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Expository Remarks on Jn 12:32 with relationship to Jn. 6:65

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by The Biblicist, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    Nov 13, 2011
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    19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.
    20 ¶ And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:
    21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.
    22 Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.
    23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
    24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
    25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
    26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
    27 ¶ Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
    28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
    29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
    30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.
    31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
    32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
    33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.

    A. The Question – vv. 19-22

    This section of scripture is dedicated to one specific question and that is the question Philip asked Jesus, which is, will he allow the Greeks to see him (vv. 19-22). It is in response to that specific question that verse 23 says “And Jesus answered them” and that answer concludes in verse 33 whereupon another question is asked and jesus responds to that question.

    B. The Purpose for asking this Question – v. 22

    One should stop and ponder why this question is even necessary for Philip to ask him. Why would it be necessary to ask if any man could come to see him? The reason is because Gentiles were considered unclean to the jews and Jesus was a Jew. For Jesus to admit them to his presence for a special audience with them would violate all Jewish protocol who had not religious fellowship with Gentiles unless they became circumcised, and even then it was limited. In the Temple itself stood a wall that separated Gentiles from Jews in the act of public worship. Even the Samaritan woman thought it quite irregular that Jesus being a jew would even speak to a Samaritan, and even more astonishing would even speak to a woman, both of which pious Jew would avoid in public.

    However, a key to this issue as a problem are the words of the Pharisees in verse 19 "behold, the world is gone after him" which is not a compliment but a slur that identifies him with what all Jews considered to be unclean and not to be identified with espeically in a religious sense without first proselytizing them. It is this slur of accusation that introduces this section of scripture.

    C. The Answer –vv. 23-32

    The answer at first does not seem to have anything to do with the question. However, when the problem inherent in that question is considered it sheds considerable light on why he answered as he did. The issue is whether some men are inferior to other men and does God consider Gentiles less human than Jews. The answer to that lies in the scope of the redemption of Christ. In the New covenant would only Jewishness qualify one as Christ's servants? Would Christ die only for Jews or would his death extend to men like those who wished to come see him – Greeks (Gentiles). When his answer is viewed from his contextual based problem then it is more easier to interpret and connect the dots between the question of Philip and the answer by Christ in verses 23-32.

    D. The Theological Problem – v. 32

    Formerly, Christ had spelled out the meaning of being drawn and who it is that would be drawn by the Father in John 6:44-45, 64-65. He draws “all” his covenant children. The very texts cited by Christ are texts that in context refer to the new covenant and all of God’s children in that covenant relationship. However, the Jew regarded only Jews as God’s covenant children (natural born Jews and circumcised Gentiles). However, does the new covenant extend beyond the boundary of Jewishism? John 12:32 asserts that it does go beyond the boundaries of Jewishism to “all” classes of men. The term “man” is not found in the Greek text and the term “pas” is found without the definite article in the anarthous construct which often refers to “all” without distinction rather than all without exception. Even if you include “men” it still can be legitimately translated “all men without distinction” without regard to class, gender or race. This interpretation is more likely as the context is dealing with the sticky problem of allowing Gentiles to seek an intimate visit with Christ contrary to Jewish custom. Moreover, it is more than likely because Jesus has already established that the Father does not draw all men without exception to him (Jn. 6:64-65).

    : In this post I am not trying to prove my interpretation position with regard to John 6:64-65 and John 12:32 but I am only trying to show the reasonability of my position from the context and the two can be harmonized.
    #1 The Biblicist, Aug 16, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016