The King of the World and the Throne of His Cross

Brian Mahon - 10/2/2022


Call to worship: Zechariah 9:9-17

Text: John 12:12-36a


Sometimes, we want life to slow down. And sometimes, we need life to slow down. In the case of Jesus' life, John thinks it vital for the whole world that we slow it down. The last week of His life is the most important week for all people in the history of creation, and John takes great measures to record the most important things about it. He's begun to frame the death of Jesus, and he continues that effort in these verses. In them, he gives the cross its divine meaning, with an emphasis on Jesus as the triumphant King, His global harvest, the achievement of God's saving will, and the necessity, in the end, of faith in Jesus. So begins the Passion week.

Sermon Outline:

  1. The cross and the triumphant King. (12:12-19)
  2. The cross and the global harvest. (12:20-26)
  3. The cross and the Father's glory. (12:27-33)
  4. The cross and the great question. (12:34-36a)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read John 11:45-12:10. And Zechariah 9:9-17. And Psalm 118.
  2. In 12:12-19, a familiar account, how is John's account distinct? Why do you think the crowds are following Jesus? What irony do you discern in their praise? If the disciples don't know the meaning of His entry until after the resurrection, can the crowds? What's necessary to properly understand what it means and what it entails for Jesus to be the Christ of Scripture?
  3. In 12:20-26, some Greeks come to see Jesus. What does that imply about His fame? What does that trigger in Jesus? Why does it trigger that? What's meant by 'the hour'? What's meant by His being 'glorified'? How does the parable relate to the death of Christ? Why does He shift to addressing discipleship at this point? What's the relationship between how we approach our lives and the global harvest? What's the motive?
  4. In 12:27-33, why is Jesus' soul troubled? How does Jesus respond to His soul's trouble? What commitment is greater than the trouble? How does God respond to Jesus' resolve? Why can Jesus only understand the Voice? Who's the Voice for? How does Jesus fill out the meaning of it? What's the cross about? How does it judge the world? How does it cast out Satan? How does it draw upon all people? What should be at the center of our ministry?
  5. In 12:34-36a, Jesus seeks a 'close' with the crowds. What do they ask Him? Why? How does Jesus respond to them? What is the result of someone being so close to the light only to abide in the dark? What's necessary to become a child of light? What does it mean to be a child of light?
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