torture and death, Yeshua would do what God wanted Him to do. He would complete His mission. He would suffer and die. The result would be that God would be honored.

Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name!

God the Father responded in a very special way to Messiah’s prayer, a prayer which let His Father know that He intended to honor God with His death. Then a voice came from Heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

Yeshua had prayed a short prayer: Father, glorify Your name. He prayed out loud, with a crowd present. God responded to Yeshua’s prayer and spoke audibly to Him. Yeshua understood what God said to Him, but others there didn’t understand. The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to Him.

Yeshua responded to their confusion. He made it clear that it wasn’t thunder and it wasn’t an angel who had spoken to Him. God Himself had spoken to Him in an audible way so that they would know that He was close to God; and that God approved of Him. Yeshua said, “This voice was for your benefit, not Mine.”

Yeshua had submitted to the will of God. He knew He would die in a few days. And He knew that His death would radically change the world. He knew His death would provide the basis for God to reclaim Earth and for Satan to be removed from his position as the prince of this world. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. When Adam and Eve, who were the princes of the Earth, joined the rebellion of the fallen angels, they lost dominion of the Earth. Satan became the prince of this world. Adam and Eve and their descendants became subjects of the prince of this world. Yeshua’s death is the beginning of the end of the demonic dominion of planet Earth, and the reestablishment of the kingdom of God on Earth.

And Yeshua knew that His death would make salvation available to humanity. And I, when I am lifted up from the Earth, will draw all people to Myself. Salvation can be understood in various ways. One way it can be understood is Yeshua bringing a human being, who was far from Him, close to Himself. Because we joined the rebellion of the fallen angels, Satan had been able to draw all people to himself. Yeshua’s death makes it possible for Yeshua to draw all people to Himself. Being able to leave the control of the dark prince of this world and come into the welcoming presence of the Prince of Life, is salvation.

So, when a human being understands that Yeshua is the Son of God, and that He died and God raised Him from the dead, so that Yeshua is the risen and living Lord, and that human being commits himself to follow Yeshua, that person is drawn to Yeshua. He is close to Yeshua who is close to God the Father, and that man, that woman, will live forever.

John wanted us to know that Yeshua knew exactly how God wanted Yeshua to die. He said this (when I am lifted up from the Earth ) to show the kind of death He was going to die. Yeshua knew that God was asking Him to die a horrible death – death by crucifixion – and knowing that, Yeshua was still willing to submit to the will of God – painful as that was.

Think about that the next time you sense that God is asking you to do something difficult. If Yeshua was willing to do that very difficult thing God asked Him to do, can’t you do what God is asking you to do?

The crowd was again confused. The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law (think Law as the entire divine revelation – the Law, the Prophets and the Writings) – we have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever. It was commonly understood that when the Messiah arrived, he would reign forever. So how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”

Many in the crowd believed Yeshua was Israel’s true king and the Messiah. But Yeshua had just said He was the Son of Man. Did that mean that Yeshua was denying that He was the Messiah? That He was someone else? And by saying that He would be lifted up, did that mean that He would ascend to Heaven like Elijah did? Was He saying that He would leave in some way?

Yeshua didn’t answer their questions. Instead, He told them that He would only be with them a little longer, and they needed to trust Him, even if they didn’t understand everything He was saying. Then Yeshua told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.”

He told the crowd He would only be accessible a little while longer. A dark, difficult time was rapidly approaching when He would become inaccessible to them – referring to His arrest, sufferings and death.

He told them that He was their light, their source of truth, safety, happiness and life. They needed to trust Him. If they did, they would be full of wisdom and be successful. If they didn’t trust Him, they would be confused and harm themselves.

John informs us that this was the end of Yeshua’s public ministry – His efforts to help and teach and heal the Jewish people. When He had finished speaking, Yeshua left and hid Himself from them. Yeshua will continue helping His disciples, but His public ministry is now over.

With the end of His public ministry, John gives us his analysis of the public’s response to Yeshua’s ministry. Even though God had made it was abundantly clear that Yeshua is the Messiah, John tells us that the majority of the Jewish people failed to believe in Him the way they should have. Even after Yeshua had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in Him.

Ordinary human beings don’t do miracles. And even among the Chosen People, only a few prophets in Israel’s long history ever did miracles – Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha and a few others – and Yeshua’s miracles exceeded them all.

He turned water into wine; healed many who were sick; healed the son of a royal official; a centurion’s servant; Peter’s mother-in-law; a man who was an invalid and a man who was paralyzed; two men who were blind; another man who was born blind. He restored the sight of Bartimaeus; healed a man who was unable to speak; healed a man’s withered hand; healed a woman who had been sick for 12 years; healed the ear that was cut off from the servant of the high priest; healed those who had leprosy; removed evil spirits from many; sent an army of demons into a herd of pigs; withered a fig tree; was involved in two miraculous catches of fish; was involved in catching a fish that paid the temple tax; fed 5,000 from a few loaves of bread and some fish; fed 4,000 from a few loaves of bread and some fish; stilled the winds and waves with a word; walked on water; raised the son of a woman in Nain from the dead; raised the daughter of Yair back to life; raised Lazarus from the dead; and was Himself raised from the dead.

The miracles of Yeshua were unprecedented in number and in greatness. The miracles of Yeshua were evidence that Yeshua was sent by God, was approved by God, and is who He claimed to be – the Messiah and the Son of God.

John wants us to know that there was more than enough evidence that Yeshua is the Messiah. The problem wasn’t a lack of evidence. The problem was an irrational lack of faith on the part of the people. Even after Yeshua had performed so many miracles, the majority of the Chosen People refused to believe in Him.

And, John wants us to know that the majority’ failure to believe in Yeshua doesn’t discredit Him. It does not disqualify Him from being the Messiah. In fact, God had made it clear in Isaiah 53, written 700 years before Yeshua arrived, that the Messiah would be rejected by the majority of the nation. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Not only does the rejection of Yeshua by the majority of the Jewish people not disqualify Yeshua, it is one of the prerequisites for Yeshua being the Messiah! The Word of God must be fulfilled, and the Word of God predicted that when He first arrived, the majority of Israel would not believe in the arm of the Lord, the Messiah whom God uses to do great things.

Why wouldn’t the majority believe, even though there was so much evidence? John knew: For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere (quoting from chapter 6): “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn – and I would heal them.” Isaiah said this because he saw Yeshua’s glory and spoke about Him. Isaiah was given more revelation about the Messiah than any other prophet. Isaiah was privileged to catch a glimpse of Yeshua’s glory and spoke about how glorious the Messiah is. And Isaiah also reported that the majority of the Chosen People would reject the glorious Messiah.

Why? Why did God blind their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they couldn’t see or understand and turn to God and be healed? That sounds unfair and capricious. But it isn’t.

Just as the majority of the Jewish people in Isaiah’s generation turned away from the Lord, and as punishment, God blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, the same thing happened in Yeshua’s generation. In spite of all the evidence that Yeshua is the Messiah, the majority turned away from Yeshua.

And because of their lack of faith, God further hardened their hearts – as punishment.

It was like the hardening of the heart of Pharaoh. The king of Egypt saw miracle after miracle and hardened his heart, until God had enough of Pharaoh’s obstinance and God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that Pharaoh would be punished.

The same thing was going on with the majority of the people who witnessed Yeshua’s miracles. The majority saw miracle after miracle, and hardened their hearts and shut their eyes and refused to believe. God decided to punish them for their unbelief, and punished them by hardening their hearts even more, and blinding their eyes even further. Can God do that and be just? Yes He can.

Can God turn people over to themselves, and leave them to suffer the results of their bad choices when they systematically turn away from the truth? Yes He can.

Condemning the generation of people living after the flood, Paul accused them of rejecting the truth about God. Even though they knew God, they refused to honor Him as God or worship Him. Because of their willful rejection of the truth about Him, God allowed them to think and live the way they wanted to. He gave them over to their desires for sexual impurity. He gave them over to corrupt ways of thinking.

It’s dangerous to ignore the truth about God, the truth about Yeshua, the truth about the Bible. Your ability to understand will diminish more and more. Your spiritual insight will become less and less, until you are unable to see or know God and what He wants, and you are left with the emptiness of a corrupt self.

Another noteworthy point: John, the Lord’s representative who was inspired by the Holy Spirit, told us that it was Isaiah who wrote chapter 6, which is in the first part of Isaiah; and John tells us that the same Isaiah wrote chapter 53, which is in the second part of Isaiah. There was only one Isaiah, not two or more Isaiahs like the theological rebels teach.

John wants us to know that the majority of the special, set-apart nation missed the mark – but not everyone. There was a remnant, a significant minority, who believed in Yeshua, including some of the leaders. Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in Him. But, even though many, including some of the leaders, believed in Yeshua, they too failed.

Why did they fail? They believed but remained silent. Why did they remain silent? John knew the answer to that as well: But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God. I have met many Jewish people over the years who believed that Yeshua is the Messiah, yet they remained silent. They would not follow Him in a public, the way He must be followed.

Why? The fear of man. They wanted the approval of people more than they wanted the approval of God. They put the approval of a husband, the approval of a wife, of a mother or father before the approval of God. They feared losing an inheritance, losing standing in the Jewish community more than fearing God.

Messiah made it clear: whoever denies Him before human beings, He will deny before His Father. If God has made you aware that Yeshua is the Messiah, follow Him – openly, publically, unashamedly. Confess Him. Proclaim Him. Don’t be like those silent cowards.

John concludes this part of this great book with words of encouragement and warning from the Son of God: Then Yeshua cried out, “Whoever believes in Me does not believe in Me only, but in the one who sent Me. The one who looks at Me is seeing the one who sent Me.

Now that God the Father has sent His Son into the world, it’s impossible to separate faith in God from faith in Yeshua. Because God sent Yeshua and because Yeshua is a perfect reflection His Father, to believe in Yeshua is to believe in God. To reject Yeshua is to reject God. To be loyal to Yeshua is to be loyal to God. To be disloyal to Yeshua is to be disloyal to God.

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness. We live in a dark world. Humanity is confused, deceived, chaotic, unhappy, defeated and dying. Yeshua is light – full of truth, victory, safety, happiness and life. Human beings are unable to come out of the light on their own. No matter how hard they try to leave the darkness, they can’t. Becoming loyal to Yeshua is the only way to come out of the dark, deadly confusion.

Rejecting Him and what He taught, results in a life of spiritual darkness followed by condemnation on the Day of Judgment. If anyone hears My words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person – meaning He would not judge them then, at His first coming. That’s not what His first coming was about. His first coming was about saving people, helping them, teaching them, healing them, inspiring them. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.

Why is it so important to believe in Yeshua and everything He said? Because God the Father commanded Yeshua to say everything He said, and Yeshua faithfully carried out that command.

Everything Yeshua said is exactly what God wanted Him to say. There is a judge for the one who rejects Me and does not accept My words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. For I did not speak on My own, but the Father who sent Me commanded Me to say all that I have spoken. I know that His command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told Me to say.”

To obey God’s command, people must believe in Yeshua and everything He said. If we obey God’s command and believe in Yeshua and His words, obedience to that command will result in eternal life.

But the opposite is true – the one who breaks God’s commandment by rejecting Yeshua and anything He said will experience death.

Yeshua’s words are the most special words ever spoken.

Yeshua’s words were given to Him by God.

Yeshua’s words are pure truth.

Yeshua’s words are enduring.

Yeshua’s words set the standard for obedience or disobedience, resulting in eternal life or death in Hell.

Yeshua’s words will condemn those who reject them at the last day.

On the Day of Judgment, Yeshua’s words will be there, and we will be judged on the basis of whether or not we have allied ourselves with Yeshua and with Yeshua’s words.

Have you? You are amazingly blessed.

If you haven’t allied yourself with Yeshua and His words, why not? Don’t hardened your heart and turn from the truth, like the majority of the Jewish people did in Yeshua’s day. You are in grave danger if you do.

And if you are loyal to Yeshua and accept His words, are you telling people the Good News about Yeshua and warning them about the danger of rejecting Yeshua and His words? Don’t you care enough about them to warn them? Don’t you believe what Yeshua said is true?

Let’s pray:

Our Father and our King, thank You for Yeshua’s willingness to put Your will above His will, to put Your will about His comfort, and safety, and even His life. May we become more like Yeshua in this regard.

Thank You that Yeshua is the light. May He guide us out of all darkness, confusion and danger.

Thank You for the abundant evidences that Yeshua is the Messiah, especially His miracles. May we understand the implication of Yeshua’s miracles and have a strong faith.

May we have a courageous faith, a bold faith.

May we believe in Yeshua and everything He said.

May we trust Him and what He says, even if we don’t understand everything He is saying.