Sunday, May 05, 2024

“Father, Glorify Your Name!” [Matt's Messages]

“Father, Glorify Your Name!”
Life in Jesus’ Name - The Gospel of John
Lanse Evangelical Free Church
May 5, 2024 :: John 12:27-36  

It’s Palm Sunday. Jesus has ridden a young donkey into Jerusalem. He has a target His back. He’s a wanted man, but He’s not scared to show His face.

He smells of expensive perfume. His friend Mary has anointed Him with a small fortune of nard poured out on Him from His head to His feet. He’s been drenched. And He’s heading straight into town.

The crowd has been waving palm branches over Him and shouting, “Blessed is the King of Israel!” And He’s not stopped them. He’s received their worship and their faith in His messiahship, His kingship.

And the Jewish leaders are frustrated that the whole wide world seems to be coming to follow Him. For example, even some Greeks at the Passover Feast request an audience with Him, saying to Phillip, “We would like to see Jesus.”

Everything seems to be leading up to a climax. And it was at that point that Jesus announced to the crowd, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”


“The hour has come.” That’s what Jesus said in the passage we looked at last week. V.23, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”

It’s high time that Jesus gets the glory.

Up until this point, it was not Jesus’ time, not Jesus’ “hour.” But now it’s all come together. Jesus said that the time has now arrived for the Son of Man to be glorified.

And that sounds wonderful, but we learned last week that it actually means something horrible (at least at first) something terrible and something painful. Jesus is going to die. To be glorified, Jesus must undergo great suffering. Jesus says that He’s going to be like a seed. In verse 24, He said, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” Much fruit.

And He went on to say that we need to be seeds, as well. We need to follow Him in sacrificial service and self-denying love for a spiritual harvest.

But He was mainly talking about Himself. He was going to be like that seed. He was going to die. He was going to be planted into the ground.

How do you think He felt about that?

Remember, Jesus is fully human. He has every emotion that you and I have, just no sin. But He feels everything. And this makes Him feel “troubled.” Look at verse 27.

“Now my heart is troubled...”

That’s the same word that John used to describe Jesus’ feelings at the tomb of Lazarus (11:33). He’s disturbed. He’s unsettled. He’s troubled in His heart.

Jesus was not all “pumped up for Good Friday!”

“Woohoo! I get to be crucified this week. Who’s excited?”

No. In His humanity, Jesus doesn’t want to go there. If it was just up to Jesus’ feelings, he’d skip this part. He’d skip this “hour.” He’s tempted to ask His Father to let Him off the hook. V.27 again.

“‘Now my heart 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.”

Do you see what He’s saying? Do you feel it?

I can hardly believe He was saying these things in public. He’s going to say something very similar in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane later that night, praying with sweat like drops of blood.

But here’s He’s saying it out in front of everybody. “Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’?

Should I? I sure want to. I sure don’t want to feel the nails. I sure don’t want to feel the thorns. I sure don’t want to take the beating. I sure don’t want to be scourged. I sure don’t want their spittle in my beard. I sure don’t want to struggle to breathe. I sure don’t want the just wrath of God to rain down on Me. The hour has come. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’”?

“No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.”

“This is why I’m here. This is why I was sent. So this is what I’m going to pray right now...” [And it’s our sermon title, from verse 28.]

“Father, glorify your name!”
That’s a great thing for you and me to pray ourselves today. But right here, right now, it’s Jesus praying it to His Father. The Son of God, whom it’s time to glorify, is now praying that God the Father will be glorified.

"Father, glorify your name!" “Do whatever it takes for you and your name to get the glory! Even if it means my suffering. Even if it means my sacrifice. Even if it means my death. Father, glorify your name!"

What a prayer request! 

In this context, what an amazing thing for the Son of God to pray to His Father!

"Father, glorify your name!"

I have three points of application this morning, each of them simply one word, and here’s the first one:


Rejoice that Jesus didn’t cave in to His feelings.
Rejoice that Jesus prayed that His Father would be glorified.
Rejoice that Jesus set His will and His heart to obey and to go to the Cross.

It’s so scary to think what would have happened if Jesus had given in to His feelings in verse 27.

There was nothing wrong with His feelings. It was completely natural and right for Him to be troubled. Think about what He knows He is facing on Friday!

But also think about what would have happened if Jesus had said, “I can’t hack it. I’m out. I refuse to go through this hour. I don’t want to be seed. I don’t want to die. Father, save Me from this hour. Not Your will but My will be done.”

But, rejoice, that’s not what He did! No, Jesus prayed, “Father, glorify your name.”

And, astonishingly, God the Father answered Jesus out loud.

There are only 3 times in the gospels when God the Father Himself speaks from heaven. 

The first is at the baptism of Jesus. “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17-4:1 NIVO).

The second is at the transfiguration of Jesus. “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" (Matt. 17:5 NIVO).

And here’s the third time. On Palm Sunday. Jesus prays (v.28), “Father, glorify your name! Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’”

The Father answers the Son’s prayer request with a resounding, “Yes.”

“Yes, I will do that. I have done it, and I will do it again. Yes.”

Rejoice, O Christian, that God the Father said, “yes” to God the Son!

The opposite is almost unthinkable. But try it on for just a minute. What if the Son had said, “Father, glorify your name,” and the Father not answered? Like He didn’t care. Or if He had answered, “On second thought, no. I won’t bring glory to My name. I won’t set in motion the crucifixion. I won’t give My One and Only Son for those people. No, I don’t think so.”

“I have glorified my name, and I think that’s about enough. Come on home, Jesus, you can skip the next part of the plan.”

Aren’t you glad that’s not what happened?!

Instead, a great booming voice spoke from the heavens, and said, “Yes.” Look at verse 29.

“The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. 30 Jesus said, ‘This voice was for your benefit, not mine” (vv.29-30).

They weren’t all quite sure what just happened. Some of them heard the thunderous voice and all they could think was that it was just thunder. Others knew it was heavenly and supernatural, so they thought it must be an angel. But Jesus knew and the disciples knew and eventually came to understand what they had just witnessed (see 16:13).

They had heard God the Son speak to God the Father and God the Father speak back to God the Son.

“I have glorified [my name], and will glorify it again.”


You see how Jesus said that was for our benefit in verse 30? He knew what the Father would say. He didn’t have to hear so much for Himself (and wonderful as I’m sure that it was to hear with His own ears). But they needed to hear it, and we needed to hear about it so that we would rejoice.

In just a few minutes, we’re going to gather around the Lord’s Table and celebrate what Jesus did for us. 

Today we celebrate Jesus’ prayer that the Father would glorify His name even if meant He had to go through that troubling hour, and we celebrate that the Father said, “Yes, I will glorify my name.”

Because here’s what that means. It means that judgment on the world has come. Look at verse 31.

“Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.”

This is what it means for the Father to be glorified. It means judgment has come and Satan is being decisively defeated.

“Now is the time for judgment on this world.” 

By that, Jesus doesn't mean that the End Times are here in full and this is the Great Judgment at the End of Time. What He means is that the sin of the world is going to now be judged once and for all on the Cross. Justice is coming. God is going to maintain His glory by meeting out his wrath on God's Son for the sin of the world. “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16 NIVO).  

Rejoice! This is the beginning of the End.

The Cross also shows that justice is coming on all those who will not repent of their sin, including Satan. Jesus says, “Now, the prince of this world will be driven out.” That doesn't mean that Satan isn't still very active on Earth, but it means that the Cross will be his defeat.

The Cross looked like Satan’s victory, didn’t it?

Who was winning when Jesus was dying?

It kind of looked like Satan was, but it was actually God Who was winning.

The Son was being glorified, and the Father was being glorified, too.

Rejoice! Hallelujah, what a Savior! Jesus didn’t cave in, and God’s righteous judgment has come.  And Satan is being driven out.

What a glorious thought! Can you imagine what it will be like to live in a world without Satan? Without the “prince of this world” tempting us, oppressing us, accusing us? Can you imagine?

Because Jesus prayed, “Father, glorify your name!”, Satan is now defeated and is on his way out.

Satan is being driven out, because the Son was being lifted up. Look at verse 32.

“But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.’ He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.”

Now, that phrase “lifted up” can mean two different things in both Greek and in English.

We say that someone is “lifted up” when they are glorified, right? When someone is exalted, we can say they have been “lifted up” for everyone to admire and extol and look up to. “Look at Him!”

But verse 33 said that this “lifted up” was “to show the kind of death he was going to die.”

So, this “lifted up” was lifted up on a pole. “Lifted up from the earth.” Suspended in the air on a blood-soaked cross. That’s how He was going to die. And Jesus knew it. That’s what His “hour” meant.

But it’s both, isn’t it? Both kinds of lifted up. Jesus was going to be glorified by dying this kind of horrible death.

And, rejoice, because in doing so (v.32), He will draw all kinds of people to Himself.

“But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”

Not every single person. Some will choose to come to Him, some will not.

But all kinds people. Jewish people like most of the crowd standing around Him, and also Gentile people like those Greeks who wanted to meet Him. And Pennsylvanian people like the people in this room right here.

#2. COME!

“But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”

That’s your invitation, right there, to come Him. You don’t have to clean up your life first. You don’t have to bring anything to the table except yourself and your sin. Jesus chose to go to the Cross and to be lifted up to die. And in so doing, He is drawing people to Himself.

Jesus said, “For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day...No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn. 6:40&44 NIVO).

Come! The Father is drawing people to Jesus. And everyone who He draws comes.

Remember what Jesus said in chapter 3 about His being lifted up? He likened Himself to the snake on the pole in Numbers 21.

The only time you’re allowed to compare Jesus to a snake!

He said, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” Jn. 3:14-16 NIVO).

“It was for this very reason that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:27-28).

Come. The seed is going to go into the ground die, but that will mean a spiritual harvest. Come! 

The crowd was unconvinced. Some couldn’t believe the thunder was a voice. Some can’t accept the idea of a Messiah that dies. Look at verse 34.

“The crowd spoke up, ‘We have heard from the Law that the Christ will remain forever, so how can you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this 'Son of Man'?’” (v.34).

“What you are saying doesn’t sound right. The Christ is an eternal person. He shouldn’t be able to die if that’s what you mean by “lifted up” (Like on a pole? Like the snake?).

That’s not the kind of Christ we’re looking for. We want the Messiah that puts the beat down on the Romans. Not the one that the Romans can lift up on a stake.”

You and I know that the Christ will remain forever. Because He will come back from the dead and live in the power of an indestructible life.

But, first, He must be lifted up. That is the kind of Christ He is.

And we must all choose to believe in and follow Him or not. That’s how Jesus answers the crowd. He invites them to come to Him and believe in Him while they still have time. Verse 35.

“Then Jesus told them, ‘You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.’ When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.”

Do you hear the invitation? Come!

There’s just a window of time, and the window is closing. For this crowd, Jesus was saying that darkness was coming that Friday. And, boy, was it going to get dark! Literally, the sun hid its face. But also the Light of the World was snuffed out that day.

Jesus uses the illustration of nightfall here. “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. [It’s the golden hour which is a beautiful time, but it’s always a short time.] Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. [Come to Jesus! Put your faith in Him before it’s too late.] The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light” (vv.35-36a).

Come. Put your trust in the light. Believe in the Light of the World.

We’ve been memorizing John 8:12 now since the last Sunday of February. Let’s say it together.

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’” (Jn. 8:12 NIVO).

But we have to choose and before it’s too late. There is coming a time for everyone here in this room when it will be too late. Either because we die or because Jesus returns. 

Either way, the darkness is coming, but Jesus invites us to (v.36) “put your trust in the light.” I want that for everyone here. Because you see what happens if you do? Verse 36.

You “may become sons of light!” Daughters of light. Children of light! 

What a beautiful idea. It’s another way of describing what it means to be a child of God. We have the “light of life.” We are reborn, and we now can shine.

#3. SHINE!

To be a son or a child of the light means not only that the Father of Light has given us the light of life, but also now we can live out the family resemblance.

Jesus is the Light of the World, and you and I get to be, in some way, the light of the world, as well.

Paul said it this in Ephesians 5, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord” (Eph. 5:8-10 NIVO).

He used similar language in writing to the Thessalonians. He said, “You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled” (1 Thess. 5:5-7 NIVO).

We get to live differently, because we’re on “Team Light” and not “Team Darkness.” We’re in “The Family of Light” instead of “The Family of Darkness.”

Last week, He said, “Be a seed.”

This week, He says, “Be a light.”

And if we shine like that, you know what that will do? It will bring glory to the Father and the Son.

And it’s high time for that to happen!

That’s what Jesus was praying for. He was praying “Father, glorify your name!”

And the Father answered back, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

At the Cross.
At the Empty Tomb.
And in the light-filled lives of the people in this room.


Messages in this Series

01. "That You May Believe" - John 20:30-31
02. "In The Beginning Was the Word" - John 1:1-18
03. "John's Testimony" - John 1:19-34
04. "Come and See" - John 1:35-51
05. "The First of His Miraculous Signs" - John 2:1-11
06. "This Temple" - John 2:12-25
07. "You Must Be Born Again" - John 3:1-15
08. "God So Loved The World" - John 3:16-21
09. "Above All" - John 3:22-36
10. "Living Water" - John 4:1-26
11. "Ripe for the Harvest" - John 4:27-42
12. "Your Son Will Live" - John 4:43-54
13. "Pick Up Your Mat and Walk" - John 5:1-18
14. "To Your Amazement" - John 5:19-30
15. "Testimony About Me" - John 5:31-47
Christmas Eve Bonus: "The Astonishing Gift" - John 3:16 Again
Christmas Eve Bonus: "We Have Seen His Glory" - John 1:1-18 Again
16. "Enough Bread" - John 6:1-15
17. "You Are Looking for Me" - John 6:16-36
18. "I Am the Bread of Life" - John 6:35-71
Vision Meeting Bonus: "As I Have Loved You" - John 13:34-35
19. "At the Feast" - John 7:1-52
20. "I Am the Light of the World" - John 8:12-30
21. "Your Father" - John 8:31-59
22. "Now I See" - John 9:1-41
23. "I Am The Gate" - John 10:1-13
24. "I Am the Good Shepherd" - John 10:14-21
25. "I And The Father Are One" - John 10:22-42
26. "I Am the Resurrection and the Life" - John 11:1-53
27. "Expensive" - John 11:54-12:11
28. "The Hour Has Come" - John 12:12-26