The modern presentation of the Gospel often becomes a man-centered, save yourself, get out of eternal punishment offer. We have watered down the Gospel to make it nothing more than a cosmic fire-escape. But the Gospel is the story of the love of God for Himself. The gospel, though it extends grace to humanity, is ultimately an expression of the desire to fill the whole earth with the Glory of God. Many say that it was love for the sinner that compelled Christ to climb Calvary’s Mount, but in actuality, it is God’s love for Himself which saw Christ endure the crucifixion.
John 12:27 says, “Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father save me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.”
The word for “troubled” literally means “deeply stirred and agitated.”
- Jesus did not walk casually to the cross
- Jesus did not walk coldly to the cross
- Jesus did not walk callously to the cross
Love for the Glory of the Father compelled Jesus to walk to the cross. So why was Jesus troubled?
- Was Jesus troubled about the pain to be endured?
- Was Jesus troubled about the process to be encountered?
- Was Jesus troubled about the price to be executed?
NO! Jesus was troubled because the Father was not receiving all the glory He deserved! Hear the words of Henry Blackaby: “The story of the Bible is the story of God’s glory! The mission of God is that all people glorify Him. Glorifying God is God-centered, not people-centered. All the wonderful things you experience–your redemption, your salvation, and your understanding of His love–are for the purpose of glorifying Him” (On Mission with God, 21).
Pastor, theologian, and author John Piper has made famous this concept with a phrase that he coined: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” In his work Let the Nations be Glad, Piper expanded upon this idea. “God is glorified precisely when we are satisfied in him–when we delight in his presence, when we like to be around him, when we treasure his fellowship” (27).
In John 12:12, the crowds in Jerusalem shouted to receive an earthly Messiah. But just a few days later, these same people would cry, “Crucify him.” This troubled the heart of Jesus, because He knew they were not glorifying the Father.
In John 12:37, it says, “Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him…” This troubled the heart of Jesus! The soul of Jesus was troubled because He knew that so many would not accept the truth that God deserves to be glorified! That is why we see two bookends around this section of God’s Word. John 12:28 says, “Father, glorify your name,” then in John 12:43 it says, “They loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”
Christ was on a mission to glorify the Father. “But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father glorify your name!” For Jesus, the glory of the Father was preeminent. For Jesus, the glory of the Father to precedence, and priority! But Jesus was saddened by the selfish choice of so many to glorify themselves.
The Son of God, Jesus, came to make God look great in salvation. When man choses to make God great, man is glad! God is glad when sinners are rescued. God is glorified when sinners are saved. God is grieved when sinners chose their own glory over His.
What about you? What are you glorifying? Yourself, or God? The decision makes all the difference in your destiny! Though your heart may be troubled today, do not forget the troubled heart of Jesus who was willing to die so that the glory of the Father might live in you!