Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gospel of St John - THE HOUR

Gospel of St John - THE HOUR

Mary only speaks twice in Johns Gospel.
Mary appears in the most pivotal moments in Christ’s ministry.
In fact, she appears at the very beginning of His public ministry the wedding feast of Cana and she appears at the very end of His public ministry – His climax at Calvary.

She appears when Jesus performs His first miracle at Cana and when He performs His greatest miracle as He conquers sin and death rising from the dead.

In both of these scenes Mary is mentioned three times.
At Cana she is mentioned three times and at Calvary she is mentioned three times.
There are many parallels in these two scenes.

At Cana we first hear about Jesus ‘Hour’ and it is here that Jesus refers to (his mother) Mary as ‘Woman’ and at the Cross we see what the ‘Hour’ is all about. Just before He dies on the Cross, in the midst of all this excruciating pain of the crucifixion Jesus asks the beloved disciple John to take care of His mother, and it is here where He turns to His mother and calls her ‘Woman’!

Join me as we explore the theme of The Hour

Do you remember in the wedding feast at Cana where we encountered Jesus talking about His hour?
There at Cana Jesus said to Mary in John 2:4 , “My hour has not yet come”.
And for many chapters afterwards this theme of “the hour” will recur over and over again. Jesus is going to constantly say ‘my hour has not yet come’.

Let me give you a few examples:

John 4:21-23 Jesus says"... the hour is coming, …, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth...”
In John 5:25 Jesus says “… the hour is coming, …, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God….”

So we are hearing about this hour, Jesus says ‘my hour has not yet come’ and then ‘my hour is coming’ and then when we turn to John 7:30, some of the leaders of the Jews in Jerusalem tried to arrest Jesus, but the text tells us Jesus escaped through their midst because quote “his hour had not yet come”. So He escaped from their plans to kill him because His hour had not yet come. In John 8:20 they tried to arrest Jesus once again and once again Jesus escapes because quote “his hour had not yet come. “

Over and over we get to hear about ‘the hour is coming’ in Johns Gospel and by the time we get to chapter 12, we finally have a chance to hear about the hour arriving. As readers we are relieved because we are longing to find out what the Hour is all about.

So lets turn to John 12:20 to see for ourselves what is this “hour” and how it is coming to fulfilment.

John 12:20-33
[20] Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.
[21] So these came to Philip, who was from Beth-sa'ida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
[22] Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus.
[23] And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified.

Now as Jesus is about to enter Jerusalem to die, these Greeks these gentiles come to Him and want to meet Him, foreshadowing how through Jesus death and resurrection He is going to bring about redemption and salvation not just for the Jews but for all humanity, even these pagan Greeks.

Well, Jesus at this moment, says ‘now the hour has come’.
The “hour” has finally come.
Notice in the text what the hour is all about.
The Hour is the hour of His glory (as we see in verse 23 above).

What is the “glory” of Jesus in the Gospel of John?

Take a look at how Jesus describes the moment of His glory in subsequent verses 24 and 25.
[24] Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
[25] He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

So Jesus is talking about how His hour has finally come and it’s the hour of His glory where He will be glorified.
Then He talks about this grain of wheat falling into the earth and dying and then He talks about losing your life in order to keep it.

What does verse 24 and 25 tell us about Jesus’ “hour of glory”?
He will lose His life like the grain of wheat and go down into the ground, into the tomb and then on Easter Sunday He will be raised up and bear much fruit – the fruit of salvation for all humanity.

The glory of Christ is not about worldly glory.

This is not the moment where He comes in worldly splendour and all these dignitaries and heads of state are going to bow down before Him.
Quite the opposite.
From a human perspective Jesus death on the Cross is the moment in which He is defeated, it seems, from an earthly perspective.
He is defeated by His enemies.
He is defeated by the Romans.

But yet John’s Gospel is trying to get us to look at this not just from a human perspective but a heavenly or spiritual perspective where we see that Jesus’ crucifixion at the hands of the Romans plotted through the Jewish leaders is actually Jesus’ moment of triumph because He is coming to bring about a spiritual redemption of all humanity.

John’s Gospel tells us a little bit more about this “hour” and what’s going to happen in this hour in John 12 verse 31 to 33.
So pay attention to what Jesus says will happen in His hour of glory.

[31] Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out;
[32] and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
[33] He said this to show by what death he was to die.

Notice in Verse 32 Jesus speaks of being lifted up from the earth and will draw all men to himself which refers to being raised up on the Cross and through His death all men are going to be drawn to Him to be saved.

But what is going to happen when Jesus is lifted up and He goes to His death on the Cross?
Verse 31 tells us what is going to happen.

The ruler of this world will be cast out.
Who is the ruler of this world? (see Luke 4:6, Matt 4:9)

The ruler is the devil – satan – the ancient serpent. (see Revelation 12:9)

Notice the hour of Jesus, the hour of His glory that is the hour or the moment in which the devil will be defeated.

It is the moment when Genesis 3:15 will be fulfilled, when the devil is defeated, when the serpent will finally be crushed.
(different translations of Genesis 3:15 say either crushed, bruised or strike the head)

So think about this, the hour on the Cross, when we turn to John 19 and the scene where Jesus is with Mary and the beloved disciple, this is the moment of Jesus hour.
The Hour is the hour His glory but that is also the hour when the devil is defeated - when the ruler of this world is cast out.

That is the hour when Genesis 3:15 is fulfilled and in that context of Genesis 3:15 being fulfilled and the hour of Jesus glory on Calvary, Jesus turns to His mother at that moment (John 19:26) and calls His mother, “Woman”.

What woman do you think Jesus has in mind?
The woman of Genesis.
The woman that God spoke of in Genesis 3:15 about how a woman will have a son that will crush the head of the serpent and there in the hour where the ruler of the world is cast out here Mary is present with her son. She is the Woman and through her son, the death of her son crushes the head of the serpent.

Source: Dr Edward Sri Bible Study

No comments:

Post a Comment