The Hour Has Come — Part One
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The Hour Has Come — Part One

John 12:20–26  (ID: 3649)

The Gospel of John is a highly concentrated look at Jesus’ life, during which He performed many signs and miracles. Frustrated by these signs and in concern for themselves, the chief priests and Pharisees rejected Jesus and planned to put Him to death. Discussing key events in the first half of John’s narrative, Alistair Begg emphasizes the evangelistic purpose of the biblical record, written so that we may believe and have life in Him. Only Jesus has the authority to defeat death, as His death and resurrection are the source of our spiritual life.

Series Containing This Sermon

“Truly, Truly, I Say to You…”

Twenty-Five Divine Declarations from John’s Gospel John 1:1–21:25 Series ID: 29001

Sermon Transcript: Print

I invite you to turn to the twelfth chapter of the Gospel of John and to follow along as I read just a brief section from verse 20 to verse 26. John 12:20:

“Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 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. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 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.’”


We thank you, Father, that you have left to us your Word; that when your Word is proclaimed, your voice is heard; that you are the God who speaks in such a way that even the dead, hearing your voice, may come to life. Accomplish, Lord, your purposes in our study this morning and this evening, we ask. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Well, you would have picked out our “Truly, truly” there in verse 24. For those of you who are visiting, we started some time ago—I think this is perhaps the seventeenth “Truly, truly” study—and we have been working our way through the Gospel of John considering these. Verse 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.” And what Jesus is making clear here in this illustration is that his death is the basis, is the source, of spiritual life to the world—that by his death he brings life to the world.

Now, in coming to each of these texts, we have been fairly repetitive in saying to one another, it is very important that we understand each of these in light of the wider perspective of the entirety of the Gospel of John. And we know that the stated purpose of John in writing this Gospel is not an academic purpose, but it is an evangelistic purpose. And we know that from what he says in 20:31: “Jesus did many other [miraculous] signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not [recorded] in this book; but these are written … that you [might] believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”[1]

Now, each of the Gospel writers—the Synoptic writers (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and John—have an express purpose in the way in which they unfold the material. And what John has provided for us is a highly concentrated perspective on the work of Jesus. And he has marshaled, if you like, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, the material that he provides for us in such a way that he presents these signs—not every sign but approximately seven of these signs. He presents them, if you like, as evidence concerning the identity of Jesus, the purpose of Jesus, and the power of Jesus. These signs, this evidence, is to provide a basis for the response of faith, and the response of faith is then in turn to be seen by discovering life in his name.

Nobody wants you to take a leap into the dark. In fact, what the Bible is asking us to do is to step out of the darkness and into the light of life.

And so it is important that we keep this in mind, not only as we’re listening to the Bible being taught but as we’re sharing the Bible with others—as we’re telling other people, as I hope we are when we have occasion to meet them, about Jesus. Because I find that people are very, very quick to say, often in rebuttal, that they’re not prepared to take a leap into the dark. They understand perhaps the forcefulness or the enthusiasm that we may share with them, but we’re not going to take a leap into the dark. And part of the privilege that is entrusted to us is to say, “No, no, no, nobody wants you to take a leap into the dark. In fact, what the Bible is asking us to do is to step out of the darkness and into the light of life.” Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. [He that] follows me will not walk in darkness.”[2] So it’s not leaping into the dark; it is stepping out of the dark into the embrace of Jesus.

Now, what we’ve also said is that we need to consider each of these statements not only within the framework of John’s express purpose for his Gospel but also in light of the setting, the place in which we find it. And you will notice here that these verses come within the context of John’s treatment of things that are leading very, very quickly up to Eastertime. And we’re not there yet, but we’re at least in the month. And so it’s perhaps good for us to begin to think along these lines.

It’s important for us, perhaps, also to recognize—and you’ll see this just by reading yourself—that this chapter, this twelfth chapter of John, contains for us the last words and acts of Jesus that are conveyed in the public arena. This is John’s final recording of what Jesus was doing and saying out, if you like, in the thoroughfares of life. When you turn from 12 into 13, then you find that he is now with his disciples. You then have the Upper Room Discourse, where he is preparing his disciples for the fact that “I’m going away; don’t let your hearts be troubled; I’m going away,”[3] and so on. And then he prays in chapter 17. And then, in chapter 18, we then come to the events of the Passion.

Now, given that it is Jesus’ closing public statements, if you like, as recorded by John, I think it’s worth just noticing in verse 44 that Jesus is crying out to the world that he has come to. And what does he cry out in verse 44? “Whoever believes in me,” he says, “believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I[’ve] come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” So, that what Jesus has come to do, as he steps out into the thoroughfare of life, as he approaches the closing stages of this, no surprise: he is still saying the same thing. And sometimes when you say that we as pastors keep saying the same thing over and over again, there is good precedent for that, because that’s exactly what Jesus is doing.

Now, I gathered my thoughts. I sat for a long time staring. I usually do. But I finally wrote down four words to help me. If they help you, then that’s fine. If not, it just gives me a framework. The first word is frustration, the second word is investigation, the third word is explanation, and the fourth word is application. But you don’t need to worry about anything other than frustration—not that you’re going to be frustrated by this, although there is a possibility that you will be. Because what I found myself doing was going back through the Gospel of John to understand just why it is that here, in chapter 12, you will find that the crowd is going out to meet Jesus. This is verse 18. (This, incidentally, is why it’s important for you to have your Bible.) “The reason why the crowd went [out] to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.” That is the sign of the raising of Lazarus—an unmistakable sign. And so the Pharisees said to one another, “This is going nowhere”: “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the [whole] world has gone after him.” “We’ve been trying to shut this down for ages, and look at where we are”—the world, the voice of the Evil One from the very beginning seeking to disband that which God has put in place.

Now, it’s something of a paper chase, and I invite you to follow my little chase under the heading of frustration on the part of the Jews. Remember, “he came to his own, … his own … did not receive him.”[4] Not only did they not receive him, but they opposed him, and they were actually filled with animosity towards him.

Now, for example, in chapter 5—if you remember, we studied in part the healing of the invalid at the pool. That’s chapter 5. The reaction to that on the part of the religious establishment was not solid. Verse 10 of chapter 5: “Now that day,” when the man was healed, “was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been healed…” “We rejoice with you that after being an invalid for thirty-eight years, you are now up and about.” Now, if you don’t have a Bible, you don’t know whether they said that or not. If you have a Bible, you know they never said anything of the kind. They said, “It is the Sabbath, and it[’s] not lawful for you to take up your bed.” In verse 16, the man, of course, had gone away and told the people what was going on. Verse 16: “And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.”

And he says to them, “Well, you should just know that my Father works on the Sabbath. He makes the wind blow. He makes the sun rise. He puts the moon in its place. The oceans are under his control. And I, too, am working.”[5] Well, that frustrated them even further. Verse 18: “This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” And remember what John’s purpose is? “I’ve provided these things in order that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that by believing you might have life in his name.” And they hear this, and they say, “No, we want nothing to do with that at all.”

We can move from 5 into chapter 7, where we have the record of Jesus at the Feast of the Booths. And on that occasion, we’re told by John, there was a tremendous amount of muttering that was going on, there in verse 12: “And there was much muttering about [Jesus] among the people. While some said, ‘He[’s] a good man,’ others said, ‘No, he[’s] leading the people astray.’ Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.”

And in fact, what they were seeking to do was arrest him. You can see that in verse 30: “So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.” We’ll come back to that later. “Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, ‘When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?’” And “the Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and [the] Pharisees sent officers to arrest him.”

As you read on in the chapter, you find that there was a division among the people. “When they heard these words, some of the people said”—verse 40—“‘This really is the Prophet.’ Others said, ‘This is the Christ.’ … Some said, ‘Is the Christ to come from Galilee?’” It’s interesting. It’s the kind of thing you would have in a conversation, perhaps, as you’re sitting waiting for an aeroplane, and somebody starts the conversation, and they say the very same thing: “Well, you know, I’ve given some thought to Jesus. I’m from a Muslim background; I actually believe that he was a prophet.” And somebody says, “Well, he wasn’t simply a prophet; he was actually the Messiah of God.” “Oh,” says my Muslim friend, “but I don’t believe that.” And then we have to say, “Well, who’s right here? Is he simply a prophet? Or is he the actual incarnate Son of God?” “‘This is the Christ.’ But some said, ‘Is the Christ to come from Galilee?’” And then they have a big interchange about that. It’s quite wonderful, actually.

And then, in verse 45: “The officers then came to the chief priests …, who said to [him], ‘Why did you not bring him?’” Because, remember, they sent the officers to get Jesus: “We’re going to have to close him down.” And the officers come back, and they don’t have Jesus. “Why didn’t you bring Jesus?” “Well,” they said, “nobody ever spoke like this man!” And the Pharisees said, “Oh no! You’re not telling me that you’ve swallowed this now as well? You guys? You’re the officers! You’re supposed to be taking care of this. Have you been deceived by him?”[6] Isn’t that what some of our unbelieving friends say? “You’ve just been deceived. You’ve swallowed a bill of goods.” “Have you … been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?”[7] What they’re saying is this: “You don’t see any of us believing in Jesus. But the crowd—the ignorant crowd, the people that don’t know the law—they’re accursed.” What a level of frustration, you see, when an individual wrestling with who Jesus is and what he’s done decides again and again to have nothing to do with him! That might be where you are today; I don’t know.

Chapter 8. (I told you it’s a paper chase.) Chapter 8 and verse 39. Jesus has told them that “the truth” is going to “set you free,”[8] and you can read that on your own for homework. Eventually it hits the point in verse 58: “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’” Well, that did it. That was clarity, wasn’t it? That pushes them over the edge. And “so they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.” How amazingly frustrating!

Chapter 9 is fantastic, isn’t it? You remember the man born blind. What a predicament this is for them, because the man can see, and they could see that the man can see. But they don’t want to believe why it is that the man can see. The person says, you know… In fact, thinking of Wesley: Wesley was a vicar who had a problem with booze and a horrible bad temper while he was a vicar, because he was an unconverted minister. It was only when his heart was “strangely warmed”[9] and he discovered the reality of who Jesus is that he discovered abstinence, as it turns out, and he began to get his temper, by the power of the Holy Spirit, under his control. But when he and his brother came to their mother and said, “We just actually have discovered who Jesus is,” their mother said, “Oh, no, no. You’ve known who Jesus is for a long time. You’re a minister, for goodness’ sake!” They were unconverted ministers, offering the bread of life to people having never eaten the bread themselves.[10] And these individuals, who are the ones who should be declaring the work of the prophets and the fulfillment of their purposes, they are dumbfounded by the fact that this man who was born blind can now see.

And once again, notice how gracious they are to him. We can’t read it all, but verse 32: “Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” This is the blind man speaking. “They answered him, ‘You were born in utter sin, and [you’re going to] teach us?’ And they [threw] him out [on the street].” In common parlance: “You’re nothing but dirt. We are the pure ones. We are the ones who understand.” And they threw him out in the street.

In chapter 10, you will remember, in response to the fact that Jesus declares himself to be the Good Shepherd, once again, instead of deciding to follow him—verse 31—they “picked up stones again to stone him.” And Jesus appeals to them—logic! The Jews said to him, “It is not for a good work that we[’re] going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”[11] And Jesus actually points out to them, “If I[’m] not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me.” That’s, what verse 37? Yeah, 37: “If I’m not doing the works of my Father, then don’t believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the signs; believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”[12] And “again they sought to arrest him.”[13]

You see, the Jews who are opposing him are right to conclude that Jesus is claiming deity. That’s their problem. They realize that he’s actually declaring himself to be the Messiah. And they’re right to recognize that claim. What they’re wrong about is then assigning to him blasphemy. Because the irony actually is: they are the true blasphemers. They are within touching distance of the Messiah. They are the ones who have been present to see his miracles, to hear his words. And he is speaking clearly to them. He’s compelling, if you like, them to think logically about things. Forget this idea that the way you become a Christian is you disengage your brain and put it under the seat and try and feel your way into something. No, not for a moment! And so we’re told that “he escaped,” and “he escaped from their hands”—verse 39. He didn’t escape to avoid pain, but he escaped to fulfill his purpose.

Which brings us to chapter 11. Now, we’re not at cruising altitude yet, I think you would understand. Some of you have already fallen asleep as we try to climb out of Hopkins here. But chapter 11. What a shame that there is no “Truly, truly” in chapter 11! This is such a disappointment to me, because I want to do chapter 11. And on another occasion, I hope we’ll come back and just study the chapter in its entirety.

Forget this idea that the way you become a Christian is you disengage your brain and put it under the seat and try and feel your way into something. No, not for a moment!

But you know what has happened, and you know that in the interchange that takes place between Jesus and Martha and Mary, the striking question that falls right in the middle of it all… And it is a question for the ages, isn’t it? Where Jesus, having said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, [even] though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die”—and then here’s the question: “Do you believe this?”[14] “Do you believe this?” He’s not asking, “Do you believe in religion?” He’s not asking anything other than “Do you believe this?”—coming to a belief which, in John’s terminology, involves personally committing oneself to Jesus as Son of God, Savior, Lord, Lamb of God, and King.

You see, Wesley had all the terminology. He could preach it. But he had never bowed his knee to Jesus. He believed certain things intellectually, but there had been no commitment of heart and life, laying hold of Jesus as the very one that he proclaimed. And so “she said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe.’” What do you believe? “I believe that you are the Christ, [the Messiah,] the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”[15] And I find it quite wonderful that she expresses that belief before she sees her brother Lazarus being raised from the dead. She doesn’t say, “Well, hang on. Let me just see what’s going to unfold here, and I’ll hedge my bets.” No.

Now, if you think about it, the first sign that was done was in chapter 2, at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. Remember: “We’ve run out of wine.” Mary comes, says to Jesus, “We’ve got a problem here.” Jesus says, “Well, you know, it’s not really what I’m on about, but, you know, I can help you out this one time.”[16] And so that happens, almost in a hidden way. I mean, by and large, the people at the wedding, unless they went to inquire, would not have necessarily identified what had taken place in the dialogue between Mary and her son. But they were the beneficiaries of it. This one is unmistakable. This one is an unmistakable drama.

You need to read it for yourself again and realize just how amazing it is that Jesus speaks to a dead man. Verse 43: “When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out.’” Who speaks to dead people? Only Jesus. Only Jesus, in the entire world, has the authority to bring death, our final enemy, and crush it underneath the reality of his death and resurrection. We’ll eventually get there: “Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, we remain alone. But this is me, and this is what I’m doing. And that is why I am able to call Lazarus out of the grave.”

It’s fantastic! He gives the people around a little piece of the puzzle, you will notice—verse 39: the stone lay against the tomb, and Jesus says, “Take away the stone.” (“That’s your part.”) Well, he didn’t need anybody to take away the stone. He just says, “You take away the stone. You’ll never forget taking away the stone!” “You’re dead right,” says Martha. “He’s been dead for four days. He will not be smelling like your aftershave, that’s for sure! This is not going to be good.”[17] “Take away the stone,” he says. And “so they took away the stone.”[18]

And then Jesus prays. He prays! That’s verse 41b: “And Jesus lifted up his eyes.” He prays audibly, publicly, briefly, and purposefully: “Father, I thank you that you[’ve] heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” You see? It’s the constant refrain: “This is why I have come. This is why I’m saying what I’m saying. This is what I am doing. This is why I’m doing what I’m doing.” And he gives them another little part in the puzzle: “[And] the man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth.”[19] And Jesus says, “Hey, cut him loose. Let him go.”[20]

Only Jesus will save our friends. Only Jesus will save our kids. We might have the opportunity to pull the stone away so that we might see the evidence of it. We might have the privilege of snipping off some of the tiny pieces of the puzzle that have kept our children enslaved or whatever it might be—God working individually, powerfully, and yet including us in the process.

What do we discover? Verse 45: “Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him.” “Many” believed in him. Verse 46: “But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, ‘What are we [going] to do? For this man performs many signs.’” “What are we to do?”—frustration. “Every time we try and shut this project down, it fails.” Herod tried it at the birth: “Let’s just destroy all the children under the age of two, all the boys under the age of two. Let’s shut this program down before it gets going.”[21] The Evil One deals with it in the context of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness: “Throw yourself down.”[22] All the way through the story, right up until today: atheistic communism sought to shut it down; Stalin sought to shut it down; Mainland China continues to seek to shut it down. And yet what is happening? It can’t be shut down.

This is not a religion with a guru from two thousand years ago who happened to say some good things and performed some amazing dramas. This is not a show by Jesus. This is God stepping down into time. And he says, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell [will] not prevail against it.”[23] That’s why we prayed for Rwanda: because the gates of hell are not prevailing against it in Rwanda, nor in Central Asia. Go through the whole world, and you discover: Why is this?

Look at them: “What are we going do?” Now, verse 48 I love; I hope you like it too: “If we let him go on like this…” As if they can stop him! Who do you think you are? “If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him. And then our whole position is going to collapse, and the Romans are going to come and shut us down.”[24] And Caiaphas, speaking in a purely physical and logical way, actually speaks prophetically—and we’ll ignore that for now. These individuals miss nothing but the point. They miss nothing but the point. Nothing escaped them except the truth. And so verse 53: “From that day on they made plans to put him to death.” And they gave orders that would then lead to his arrest: “The chief priests”—verse 57—“and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.”

Okay, well, here we are now at chapter 12. I’m sure you’re amazingly relieved. But you turn a page into chapter 12, and we realize the extent of the hatred on the part of these people. Their hatred now extends to Lazarus. Verse 9: “When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there,” all the crowd “came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.” There was no question about this. They knew that he was dead; they knew that he was now alive. So they came to see him. So the chief priests, instead of humbling themselves before the revelation of Jesus, said, “Look, let’s just kill Lazarus as well. We’ll exterminate Jesus, and we’ll exterminate Lazarus, and that’ll take care of the whole program.”[25]

Verse 17: “The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. [And] the reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. So the Pharisees said to one another, ‘You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, [how] the world has gone after him.’” Wow!

What do we know? We know this: that evidence itself does not compel belief. You and I will never argue a single soul into the kingdom by the logic of our reasoning. “Well,” says somebody, “does that mean that we should abandon any attempts to point people in a logical way to the consideration of the claims of Jesus?” No, it doesn’t mean that at all. And the best that I have found in relationship to that is from the pen of Gresham Machen, who was a teacher at Princeton before he began Westminster Seminary. And this is what he says, and I want you to listen to this carefully:

There must be the mysterious work of the Spirit of God in the new birth. Without that, all our arguments are quite useless. But because argument is insufficient, it does not follow that it is unnecessary. What the Holy Spirit does in the new birth is not to make a [person] a Christian regardless of the evidence, but on the contrary to clear away the mists from [their] eyes and enable [them] to attend to the evidence.[26]

Spurgeon, more succinctly, says this: when a person is brought to faith in Jesus—when somebody says, “Lord, I believe; I trust in you; I turn from myself; I look to you”—Spurgeon says, “the mysterious hand of the divine Spirit dropped the living seed into a heart that He … Himself [had] prepared for its reception.”[27] You get that? That when a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ and when they’re actually surprised by it, as C. S. Lewis says that he was “surprised by joy,” what has happened there? Well, it is a divine work. But it wasn’t as a result of some great feeling. It involved all kinds of elements. But the mysterious work of taking that seed, like a grain of wheat that must fall into the ground and die—that taking that seed, it’s now planted in a heart; that God, who gives the seed, had prepared that very heart for its reception.

Evidence itself does not compel belief. You and I will never argue a single soul into the kingdom by the logic of our reasoning.

Now, this, of course, is so vitally important, not only as we study our Bibles together but as we seek to encourage others to believe. Jesus was very, very straightforward in addressing these individuals and making it clear to them. He says, “The Father who [has] sent me”—this is chapter 5—“the Father who [has] sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent.”[28]

When Paul, who himself was blind, came to understand who Jesus is and what he’s done, and when he then wrote his letters, there’s no surprise that he is saying the very same thing. In 2 Corinthians he says, “You know, the ministry that we have in teaching the Bible is by the mercy of God. We don’t lose heart. We’re not using cunning. We’re not tampering with the Bible. But by the open statement of the truth, we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”[29] And then he says this:

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel [in] the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone [into] our hearts to give [us] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.[30]

That’s why Jesus says, “He who has seen me has seen the Father. I’m not here to glorify myself. I’m here to introduce you.”[31]

And that’s the end of point one.

“Look,” they said: “Look, the [whole] world[’s] gone after him.” Were they actually pointing to what you see in verse 20? “And there were Greeks who had come.”[32] That’s this evening—and maybe next Sunday morning, for all I know, as well.

And Jesus looked her in the eyes, and he said, “Do you believe this?” That’s the question.

O Father, thank you for your Word. Thank you that we can read it, ponder it, and know that you speak to us through it. It’s such a mystery, as we unpack these various passages, that these individuals who had the law, who had the prophets, who had Moses, when confronted with the fulfillment of all these prophetic words, they said no. They wanted a God of their own making. They wanted a God who fit their expectations. And that may be why some of us have never bowed our knee to Jesus: because we want him to be a certain kind of Jesus. Show us, Holy Spirit, we pray, the only Jesus that there is, and help us to receive him in all of his powerful fullness, in order that by believing we might have life in his name. Amen.

[1] John 20:30–31 (ESV).

[2] John 8:12 (ESV).

[3] John 14:27–28 (paraphrased).

[4] John 1:11 (ESV).

[5] John 5:17 (paraphrased).

[6] John 7:46–47 (paraphrased).

[7] John 7:47–48 (ESV).

[8] John 8:32 (ESV).

[9] Memoirs of the Late Rev. John Wesley, A.M. (Sunderland, England: James Graham, 1791), 1:211.

[10] Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor (1656; repr., Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1974), 55.

[11] John 10:33 (ESV).

[12] John 10:37–38 (paraphrased).

[13] John 10:39 (ESV).

[14] John 11:25–26 (ESV).

[15] John 11:27 (ESV).

[16] John 2:3–4 (paraphrased).

[17] John 11:39 (paraphrased).

[18] John 11:41 (ESV).

[19] John 11:44 (ESV).

[20] John 11:44 (paraphrased).

[21] See Matthew 2:16.

[22] Matthew 4:6; Luke 4:9 (ESV).

[23] Matthew 16:18 (ESV).

[24] John 11:58 (paraphrased).

[25] See John 12:10.

[26] J. Gresham Machen, The Christian Faith in the Modern World (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1947), 63.

[27] Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, revised and updated by Alistair Begg (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2003), August 13 morning reading.

[28] John 5:37–38 (ESV).

[29] 2 Corinthians 4:1–2 (paraphrased).

[30] 2 Corinthians 4:3–6 (ESV).

[31] John 14:9 (paraphrased).

[32] John 12:20 (paraphrased).

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.