John 12:27
Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? No, it is for this purpose that I have come to this hour.
Sermons
A Lesson to Pastors and TeachersPastor Funcke., W. Baxendale.John 12:20-33
A Sight of JesusL. H. Wiseman, M. A.John 12:20-33
A Sight of JesusC. A. Stakeley.John 12:20-33
Andrew: Leading Others to ChristT. Gasquoine, B. A.John 12:20-33
Certain GreeksG. M. Grant, B. D.John 12:20-33
Congregations Want to See ChristPastor Funcke.John 12:20-33
East and West Coming to ChristG. M. Grant, B. D.John 12:20-33
Every Christian May be UsefulW. Arnot.John 12:20-33
Manifestations of HumanityD. Thomas, D. D.John 12:20-33
Opportunity to be UsedG. A. Sowter, M. A.John 12:20-33
Seeing ChristR. Collyer, D. D.John 12:20-33
The Consequences of Seeing JesusH. Bonar, D. D.John 12:20-33
The Desire to See JesusW. Birch.John 12:20-33
The Great ExhibitionD. Griffiths.John 12:20-33
The Incident and its SignificanceF. Godet, D. D.John 12:20-33
The Inquiring GreeksC. S. Robinson, D. D.John 12:20-33
The Movement of Greek Thought Toward ChristH. Macmillan, D. D.John 12:20-33
The Two EpiphaniesH. Macmillan, D. D.John 12:20-33
We Would See JesusG. A. Sowter, M. A.John 12:20-33
What the World Owes to the GreeksH. Macmillan, D. D.John 12:20-33
Wishing to See JesusJ. Vaughan, M. A.John 12:20-33
The Soul-Conflict of ChristJ.R. Thomson John 12:27, 28
A Foretaste of GethsemaneBp. Ryle.John 12:27-29
Gethsemane in ProspectB. M. Palmer, D. D.John 12:27-29
Lent, a Preparation for Good FridayJ. W. Hardman, LL. D.John 12:27-29
The Hour of AtonementJ. Parsons.John 12:27-29
The Internal Sufferings of ChristJ. Brown, D. D.John 12:27-29
The Redeemer Contemplating His Hour as ComeJ. Harris, D. D.John 12:27-29
The Saviour's PrayerB. Wilkinson.John 12:27-29
The Sorrow and Resignation of ChristT. Kidd.John 12:27-29
The Soul Trouble of ChristDean Vaughan.John 12:27-29
Through Trouble to TriumphB. Thomas John 12:27-30
Only now and again do we observe the Savior's regard turned inwardly upon himself, upon his own feelings and anticipations. Usually his thoughts and his speech concerned others. But in this passage of his ministry he gives us an insight into his inmost heart.

I. THE CRISIS OF THIS CONFLICT. The approach of the Greeks marks "the beginning of the end." Now the Son of man began to feel by anticipation the burden of the cross. Opposition and persecution were at hand. He was about to tread the winepress alone. Pain, humiliation, sorrow, death, were close upon him. The "hour" which he had long foreseen was now nearly marked upon the dial of his life; it was the hour of his enemies' power and of the prince of darkness.

II. THE CHARACTER OF THIS CONFLICT.

1. On the one side was personal feeling, which expressed itself in the cry, so human, so touching, so sincere, "Father, save me from this hour!" This was the voice of human weakness, to be repeated afterwards in the form, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me!" This shrinking from all that was involved in the sacrifice was real. Our Lord's human nature was reluctant to endure the anguish of Gethsemane, the agony of Golgotha.

2. On the other side was the perception that all the past experience of his humanity led up to just this distressful burden, the pressure of which he was now beginning to feel. He had consented to live in order that he might consent to die. The baptism of sorrow must overwhelm him, the bitter cup must be drained to the dregs, in order that his ministry might be complete. The Incarnation itself contemplated, and virtually included, the sacrifice. The past would prove to have been endured in vain, if the future should be evaded; and the life of the Savior, with the cross left out, if such a conception be possible, would be all but powerless in the spiritual history of humanity.

3. Hence the distraction of mind evinced in the exclamation, "What shall I say?" The two wishes were inconsistent with each other. With which of them should the deliberate and decisive resolve identify itself?

III. THE DECISIVE CRY OF THE CONFLICT. The issue of the struggle within the Savior's Spirit was apparent when he uttered the exclamation, the prayer, "Father, glorify thy Name!" For this revealed the fact that Jesus was turning away from himself and from his own feelings, and was turning to his Father. He was sinking the consideration of himself and his sufferings in a filial regard to his Father's honor, to the Divine purposes which underlay the whole of his mission. God was exalted in the completion of the Mediator's work. Jesus learned obedience, and displayed obedience, in the things which he suffered. Our salvation was assured when the decision was reached, when the cry was uttered, when the Father's glory, by its dazzling brightness, its burning radiance, consumed all beside.

IV. THE CLOSE OF THE CONFLICT. The solemnity and grandeur of the crisis is shown by the audible interposition with which the Father responded to the cry of his beloved, chosen Son.

1. The voice from heaven was a reminder. How the Father had glorified his Son we know from the record of what took place at the baptism and at the Transfiguration. But to the spiritually enlightened and discerning there had been apparent, all through our Savior's ministry, a moral glory which was hidden from the thoughtless world.

2. The voice from heaven was a promise. The further glory of the Father in his Son was to be manifested in all the events to follow the perfect obedience unto the death of the cross. Especially in the resurrection of Christ did God "give him glory." The Ascension, the marvels of Pentecost, the signs accompanying the preaching of the gospel, were evidences that the Divine purposes were in course of fulfillment. The whole dispensation of grace is "rather" - i.e. in a superior measure and degree - "rather glorious." The establishment of the kingdom of God among men, the introduction of a new and higher life into our humanity, the salvation of untold myriads of sinners, the peopling of heaven with the redeemed from every nation, - these are signs that the Lord has seen of the travail of his soul and is satisfied, that the purposes of the Father are accomplished, that the glory of the Father is secured. - T.







Now is My soul troubled.
It has been well said that all Lent should be regarded as a preparation for Good Friday and its observance. Just as when we visit some deep and gloomy gorge amongst the mountains, long before we reach the spot where the cliffs rise highest and the daylight is farthest off, the hills begin to encircle us, the bright sunshine is lost and the black shadows of the stern and solemn precipices encompass our path! Thus, for a considerable time before His crucifixion, our Lord by His prophetic foresight entered into "the valley of the shadow of death." And we, in sympathy, should follow His footsteps. When the great prehistoric temple of Stonehenge was perfect, a number of huge stone gateways gave access to the central altar, around which they were ranged. So our Blessed Lord may be pictured as approaching the great Sacrifice on the Altar of the Cross by passing through diverse portals. We may look on Him in different aspects of the preparation for the first Good Friday.

I. For instance, we see Him passing through the archway of PAINFUL ANTICIPATION. He knew what awaited Him — He told His disciples — "the Son of Man" was about to be betrayed — given into the hands of strangers — "scourged," "mocked," "spitefully entreated — insulted — crucified!" All, like a harrowing picture, was clear before His eyes, every detail stood out distinctly, and each day the crisis of His obedience drew closer. "For though He was a Son, yet learned He obedience by those things which He suffered" (Hebrews 5:8). A middle-aged man said that the most agonizing day he ever spent was the one day before an operation was performed on him; he did not know whether it would be very painful or not, and he was afraid to ask, and every time his thoughts wandered to pleasant matters they came back with a start to the grim recollection that every moment brought nearer and nearer the horrible instant that he could not escape!

II. Again, we may regard our Lord pressing on to the Cross through the portal of a brave and RESOLUTE DETERMINATION. "He set His face to go up to Jerusalem." When His disciples objected, "Master, the Jews of late sought to stone Thee, and goest Thou thither again?" the warning cannot stay His footsteps. When "the power of darkness" is at hand, He says, with a noble resignation, "The cup that My Father giveth Me to drink, shall I not drink it?"

III. Another aspect in which we may observe our Saviour is, that He was called on to take His pathway under the gloomy arch of MORTIFICATION AND FAILURE. The disciples who walked by His side He knew were about to forsake Him. Peter, their chief spokesman, was going to deny Him, and Judas to betray Him, and the multitude were soon to exchange their welcome of "Hosannah" into grim yells of "Crucify Him!" But none of these things daunted the resolution of our Lord. In one golden sentence He summed up His task.

(J. W. Hardman, LL. D.)

I. THE EXPERIENCE OUT OF WHICH IT AROSE. "Troubled" means tortured, racked, torn, as it were, with intense and various emotions.

1. This trouble arose out of the foresight of the Cross. Between Him and His glory lay Calvary. But the anguish was not on account of the physical torture or personal ignominy He would endure, although extreme; He had tasted the bitterness of sin in the intensity and perfection of His redeeming sympathy, and to pass under the shadow of its retribution.

2. This trouble superinduced a great conflict in His mind, "What shall I say? Father," etc. Some regard this as a petition; others with more propriety an interrogation implying a natural shrinking which it would have been more human not to feel. Gladly would He have said it but for the stability of His redeeming purpose. Purpose and feeling thus came into distressing collision.

3. The conflict, however, was but momentary. It gave place at once to a calm and heroic resignation.

II. THE PURPORT OF THE PRAYER. "Father, glorify Thy name." How concise, yet comprehensive: expressive of —

1. Resignation. "Do what Thou wilt so long as Thou be glorified."

2. Fortitude. "The task before Me is a heavy one, but for Thy sake, I will go forward to it."

3. Benevolence. Self is lost sight of, and the Father's purpose and the redounding glory is all in all.

4. Faith. "What Thou hast promised Thou wilt perform."

III. THE ANSWER.

1. How it was given. By a voice from heaven, mistaken as thunder, as the voice of an angel, but truly interpreted by Christ.

2. What it was. A declaration —(1) That it had been already fulfilled — in the whole of Christ's life. How this assurance would animate Christ, and endear to Him afresh the Father's will.(2) That the end for which Jesus prayed would be still further attained. Conclusion: Learn to cherish at all times a true and steady regard for the glory of God.

(B. Wilkinson.)

I see in the whole event here described a short summary of what took place afterwards more fully at Gethsemane. There is a remarkable parallelism at every step. Does our Lord say here —

1. "My soul is troubled"? Just so He said in Gethsemane: "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death" (Matthew 26:38)

2. "Father, save Me from this hour"? Just so He says in Gethsemane: "O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me" (Matthew 26:39).

3. Does our Lord say here, "For this cause came I unto this hour"? Just so He says in Gethsemane: "If this cup may not pass away from Me except I drink it, Thy will be done."

4. Does our Lord say, finally, "Father, glorify Thy name"? Just so our Lord says, lastly, "The cup which My Father hast given Me, shall I not drink it" (chap. John 18:11). The brief prayer which our Lord here offers, we should remember, is the highest, greatest thing that we can ask God to do. The utmost reach of the renewed will of a believer, is to be able to say always, "Father glorify Thy name in Me. Do with Me what Thou wilt, only glorify Thy name." The glory of God after all is the end for which all things were created. Paul's joyful hope, he told the Philippians, when a prisoner at Rome, was "that in all things, by life or by death, Christ might be magnified in his body" (Philippians 1:20).

(Bp. Ryle.)

This world is a world of grief. The infant begins its career with a cry of distress premonitory of all it must suffer from the cradle to the grave. Some suffer more than others — martyrs, e.g. (Hebrews 11:36-38). But one stands out preeminent for suffering (Isaiah 53; Psalm 69:1, 2, 20). It was in the foresight of His amazing sufferings that Christ felt this perturbation of spirit, which arose out of —

I. AN OVERWHELMING SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY UNDER THE TRUST HE HAD ASSUMED. Those most worthy of responsibility feel its pressure most. Some rush into office without sensibility or conscience, prepared to take all responsibility merely to pervert it to private ends. But men who deserve the trusts of life shrink even from their honours — e.g., the conscientious physician, advocate, judge, parent. What was Christ's trust? It was —

1. To represent the sinner (Galatians 5:4, 5; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

2. To represent God. His holiness, justice, truth, in all the bitter experiences of His Spirit, and that not in His omnipotent Divine, but in His frail human nature.

II. THE VIEW OF DEATH AS THE PENALTY OF THE LAW. The dread of death is natural because it formed no part of our original constitution. Whatever belongs to our nature God makes pleasant — e.g., sleep and food. But death is horrible because it has supervened on our constitution (Romans 5:12). But Christ had to die under the Father's judicial displeasure as the substitute for sinners whom the law condemns. He was made sin for us who know no sin, which sinlessness added to the agony. Who that is in any degree sanctified can help but feel the pain of the sins with which He is brought in contact? How then must it have been with the Perfect Man who bore all sin, and all sorrows that are born of sin, even to the privation of the Divine presence.

III. THE ANTICIPATION OF CONFLICT WITH THE POWERS OF DARKNESS. It was an old quarrel begun when Satan lifted the standard of rebellion in heaven, continued when Adam fell, and after. We know something of the terribleness of striving with the devil, and as we advance in the Divine life it becomes more terrible. What then must it have been for the spotless Jesus to feel the full brunt of all the forces that hell could muster. Conclusion:

1. All these sufferings are the evidences of Christ's love to us.

2. They show us the awful demerit of sin.

(B. M. Palmer, D. D.)

It became Christ to suffer (Hebrews 2:10). His sufferings were many varied and severe, and His external sufferings, though of no common kind, were the least part of them, as may be judged by the fact that they never extorted a complaint, whereas His inward anguish wrung from Him "strong crying and tears."

I. THE SAVIOUR'S INTERNAL SUFFERINGS. When the mind is free from uneasiness it is said to be calm like the bosom of the lake when no breath of wind ruffles its glassy surface. When sorrow and terror takes possession of it, it is said to be agitated, like the ocean in a storm. The latter was the case with Christ here, and John 13:21, and Matthew 26:36-46.

1. Its cause(1) not external circumstances. There was no scourge or cross here, or at Gethsemane. On the contrary, there was much to please. The people had just shouted their Hosannahs to His Messiahship; the Greeks had fulfilled the promise of Isaiah 49:6.(2) Not remorse. In no case could He wish that He had thought, or felt, or acted differently from what He had done.(3) Not fear of impending bodily sufferings (though no doubt they did give rise to uneasy feelings), for He knew that these would be momentary and would be abundantly compensated.(4) There is but one way of accounting for it. The invisible arm of Omnipotence smites Him. On the head of the spotless, perfect man, Jehovah made to meet, as the victim for human transgression, the iniquities of us all, in all their odiousness and malignity. The more He loved those in whose room He stood, the more would His trouble be increased, just as we are affected more by the crimes of a friend than by those of a stranger. And in addition He was exposed to the attack of malignant spiritual beings whose was that hour and power of darkness.

2. Its purpose.(1) To "make Him perfect," i.e., fully to accomplish Him as Saviour. It formed one important part of His expiation. Mere bodily sufferings could not expiate "spiritual wickedness."(2) To complete His example. This had been incomplete had He not showed His people how to conduct themselves under inward troubles which often form the severest part of their trials.(3) To render Him sympathetic with His people under those trials which most need His sympathy.

II. THE EXERCISE OF OUR LORD'S MIND UNDER THESE SUFFERINGS.

1. "What shall I say?" has been regarded as a further expression of suffering — "My sorrows are too great to be uttered in words. Father, save me from my impending sufferings." Christ's sorrows were indeed unspeakable, but He could hardly have asked to be saved from death when He rebuked His disciples for attempting to dissuade Him, and when He was straitened till the baptism of blood was accomplished.

2. The words express the deliberating of our Lord's mind as to what course He should follow — "to what quarter shall I turn for relief. Men are not disposed to pity Me, and cannot relieve Me. I turn to God: what shall I say to Him? He can sustain and deliver Me. Shall I ask Him to release Me from My covenant engagements? No: for this cause I came to this hour. I will not ask it. I will say, Glorify Thy name; finish Thy work in righteousness. Let the end be gained: I quarrel not with the means."

3. What a display of —(1) Love to God in entire devotedness to His glory!(2) Love to man in becoming obedient to death.

4. What a call for gratitude, love and devotion from us!

III. THE FATHER'S APPROBATION OF THE SAVIOUR'S EXERCISE OF MIND UNDER THESE SUFFERINGS. "I have both glorified it," etc. The whole universe glorifies God's name, the whole history of the past and future. But this refers to the glorification of God's name —

1. In Christ Jesus. His faithfulness in fulfilling His great promise to His Church; His power in bringing into personal union, the Divine and human natures; His mercy in not withholding His only Son. God's glory was seen in Christ's life, teaching, miracles.

2. In the awful events of that "hour."

3. In the glorious results of Christ's death (Psalm 16:10, 11; Exodus 1:1; Exodus 2:8; Isaiah 53:12; Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 40:5). The Resurrection and Ascension of Christ; the effusion of the Spirit; the salvation of an innumerable company.The subject —

1. Tells the impenitent sinner what he must endure if he refuses to avail himself of the "redemption that is in Christ Jesus."

2. Bids the Christian rejoice that the cup of wrath he deserved has been drunk by Christ.

3. Urges us often to show forth the Lord's death in His own ordinance.

(J. Brown, D. D.)

I. THE MYSTERY OF THE SAVIOUR'S SORROW. It is usual to explain that the human nature of Jesus shrank from death. But this view lowers Him below the level of the martyrs, and is inconsistent with the haste with which He journeyed to Jerusalem to meet His death; and we cannot think of Him as losing courage.

II. SOME LIGHT ON THE MYSTERY. We are apt to take too corporeal a view of Christ's sacrifice. The bodily pain was an essential part of the suffering, but only a part. It was something all His own in dying, from which He shrank, and the shrinking from which He had to conquer. He saw the sin-wrought woes and horrors of all the generations before and after, to the day of judgment, and there was a sense of their being upon Him, and enveloping Him. And so we may hear Him cry, "Spare Me not the scourging, the death agony," etc., but the being made one with the world in its sin.

III. THE MEANING OF THE PRAYER. This experience had not been altogether measured beforehand, and now the agony of the incorporation of the sinless with sin is before Him, He prays for deliverance from conscious sin-bearing.

IV. THE ANSWER TO THE PRAYER. "There came a voice." Modern unbelief scoffs at voices from heaven. Reverence will not pass hasty judgments. One said, "It thundered;" another, "an angel spoke to Him." Christ alone hears the audible words, and interprets them when He is alone with His people. "I have glorified it and will glorify it."

V. PRACTICAL LESSONS.

1. "My soul is troubled." Christ is not alone in that experience; but His troubles were not His own; ours are our own.

2. "Save Me from this hour." Not that He would not suffer for others; but that this going fearfully into the very heart of sin seemed terrible. We may pray this prayer; but let us take care to remember how different is our trouble; and to add, "Glorify Thy name," whatever it may cost us.

3. Can we pray, "Glorify Thy name?" Whatever I suffer for my own sin or for my brother's, only may God be glorified; only may God be seen as He is in His power to save. May this thought take root and grow in us!

(Dean Vaughan.)

I. THE HOUR WHICH THE SAVIOUR MET. He names it twice in a very emphatic manner: and there is repeated notice of the fact that "it had not yet come." There have been many important hours, but none like this. It was the hour —

1. For which time was made.

2. To which all the dispensations referred — Adamic, Abrahamic, Mosaic.

3. Which all the prophets foretold (1 Peter 1:11).

4. In which the grandest work was accomplished, and the grandest victory achieved.

5. In which all intelligent creation was concerned.

(1)Angels were not indifferent spectators, for they were confirmed in their bliss.

(2)Devils, for they were deprived of their last expiring hope.

(3)Man, for a full atonement for his sin was made.

II. THE AFFLICTION HE FELT. He hardly knew how to express Himself in the prospect; what then must have been the agony itself? No one had ever such reason to meet death with calmness. He had no guilt, was assured of immortality, and saw the blessed issue. Martyrs — mere men — have suffered with magnanimity and joy. Yet He was troubled. Why? Because He was the surety for sinners and suffered for sin. Learn, then —

1. The extreme evil of sin.

2. The greatness of the love of Christ.

3. The indispensable necessity of faith in His atonement.

III. THE RESIGNATION HE EXEMPLIFIED. "Father, save Me," etc., is not a petition, but an interrogation. Note that —

1. Christ's undertaking for sinners was voluntary. He "came to this hour," which teaches His inviolable faithfulness, and should encourage our trust.

2. He saw this hour in every period of His existence. It was not unexpected — "For this cause."

3. The motives which had influenced Him to suffer were still the same; and as the hour approached they gathered weight.

4. It was but an hour. The conflict was severe but transient. Such considerations contributed to work this resignation.

IV. THE PRAYER HE OFFERED. "Father, glorify Thy name" is more than resignation; it is a consecration of His sufferings to God's glory. How is the Father glorified thus?

1. In His perfections. Already His wisdom, power, and mercy were displayed in the Saviour's mission and miracles: but now He was to display His holiness and justice.

2. As regards His dispensations.

(T. Kidd.)

I. THE UNIQUE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LANGUAGE.

1. The nature of the hour — the time appointed for the vindication of the Divine government outraged by man, and for the manifestation of Divine love. The world had been spared for this hour.

2. The mysterious agitation with which it was approached. This was natural. Who has not spent anxious days and sleepless nights over an unfinished work, and who does not know the tension as the hour for its completion arrives.

3. The grand consideration which induced Christ to meet this hour — the fact that all the past was summed up in it to the glory of God, and that the glory of God would stream from it.

II. ITS APPLICATION TO US.

1. There is an hour in the life of every man, Christian, Church, for which every previous hour is a designed preparation.

2. Seasons of special service and sacrifice have actually occurred in the history of the Church — Israel on the confines of the promised land; the Reformation; the mission of Wesley; the great missionary movement.

3. Such times of effort should be expected, prayed for, ascertained.

4. The due apprehension of our hour would invest us with a consecrating sense of opportunity.

5. On our discharge of impending responsibilities may be suspended consequences of unknown magnitude.

6. Is not the urgency of the hour now greater than ever?

(J. Harris, D. D.)

The Redeemer —

I. CONTEMPLATED AN IMPORTANT PERIOD.

1. As involving intense and infinite agony — betrayal, desertion, ignominy, corporeal torture, agony in the endurance of imputed sin.

2. As connected with and founding His exaltation (ver. 23).

(1)The glory of His personal dignity in His resurrection, ascension, enthronement, and dominion.

(2)The glory of the universal efficacy of His atonement (vers. 24, 32; Isaiah 53:10-12).

II. WAS AFFECTED BY A POWERFUL EMOTION.

1. He was perturbed with anxiety arising from the prospect of His sufferings, which incidentally proves that His death was an atonement. How else shall we explain this intense agitation?

2. He was resolute in determination. "For this cause come I to this hour."

3. He was fervent in prayer. "Father, glorify Thy name."

III. RECEIVED A REMARKABLE TESTIMONY.

1. Its mode — a voice from heaven.

2. Its announcement — an approval of the invocation.Conclusion:

1. Honour the hour of atonement by admitting its unparalleled importance.

2. Seek with supreme earnestness a personal interest in the redemption this period has provided.

3. Promote the glory of the Father and the Son by the zealous diffusion of that gospel which conveys it.

(J. Parsons.)

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