A Voice From Heaven
As Jesus was leaving the temple, some people were talking about the beautiful stones used to build the temple and about the gifts that had been placed in it. His disciples came over and one of his disciples said, “Teacher, look at these beautiful stones and wonderful buildings!”
Jesus replied, “Do you see these huge buildings? The time is coming when not one of them will be left in place. They will all be knocked down.”
Some Greeks had gone to Jerusalem to worship during Passover. Philip from Bethsaida in Galilee was there too. So they went to him and said, “Sir, we would like to meet Jesus.” Philip told Andrew and the two of them went to Jesus and told him.
Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be given his glory. I tell you for certain that a grain of wheat that falls on the ground will never be more than one grain unless it dies. But if it dies, it will produce lots of wheat. If you love your life, you will lose it. If you give it up in this world, you will be given eternal life. If you serve me, you must go with me. My servants will be with me wherever I am. If you serve me, my Father will honour you. Now I am deeply troubled, and I don’t know what to say. But I must not ask my Father to keep me from this time of suffering. In fact, I came into the world to suffer. So Father, bring glory to yourself.”
A voice from heaven then said, “I have already brought glory to myself, and I will do it again!” When the crowd heard the voice, some of them thought it was thunder. Others thought an angel had spoken to Jesus.
Talking about the way he would be put to death, Jesus told the crowd, “That voice spoke to help you, not me. This world’s people are now being judged, and the ruler of this world is already being thrown out! If I am lifted up above the earth, I will make everyone want to come to me.”
The crowd said to Jesus, “The Scriptures teach that the Messiah will live forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”
Jesus answered, “The light will be with you for only a little longer. Walk in the light while you can. Then you won’t be caught walking blindly in the dark. Have faith in the light while it is with you, and you will be children of the light.”
In a loud voice Jesus said, “Everyone who has faith in me also has faith in the one who sent me. And everyone who has seen me has seen the one who sent me. I am the light that has come into the world. No one who has faith in me will stay in the dark. I am not the one who will judge those who refuse to obey my teachings. I came to save the people of this world, not to be their judge. But everyone who rejects me and my teachings will be judged on the last day by what I have said. I don’t speak on my own. I say only what the Father who sent me has told me to say. I know that his commands will bring eternal life. That is why I tell you exactly what the Father has told me.”
After Jesus had said these things, he left and went into hiding with his disciples. He had worked a lot of miracles among the people, but they were still not willing to have faith in him. But many of the leaders put their faith in Jesus, even though they did not tell anyone about it. The Pharisees had already given orders for the people not to have anything to do with anyone who had faith in Jesus. And besides, the leaders liked praise from others more than they liked praise from God.
This all happened so that what the prophet Isaiah had said would come true ‘Lord, who has believed our message? And who has seen your mighty strength?’ The people could not have faith in Jesus, because Isaiah had also said, ‘The Lord has blinded the eyes of the people, and he has made the people stubborn. He did this so that they could not see or understand, and so that they would not turn to the Lord and be healed.’ Isaiah said this because he saw the glory of Jesus and spoke about him.