John 12:20-36 – Death before Life

My sermon notes for Sunday, March. 11th as we continue our study through The Gospel of John. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit


John 12:20-36 – Death before Life


[20] Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. [21] So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” [22] Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. [23] And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. [24] Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. [25] Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. [26] If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

[27] “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. [28] Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” [29] The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” [30] Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. [31] Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. [32] And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” [33] He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. [34] 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 be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” [35] 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. [36] While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”


THE HOUR HAS COME – vv. 20-26


v. 19 – The Pharisee’s stated the “world has gone after Him”.

v. 20 – Greeks, the Gentiles – the “world” comes to Him.

vv. 23-26 – Jesus predicts His death

  • the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified
    • The crucifixion
    • His death IS THE GLORY OF GOD manifested
      • Death brings fruit
      • Death brings salvation/redemption (Gen 3)
  • The implication to His followers
    • Spiritual death brings spiritual life
      • Harvest principle – Dying is pathway to multiplication
      • Salvation application – Losing is pathway to gaining
      • Discipleship application – Serving is pathway to glory
        • We have His presence and the Father’s Honor
      • KEY POINT.
        • Who He really was verse what they wanted Him to be.
        • He is truly is a the messiah compared to who they wanted Him to be as their messiah.


I MUST BE LIFTED UP – vv. 27-34


vv. 27-29 – The agony of His soul and the Father’s response


  • The sinless Son of God bearing the penalty of sin for humankind
  • For this purpose, He has come.
  • “Father Glorify, your name”
    • Luke 22:42 at the prayer in Gethsemane. Not my will, but Your will be done.
    • God receives glory when His will is manifested. (revealed, made known)
    • At his coming and at his crucifixion/resurrection
    • 3rd time heaven a voice from heaven
      • Baptism & Transfiguration
      • Already… in His life and Ministry
      • Not yet… death, burial and resurrection
      • Not for my sake, but for yours. It demonstrated divine affirmation of the Son.


vv. 30-34 – Why the cross / What the cross will accomplish (Words to the crowd)


  • Pass judgement on the world – v. 31
    • World – all that is opposed to God
    • Exposes sin


  • Drive out the prince of this world – v. 31
    • Loses his authority and influence
    • Rev 12:7-12 (at the cross or at the beginning at the great tribulation)
    • Jesus is KING!


  • Exalt Jesus – v. 32
    • His crucifixion is His coronation


  • Draw all men to himself – v. 32
    • Limited, but Universal Atonement (Universal harvest)
  • 4:42 – Samaritan women… Savior of the World – [39] Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” [40] So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. [41] And many more believed because of his word. [42] They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” (ESV)


  • 10:16 – other sheep – John 10:7–18 – [7] So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. [8] All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. [9] I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. [10] The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. [11] I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. [12] He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. [13] He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. [14] I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, [15] just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. [16] And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. [17] For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. [18] No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (ESV)







  • Light – Life, forgiveness, His righteousness, true meaning, and purpose (direction)
  • Dark – misery, untruthfulness, emptiness, lack of God honoring purpose and direction.

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