For A Limited Time Only
Read John 12:34-36 (ESV)
So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
Who is the “light” referenced here? What is Jesus warning the crowd about?
We all tend to take time for granted. We think that there’s always tomorrow. But the sobering reality is that one day our time will run out. Our life will be over. And none of us know when our time will be up. Only God knows how many days have been ordained for us (Psalm 139:16). So it would be wise to heed the warning that salvation is available to all who put their faith in Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. But that offer is for a limited time only.
In today’s passage, the crowd was confused. Remember, that Jesus had just told them that He was about to “be lifted up.” He was telling them that He was going to be crucified. He also told them that the hour of judgment for the world and the punishment of Satan is at hand. But, in His death, He was “drawing all people to Himself” (John 12:31-33).
But the Jews couldn’t figure out why the man who claimed to be their Messiah was talking about His own death. They had read their Scriptures and they knew the promise that the Messiah was supposed to reign forever. They may have been thinking of Daniel 7:13-14: “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”
This is the kind of king that they were expecting when they followed Jesus into Jerusalem and shouted “Hosanna!” They thought He was coming into Jerusalem to establish His eternal kingdom, as was prophesied long ago. We know that Jesus will establish His eternal kingdom when He returns. But that wasn’t the mission of His first coming.
Apparently, they had forgotten what Isaiah had written about the Messiah: “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed…He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:4-5, 7). First, Jesus came to die for our transgressions. Soon, Jesus will come again to reign in glory forever and ever.
In John 8:12, Jesus had called Himself “the light of the world.” Today we read that Jesus warned them that the light will only be in the world a little longer. He was a brilliant light shining in the deep darkness of this sinful world. He urged them to take advantage of this limited time offer. They could continue to stumble around in spiritual darkness until they are completely overtaken by sin and death. Or, they could choose to believe in Christ Jesus the Lord and Savior, the light of the world, while He was still with them.
Tragically, many people in the crowd made the exceedingly foolish decision to reject Him as their Messiah because He didn’t meet their expectations. They considered Him stricken and esteemed Him not. We have the same choice before us today. We can choose to walk in the Light and believe in the Light. We can put our faith in Christ now, while we have the time. Because one day, our earthly life will be over or Christ will return and it will be too late. The offer of salvation is on the table right now. Have you accepted it? I urge you. Don’t wait. It is for a limited time only.
Lord, my hope is in You. You are the Light of the World. You are my salvation. I don’t want to stumble around the darkness of my sin. Help me to walk in Your light. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford