Jesus answered and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes. Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 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. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.” (John 12:30–36)

Jesus explained that while his death would bring condemnation upon the ruler of the world, it would bring life and hope—salvation—to its people. By Jesus’ death, Satan was utterly and completely defeated and judged.

The crowd expressed confusion between what Jesus was saying and what they had been taught to believe about the Messiah. According to the teaching of the time, the Messiah was to endure forever, just as the kingdom he would restore for Israel would be an everlasting kingdom. Jesus’ solved the problem for them by explaining that the Messiah would endure forever because he would rise from the grave.

Jesus then told them to believe the light while it was here, so that they could “become sons of Light.” The darkness stood for the world without God, while “walking in the light” meant following God. Jesus alluded to the words of the prophet Isaiah who spoke of the Messiah coming from Galilee: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined. (Isaiah 9:2 NRSV). In the famous passage about the suffering and death of the Messiah, Isaiah wrote, “After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied.” (Isaiah 53:11 NIV)

We now walk in the light, even as he is in the light and even as he himself is the light—our light forevermore.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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