John 12:31
Now judgment is upon this world; now the prince of this world will be cast out.
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
A Lesson for Preachers and ChurchesJ. Brown, D. D.John 12:31-33
Christ Drawing AllJ. G. Greenhough, M. A.John 12:31-33
Christ Drawing, not DraggingAbp. Trench.John 12:31-33
Christ Lifted UpC. H. Spurgeon.John 12:31-33
Christ the Great MagnetT. L. Cuyler.John 12:31-33
Christ's KingdomMarcus Dods, D. D.John 12:31-33
Invisible AttractionT. De Witt Talmage, D. D.John 12:31-33
Nothing But the Cross Draws for Any Length of TimeJ. C. Jones, D. D.John 12:31-33
The Attraction of the CrossDean Vaughan.John 12:31-33
The Attraction of the CrossJ. Angell James.John 12:31-33
The Attraction of the CrossR. Fuller, D. D.John 12:31-33
The Attractive Power of ChristJ. Rawlinson.John 12:31-33
The Attractive Power of ChristJ. G. Lowrie, M. A.John 12:31-33
The Attractive Power of Christ CrucifiedCanon Liddon.John 12:31-33
The Attractive Power of the Crucified SaviourC. H. Spurgeon.John 12:31-33
The Attractiveness of ChristF. Ferguson, D. D.John 12:31-33
The Attractiveness of the CrossG. Matheson, B. D.John 12:31-33
The Centripetal Power of Christ Overcoming the Centrifugal Attraction of SinHomiletic ReviewJohn 12:31-33
The CrossB. W. Noel, M. A.John 12:31-33
The Death of Christ and its ResultsJ. Brown, D. D.John 12:31-33
The Great AttractionC. H. Spurgeon.John 12:31-33
The Great AttractionC. H. Spurgeon.John 12:31-33
The Mighty MagnetHomiletic ReviewJohn 12:31-33
The Moral Attraction and Separation of the CrossA. T. Gordon.John 12:31-33
The Power of Christ's DeathF. Carter.John 12:31-33
The Power of the CrossT. Davies, Ph. D.John 12:31-33
The Universality of ChristH. Melvill, B. D.John 12:31-33
The Uplifted SaviourJ. Graham.John 12:31-33
The World's Hour of Deepest RevolutionF. Godet, D. D.John 12:31-33
Why Christ was Lifted UpA. J. Gordon.John 12:31-33
Wondrous AttractionH. O. Mackey.John 12:31-33

I. THE DESIRE OF JESUS FOR HIS FATHER'S GLORY. Jesus did not seek that the eyes of men should be fixed in admiration on him. With powers such as never belonged to any other being of flesh and blood, he never used them for his own advancement among men. The pleasures of human ambition and human fame were far from his heart. No one truly glorifies Jesus unless he glorifies the Father of Jesus. Jesus was glad to find men drawn to him in ever-increasing numbers; he would be glad to find such as these Greeks who had just been inquiring for him; but all the time he felt how there was another Name and another power to which human attention needed to be increasingly directed. The name of Jesus had been already made glorious after a fashion; men had made it glorious. They talked about Jesus; no name would be better known through the land than his; but all the time Jesus felt that he was getting the fame which was only his in part. It was right and serviceable that men should talk of him; but that talk would only lead into delusion and disappointment unless they could talk of his Father also.

II. THE EFFORTS OF JESUS TO GLORIFY HIS FATHER. HOW he kept the Name of his Father before his disciples! He talked of the Father as of One with whom he was in constant and most familiar connection. But men could not see the Father as they could see Jesus, and hence the Father-Name remained but a name. And thus we have this strange fact to notice, that whereas Jesus came to reveal the Father, he rather seemed at first to hide him. The fact was that Jesus hid the revelation of the Father for a while in himself, just as the revelation of the full-developed plant is hidden in the seed. Jesus had to speak of things which his audience understood not as yet; but those same things would by-and-by be unveiled, and not only unveiled, but the brightest light of heaven would be cast upon them.

III. THE FATHER GLORIFYING HIS NAME. The hour was impending when Jesus would appear to the natural man utterly weak, shorn of his habitual strength and resources, just as Samson was when he lost his locks. Many a one would be puzzled to reconcile the Jesus, so mighty in doing wonderful works in Galilee, with the Jesus seemingly so helpless in the hands of his enemies at Jerusalem. But eclipse is not the same thing as destruction. Jesus went into obscurity for a little while that the glory of the Father might more distinctly appear. When Jesus breathed his last, the Father got the opportunity, to be fully used, of glorifying his Name. And then the Church entered fully upon its privilege, and was permitted to behold the Father glorifying himself in the Son, and the Son correspondently glorified in the Father. - Y.







Now is the Judgment of this world.
It was the signal —

I. OF ITS JUDGMENT. To judge is to verify the moral condition. The judgment of the world is based upon the Cross, inasmuch as this discloses the moral condition of man in his natural state. Man, by raising this throne for Jesus, judged himself, and manifested the enmity to God which is in his heart. Having erected it, he judges himself still more decidedly by his relation thereto; for either by faith he finds therein his salvation, or by unbelief his condemnation. Of this choice the final judgment will be only the ratification. Thus the judgment of the world dates from Good Friday. Its first external manifestation was the destruction of Jerusalem; its second will be the judgment of the Church; its third the last judgment predicted (Matthew 24.; 25) on the very day on which these words were uttered.

II. OF THE EXPULSION OF ITS ANCIENT MASTER. The Cross filled up the measure of tolerance granted to the perversity of the Prince of this world. The Crucifixion was the most odious and unpardonable transgression of Satan; this crime put an end to the long suffering of God concerning him, and, consequently, to his dominion over mankind. The Rabbis habitually designate Satan "the prince of this world," but place the Jews outside his kingdom, while Jesus includes them as well as the heathen therein (chap. John 8) "Out" signifies not only out of his office and power, but chiefly out of the world — his ancient realm — as is shown by the connection of these words with the preceding, and the opposition between vers. 31 and 32.

III. THE ACCESSION OF ITS NEW SOVEREIGN. The overthrow coincides with the accession. Jesus declares Himself appointed to fill this part. But, strange to say, it is not upon this earth, whence Satan is cast out, that He will establish His kingdom. He will not become, as the Jews expected, the successor of His adversary, and, consequently, another prince of this world; He, as well as His rival, will leave the earth; He will be raised from it and above it, and in a higher sphere He will draw to Himself His subjects and realize His kingdom. "Lifted up" must be understood here in the same amphibiological sense as at John 3:14 and John 8:28. His lifting up on the cross, that throne of love, appears to Him as the gloriously ironical emblem of His elevation to the throne of glory. And this comparison is based on a deep truth. For was it not the Cross which created the abyss between Christ and the world (Galatians 6:14), and rendered the purely heavenly form of the kingdom of God for the present necessary? "From" or "out of the earth" designates an ignominious expulsion from earthly existence by any capital punishment, and cannot refer to the small distance between the ground and the feet of the crucified. It is "lifted up," which refers to the Cross. The Cross and the Ascension united freed Jesus from all earthly ties and national obligations, and placed Him in a position to extend His agency to the whole world (Romans 10:12). Once raised to heaven, Jesus will draw around Him a new people, strangers to earth, and, like Himself, of a heavenly nature. He will be both the Author and End of this Divine attraction.

(F. Godet, D. D.)

In the Cross Christ saw a provision for three great objects. By it —

I. THE WORLD SHOULD BE JUDGED. God judged our sins in the person of Jesus, visited our guilt upon Him condemned in our place. That is the true measure, as it is the most awful punishment of our guilt. If men sin on they may see, as clearly as if it were come already, their eternal doom. How can a sinner be so deluded as to think he will escape when he sees the Son of God hanging there. Let him look and realize who He was, and then feel, "I am condemned." Thus Christ knew that the Cross would convince men of sin. What the law could not do, what no mercies or judgments of God could do, this would effect, and His heart exulted in the thought that men at last would see that there was no hope for them save in turning to God through Him.

II. THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD REJECTED. That being whose empire none else could shake, whose dominion over men's minds and habits none else could destroy, Jesus saw dethroned. God had predicted this. "The seed of the woman," etc. To accomplish this was the end of His coming. "For this purpose is the Son of God manifested," etc. This end is gained when Satan is banished from the human heart. The Cross avails for this —

1. By having procured the gift of the Spirit who turns men "from the power of Satan unto God."

2. By furnishing the most powerful motives to turn from sin, inasmuch as it reveals the guilt and danger of sin, and endears believers to the Saviour who died to reconcile them to God, and therefore weans them from sin.

3. By securing powerful help in such a view of the love of God as inspires faith and hope.

III. HUMAN SOULS DRAWN TO CHRIST.

1. The means — wondrous, the last, apparently, calculated to serve this purpose.

2. The method — "draw," not compel, by the attraction of love.

3. The object — "all men." Gentiles as well as Jews.

4. The result — "to Me."

(B. W. Noel, M. A.)

I. THE DEATH OF CHRIST.

1. The fact of His death predicted. It was a wonderful thing that He should die, for death is the penalty of sin. and He was sinless, and can only take effect on humanity, whereas He was Divine.

2. The manner of His death described — crucifixion. The mystery thickens. If He must die, surely it should be naturally and peacefully, or if not, gloriously, as a hero, and amidst the blessings of His race. No, He must die as a felon, a death —

(1)profoundly humiliating;

(2)excruciatingly painful.

3. The nature of His death unfolded. Its manner partly indicates its nature.

(1)It was penal. He suffered under Roman and Divine law, but how differently.

(2)It was vicarious, since He was innocent.

(3)It was expiatory (Isaiah 53:5, 6).

II. ITS RESULTS.

1. The judgment of the world.(1) What this means. In the Scriptures to judge means to govern. Hence the "Judges." As King and Ruler the Messiah is frequently predicted as Judge. This interpretation agrees with the context. The Son of Man is glorified by being made King of the world; how, therefore, is the world to be judged by being ruled by Him? A new order of Divine administration has been commenced, having for its object the subjection of the world to God.(2) How is this judgment the result of Christ's death?

(a)It was the promised and richly-merited reward of His death (Isaiah 53:10-12; Philippians 2:5-11).

(b)It is the necessary means of His carrying into accomplishment the great design of His death, the salvation of His chosen people (John 17:2).

2. The expulsion of the prince of this world (John 14:30; John 16:8-11; Ephesians 2:2).(1) Who is he?

(a)A real personal existence.

(b)A potentate.

(c)Exercising dominion over this world.

(d)But not independently and uncontrolled, but largely as the executioner of Divine justice, and limited in power by the duration of "this world."(2) What is his expulsion? His being cast out —

(a)From the human heart.

(b)From the religious and civil institutions he had controlled.(3) How is he cast out?

(a)Christ bore the penalty of that for which he held men in bondage, and men paid their debt and suffered their punishment in Christ their substitute.

(b)By the power of the Spirit, by which men can resist the devil and make him flee.

3. This drawing of all men to Christ.(1) What this drawing is.

(a)All men, without exception, become the subjects of His mediatorial government.

(b)All men, without distinction, become the objects of the invitations of His gospel.

(c)All whom the Father has given Him, an innumerable company out of every kindred, etc., are put in possession of the blessings of His salvation.(2) How it is connected with His lifting up. Had not atonement been made there could have been no salvation to offer, or give or receive. Christ's death removed all obstacles to this, and secured the effectual agency of the Spirit.

(J. Brown, D. D.)

I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.
Nothing is more wonderful about Christ than His unfaltering confidence in the boundlessness and perpetuity of His power, especially when we consider the circumstances in which it was expressed and the grounds on which it was based. The assertion before us is that of a fanatic or of a God.

I. THE EXTENT OF THE SAVIOUR'S DRAWING. "All men."

1. The meaning of universal terms in Scripture must be determined —(1) By its great acknowledged principles. One of these is the freedom of the will. So the text signifies merely that there is sufficient power in Christ to draw all men; but the melancholy fact is that many "will not come unto Him that they may have life."(2) By the context. Spoken as it was in connection with the visit of the Greeks, the text means that the benefits of Christ's redemption were not restricted to the Jews, but were thrown open to the world.

2. While, however, some shall reach destruction because they will choose the broad way, there is a vastly preponderating aggregate who shall he brought to Christ. The drawing commenced with the dying thief. Seven weeks afterwards three thousand were drawn. Then the whole of the Acts furnishes illustrations. Then eighteen centuries of Church history, particularly great movements like Methodism and missions. Finally, the Apocalyptic visions shall be realized.

II. WHAT IS THERE IN THE UPLIFTED SAVIOUR SO CALCULATED TO ATTRACT. In Him is disclosed —

1. The ground of full and free pardon for the very chief of sinners. This gives hope to the most despairing, who can get rest nowhere else.

2. Ample provision for the purification of sinful hearts.

3. All those qualities calculated to draw the sympathies and aspirations of the renewed heart.

(1)The love of truth is satisfied in Him, who is the Truth.

(2)The yearning for fellowship is satisfied in His Brotherhood.

(3)The sense of right binds us to Him as our Redeemer Sovereign.

(4)The desire for spiritual beauty is gratified in Him, who is the altogether lovely.

(5)Impulses to serve our brethren are sanctified and empowered by the constraint of His self-sacrificing love.

III. THE AGENCY EMPLOYED.

1. The power of Providence or government of the world is committed to the Redeemer for the ingathering and completion of the Church.

2. The Holy Spirit draws hearts to the Saviour. He is Christ's Witness and Glorifier. "No man can say that Jesus is the Christ but by the Holy Ghost." For this purpose He abides with the Church forever. Hence —

3. The Church is Christ's visible agency for this great work, which is discharged —

(1)By private testimony.

(2)Public proclamation.

(J. Graham.)

Christ crucified. —

I. CHRIST'S GLORY. Because —

1. The manifestation of glorious love.

2. The demonstration of glorious fortitude.

3. The completion of glorious work.

4. The achievement of glorious triumph.

II. THE MINISTER'S THEME. Christ lifted up, and not —

1. Hell and damnation.

2. Mere doctrine.

3. Inoperative morality.

4. Sacred or secular learning.

III. THE HEART'S ATTRACTION. Christ draws —

1. Like a trumpet attracting men to hear the proclamation.

2. Like a net drawing men out of the sea of sin.

3. With the bands of love.

4. As a standard in the centre of gathering.

5. As a chariot in which souls are drawn to heaven.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Expression of text used three times to teach that the Son of Man must be lifted up in order —

I. TO GIVE A DEMONSTRATION OF HIS DIVINE MANHOOD (chap. John 7:28).

1. Christ proved Himself to be true man by dying as every man dies.

2. He proved Himself to be Divine by dying as no other man ever died.

(1)His death unique in its supernatural accompaniment.

(2)In its voluntariness.

II. TO BRING TO BEAR THE MOST POWERFUL DIVINE ATTRACTION UPON MAN (John 12:32).

1. The strongest bonds of attraction between man and man are love and sympathy. These two are braided together in a two-fold cord in Christ crucified.

2. He was lifted up to draw men out of and keep them away from the sins that had kept them from Him.

III. TO ACCOMPLISH A DIVINE REDEMPTION FOR MAN (chap. John 3:14). Salvation is absolutely fastened to Christ crucified.

1. Without the shedding of blood is no remission.

2. The Divine imperative "must.

(A. J. Gordon.)

1. Christ's death must have seemed to His apostles an unmitigated misfortune; but He showed them that it was really the most hopeful of all points in His history.

2. The text must be illustrated by doctrines that are concealed in it, and facts with which it is connected. The prince of darkness enticed poor foolish man to his destruction as fish are taken by the bait, birds lured by decoys, barques wrecked by false lights or sucked into the whirlpool. Christ came to produce a counter attraction. But men stood at a distance from their best Friend; but since man does not come of himself, even when he perceives the gracious errand of Jesus, He condescends to attract him, and that by means of the Cross.

I. WHAT IS THE ATTRACTION OF JESUS CRUCIFIED? It lies in that which some count its weakness and reproach. Certain preachers have missed all in forgetting this. Socinians have fondly dreamed that His holy life will provide the attraction. Such has not proved to be the case. Nor has the millennial glory of Christ proved attractive; but men have been drawn to the Cross —

1. By the disinterested love there manifested. "Scarcely for a righteous man," etc.

2. By the satisfaction there rendered to justice, through which pardon is provided, and may be accepted honourably.

3. By its exact suitability to man's necessities — thirsty, here is living water; naked, here is a robe of righteousness; vile, here it a fountain; lost, here is salvation.

4. By its agonies, the culmination of all previous sorrows.

II. IN WHAT DIRECTION DOES THE CROSS ATTRACT.

1. From despair to hope.

2. From fear to faith.

3. From dread to love.

4. From sin to obedience.

5. From self to Jesus.

6. From earth to heaven.

III. WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS AND QUALITIES OF THIS POWER.

1. Gentle.

2. Gracious.

3. Wide.

4. Effectual.

5. Present.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

In the Paris Salon some few years ago there was a bust of the painter Baudry, by Paul Dubois. Mr. E. Gosse was sitting contemplating the bust, when an American gentleman passed, caught sight of it, and, hovering round it for some time, came and sat down by his side and watched it. Presently he turned to Mr. Gosse, inquiring if he could tell him whose it was, and whether it was thought much of, adding, with a charming modesty, "I don't know anything about art; but I found I could not get past that head." Would we could so set forth Christ that His word might be fulfilled! "I, if I be lifted up," etc.

(H. O. Mackey.)

A little boy was flying a kite, which had soared so high as to be almost out of sight. Seeing him looking so intensely upward, a gentleman asked him what he had there. "A kite, sir," was the boy's reply. "A kite!" said the gentleman; "how can that be, I don't see it?" "Ah! I feel it pulling, sir," was the boy's unanswerable reply. This should be our evidence that our Saviour is above — we should feel Him pulling.

(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)

This subject ought to be attractive. There is the attraction of one dew drop for another, as they hang together on the same blade, and, running together, fall from their momentary glory into a common grave. There is the attraction of the flame for the moth, as it flutters and darts around the fatal glow, until at last it falls, wingless and scorched, upon the floor. There is the attraction of the magnet for the particles of matter through which it is passed, in virtue of which it draws some of them to itself, and has no influence upon others. There is the attraction of the moon for the sea, its pale light shining in tremulous bars on the bosom of the melancholy deep, as it rises and falls, like a dark and guilty conscience heaving and sobbing under the ghostly memories of its past misdeeds. And there is the attraction of the sun for all created things within the circle of the worlds that sweep around him as their centre, finding life and gladness in his beams. The latter is the highest and most glorious form in which the principle of attraction displays itself, and it is that which is exerted by the Sun of Righteousness. Christ is the luminous centre and the effulgent source of all vitality and blessing in the universe of souls.

(F. Ferguson, D. D.)

There is a moral power in beauty; it elevates the heart of the man who sees it. It is not enough that a man should display the law of holiness; he must display the beauty of holiness. There are some whose religion has every quality but one — attractive. ness. They are animated by the sincerest motives; they are ruled by the tenderest conscience; they are influenced by the purest desires; yet their religion is withal a weapon in the hand, not a magnet in the heart; it drives, but it does not draw. They are impressed above all things with the power" of the Lord, and they would like to display His power; but they do not see that the uppermost garment of the religious life must be the beauty of the Lord. They have not measured the force of the words of the text. The highest power of the Cross is ability to allure — its beauty. The glory of religion lies in the number of things it can attract.

(G. Matheson, B. D.)

I. THE IMPORTANT EVENT THE TEXT ANTICIPATES.

1. Primarily the Crucifixion (John 3:14-15).

2. Christ's exaltation to the mediatorial throne.

3. The preaching of the gospel, which displays both the Cross and the throne. This comprehends —

(1)The recital of the manner of the Redeemer's death.

(2)The declaration of the great design of His death.

(3)The proclamation of His power to save, with the terms on which He saves.

II. THE GRAND PURPOSE THE TEXT REVEALS.

1. The point to which He attracts. "Me." The centre of humanity, toward which all should gravitate.

2. The manner in which He attracts. By Himself, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. But the uplifting is adapted to the end.

(1)What is more calculated to arrest attention than the spectacle of such a Sufferer dying for the sake of a sinful world.

(2)The view of the Divine character presented is eminently attractive.

(3)The felt wants of our nature are here supplied.

3. The scale on which He attracts. "All men." Some resist. Objects are interposed between the magnet and the substance. But Christ attracts men from every race.

(J. Rawlinson.)

I. Observe HOW UNIVERSALLY OPERATIVE IS THAT MYSTERIOUS LAW BY WHICH MEN ARE DRAWN TO CHRIST. Explain it how we may, Christ is today the central figure in the thoughts of the civilized world, and is becoming more and more so. For the past 1800 years interest in Him has been Steadily growing. How many volumes it would take, e.g., to present a faithful account of "Christ in Song" since Luke penned the "Overture of the Angels" down to the time when Keble wrote "Sun of my Soul"! Is the world tired of singing about Christ because He has occupied the central field so long? It is a fact of no little interest that Christ is the only Person all nations of the world have ever united to praise in the same forms of speech. Again, it might be shown that Christ occupies the same position through the ages in art and general literature. No one has ever received such tributes from men of genius as Christ, and about no one is the printing-press so busy.

II. WHAT IS IT IN MAN THAT IS THUS DRAWN OUT TO CHRIST. With some it is admiration for His character and teachings; with others it is the interest that a reformer awakens; with others a sense of His Divinity. But if we stop here we shall lose sight of the true reason, so well stated by Napoleon. "Jesus alone founded His empire on love, and to this very day millions would die for Him." It is the human heart that is drawn out towards Christ. As we test the power of the magnet by the weight we attach to it, so Satan experiments with the heart of man. Take a typical case — that of Paul. He weighted Paul's heart with worldly allurements; but Paul cried, "What things were gain to me," etc. (Philippians 3:71): then with persecutions; but Paul said, "I take pleasure in infirmities," etc. (2 Corinthians 12:10): finally with death; but Paul exulted, "Who shall separate me" (Romans 8:35-39). When a bar of soft iron is brought into contact with a powerful magnet it becomes magnetic, and continues so while in contact; but remove it, and its virtue is gone. So the believer, to be attractive, must live near to Christ (chap. John 13:35).

III. WHAT IS IT IN CHRIST THAT HAS SUCH POWER TO KINDLE NEW AFFECTIONS AND SET UP NEW RELATIONS AMONG MEN? Not merely the influence of His life or doctrines, or of the mysterious union of the Divine with the human, but supremely His Cross. And why His Cross we cannot exactly analyze. We cannot explain the mysterious principle that we see operating in the galvanic battery; but there is clearly something, and we call it Magnetism. And the mysterious something in the Cross we call Love (2 Corinthians 5:15; Jeremiah 31:3). Here is a love that has at its command the resources of the Godhead. "In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead," and a perfect sympathy with all human weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15). What wonder that sinners are drawn to such a Saviour.

IV. THE MANNER IN WHICH THAT POWER IS BROUGHT TO BEAR UPON MEN. By drawing (Psalm 110:3; Song of Solomon 1:4; Psalm 73:28).

(J. G. Lowrie, M. A.)

1. When a man is leading a great religious movement, the worst thing that could usually happen is that he should die. The death of a pastor is often a hindrance to a good work. But here is one great religious Leader who, through death, draws all men to Himself.

2. But if the death of a religious leader is a disgraceful one, what damage his influence suffers — e.g., Dr. Dodd, who was hung for forgery. But behold a wonder I The death of Jesus on a malefactor's cross is the secret of His highest influence.

I. THE ATTRACTIVE POWER OF THE CRUCIFIED SAVIOUR. Himself.

1. Some suppose that Christ was lifted up to draw men unto the priests.

2. To draw men to a church might satisfy a religious bigotry.

3. But Christ alone can satisfy their souls.

II. HOW THAT POWER IS EXERCISED TODAY. There are degrees of drawing. Those who have never heard of Christ are drawn in a sense, for the world is pervaded with His influence.

1. Some say that the force that draws man is light; but men are sometimes driven away by light. They rebel against it, and use the truth to their own detriment.

2. Men are won to Christ by the force of love. Even earthly love is powerful. Swayed by love, what have not mothers done. Jesus' power lay in His irresistible love.

3. By His sufferings. In the old martyr days, what made England Protestant was the death of martyrs.

4. By the instrumentality of other men. Not by ministers only, but by holy life and loving words.

III. WHAT IT EVIDENTLY IMPLIES.

1. That men were far off from Christ. The older philosophers taught that men started like a sheet of white paper, and decried original sin. But the newer philosophers tell us that we have inherited all the desires and vices of our animal ancestors.

2. That men would not come to Christ unless He drew them.

3. That if we feel ourselves drawn, the wisest thing for us to do is to yield.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

1. Standing alone, these words might be understood to refer to the Ascension. St. Peter twice applies the expression to that event. But St. John explains the text according to our Lord's own meaning in John 3:14, and John 13:28.

2. The Apostle has preserved the text for the purpose of enforcing his main theme — the Divinity of Christ — whereas the stress in the other Gospels is on the manhood, although neither side of our Lord's Person is overlooked by either. This general difference culminates in the picture of the Crucifixion. To the Three that is the lowest depth of Christ's humiliation, and their task is to train our sympathies with the perfect Man. But to St. John the cross is not a scaffold but a throne; not defeat but victory; not a repulsion but a world-wide attraction.

3. If Christianity had come from man its chief attraction would not have been placed here, but to Christ on the Mount or beyond the stars. The wisdom of the Teacher, the prowess of the Conqueror, the majesty of the King would have been put forward, and a veil drawn over these dark hours. Instead of this, Christianity boasts of that which to human eyes must have appeared a failure. Twenty years after this prediction St. Paul echoes it, "We preach Christ crucified," and implies that that is the compendium of all Christian doctrine and morality, "I determined," etc. Wherein consists this attraction? In —

I. THE MORAL BEAUTY AND STRENGTH OF SELF-SACRIFICE. This fascinates because —

1. It requires a moral effort of the highest kind, and commands admiration exactly proportioned to its intensity.

2. It is rare. The mass of men follow self. The majestic power of keeping well in hand the forces that belong to the life of nature is as rare as it is beautiful. As we admire gems and flowers for their rarity as well as for their beauty, so we are drawn to great examples of self-sacrifice.

3. It is fertilizing. It is not unproductive moral beauty or energy run to waste. All the good done among men is proportioned to the amount of sacrifice employed. To witness sacrifice is to breathe a bracing atmosphere, and to be capable of it is already to be strong. All intense labour, and particularly that which is at the same time unrecognized or discouraged, is sacrifice of a high order. Such has been that of discoverers whose discoveries have been made public after death. Faraday's life was one example of disinterestedness and vast results of sacrificial labour. There are also lives in which sacrifice is pure suffering, undergone for a great cause or truth. The old pagans knew how to appreciate, e.g., the deaths of the three hundred at Thermopylae. And who that has ever witnessed the welcome a man receives who saves a fellow creature from a watery grave, or a burning house, can doubt the empire of sacrifice over every class in society. Our Lord said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." That each gift of what is dear to self adds immeasurably to moral capital is a matter of experience. Wealth consists not in the abundance of things external to ourself but in internal possession, in the force and freedom of the will to do good. That is God-like and Christ-like. Christ surrendered long before all that man cares for most, but on the cross He gave His life. Had He come amongst us without this mark, not doctrine, prowess or majesty would have drawn us to Him.

II. THE SUFFERINGS ENDURED.

1. Life is made up largely of pain of body or mind. Some have not begun to feel it, but all do before life closes. What account can be given of this empire of pain.

(1)It is a punishment — the advertisement that a deeper evil lies beneath.

(2)A purification.

(3)A preventative.

2. Still, an abstract doctrine in justification of pain is not sufficient to support us. We need the sympathy of a fellow sufferer. Now, if Christ had come fenced in among all the comforts of life by a superhuman power, and, after teaching the true theory of pain, had died on a soft bed, He might have been honoured as a great teacher, but would not have drawn all men unto Him. As it is, He is the Universal Sympathizer. "It behoved Him in all things to be made like unto His brethren." Therefore, after a life of varied suffering, He enforces His teaching by a supreme example of an excruciating death.

III. THE ATONEMENT HE OFFERED.

1. The prevalence of sacrifice expresses a truth recognized universally by the conscience, viz., that man carries about him that which is offensive to the purity of heaven. The depth of the sense of sin is proportioned to the soul's vision of moral truth, which becomes clearer as the law of God is more clearly revealed. The law affords a standard of duty, but gives no means of realizing it. Would, then, Christ have drawn all men unto Him had He only left the Sermon on the Mount? Nay, they who have felt the reproaches of the Decalogue would have felt more keenly the reproaches of the Beatitudes.

2. Christ draws all men because He alone offers relief to this our deepest need. The Bible describes three forms which a sense of sin takes, and how Christ crucified relieves us from each.(1) It tells man that sin is like a tyrant who keeps him fettered, and then points to Christ as paying down a ransom by His death.(2) It tells us that since God is holy, sin makes God and man at enmity; and that Jesus removes this by an atonement.(3) It insists that sin once committed is not like a vapour which melts away into the sky, but that it leaves a positive load of guilt behind it, and then it points to Jesus as taking this load and offering for it as a propitiation His supreme act of obedience.

3. Faith unites us with the all-sacrificing Christ. Conclusion:

1. The Cross is the one real principle of unity to the human family.

2. To this common centre we are drawn one by one.

(Canon Liddon.)

This is one of God's paradoxes. Christendom gathers once a year to commemorate and contemplate a brutal public execution. How is this? The Cross is —

I. AN ATTRACTION OF ADMIRATION.

1. Who has not felt his heart burn within him as he reads or sees a life given for another? If a man saves his wife or child from a burning house and perishes we have a natural admiration for the sacrifice. If the sacrifice be one all of duty; if the captain remains with the wreck and dies at his post, or still more, if a man die as a martyr the self-devotion demands higher praise. Yet once more, if the life be thus given not in heat and emotion, but with calm reflection when it might have been avoided, the consideration is heightened.

2. Christ attracts in part with the help of admiration. This is the first feeling a man has who contemplates the Cross. We see there. even before reaching the higher ground of the Divinity and Incarnation, an innocent person, the victim of an old-world formalism, the best of men enduring voluntarily the worst of deaths as a condition of giving life to the world. The observer of the Crucifixion desires to penetrate the heart of the Sufferer, and as he passes in review the prayer for the murderers, the gentle answer to the penitent, the tender consignment of His mother to John, what heart can find no affinity of admiration? For here in its highest form is what men most admire — strength, courage, presence of mind, tenacity of purpose, might of will, and all combined with perfect tenderness, love and sympathy.

II. AN ATTRACTION OF FAITH, growing, in due course, out of admiration. The object of the lifting up was no mere exhibition of a superhuman excellence, but the bearing away of sin. The moment you rob the Cross of this, you take out of it the magnetic virtue. As a mere display of heroic courage other deaths have rivalled it; other martyrs have yielded their life: we admire the sacrifice, but it would be a misnomer to say that it draws us to them. Though admiration may draw us towards Him, faith alone can draw us to Him. Put thy trust in that death: it has in it the balm of all sorrow, the satisfaction of all want, the healing of all disease, and the quickening of all death.

(Dean Vaughan.)

The gospel, with the Cross as its centre, is destined to exert an influence over the whole race.

I. WHEREVER IT IS PROCLAIMED IT CREATES A GENERAL INTEREST AND EXERTS A UNIVERSAL INFLUENCE. The fact is as startling as the assertion. Millions of sympathetic hearts cluster round the Cross, of all orders of intellect, all nationalities, etc. Even infidels, in spite of their antipathies, are drawn to the Cross to write lives of Christ. How can we account for this great influence?

1. The life and sufferings of Jesus are in the highest degree expressions of the Divine mind and heart. Nature is full of attractions. It is uphill work to scale the mountain, but the tourist is drawn up by an irresistible influence. We are always ready for another country walk. Man soon gets tired of human productions, but never of the works of God. The Divine alone can capture the spirit of man, and the Cross is the sublimest exhibition of the Divine.

2. Christ's life and sufferings supply a particular craving in the human breast. What an attraction a fountain has for a crowd of thirsty people, and the Cross attracts because there is that in it which alone can quench the thirst of the spirit. The great questions, "How shall a man be just with God?" "How shall conscience be satisfied?" are only answered there.

3. The same life and sufferings have conferred inestimable blessings on mankind. The influence radiating from the Cross has banished superstitions, liberated slaves, promoted peace, good government, etc., and therefore forces the most reluctant to give it a silent tribute of respect.

II. THE SPECIAL INFLUENCE OF THE CROSS IS THE SALVATION OF OUR SOULS. Some lives are more effective at a distance; but the nearer we come to Christ the better. Thousands are near enough to the Cross to be touched by its influence, but not its transforming power. There is here —

1. A sacrifice for sin. The Cross is the power which draws us to God for reconciliation.

2. Sanctification from sin — "Whereby the World is crucified unto Me."

3. Elevation above sin "Unto Me."

(T. Davies, Ph. D.)

(Missionary Sermon): — The text presents us with —

I. THE GREAT OBJECT OF MISSIONARY ZEAL. Such an object associates our cause with —

1. The design of the Son of God in redemption, the salvation of the human soul.

2. The ultimate end of all Providential arrangements. Providence is the direction of all human events with reference to the kingdom of Christ.

3. The best interests of the human race. If we succeed in drawing men to Christ we save their souls from death, and provide them with a blissful eternity; besides which religion is a civilizing process, and has the promise of the life that now is.

II. THE GRAND INSTRUMENT OF MISSIONARY EXERTIONS — the doctrine of the Cross. We see something resembling the splendid fable of Constantine's conversion — "By this conquer." We preach a true crusade whose object is not the recovery of the holy sepulchre, but the setting forth of Him who is the Resurrection and the Life, and whose weapons are not carnal but spiritual.

1. What is included in the doctrine of the Cross.(1) The manner of Christ's death — agonizing, ignominious.(2) The design of Christ's death, "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation."(3) The Divinity of Christ's Person as constituting the value of His satisfaction. While the hope of a guilty world can rest nowhere but on an atonement, that in its turn can be supported by nothing short of the Rock of Ages.(4) The gratuitous manner in which its blessings are bestowed: "by faith that it might be by grace."(5) Its moral tendency and design as respects the heart and conduct of those by whom it is received. "I am crucified with Christ."

2. The various powers of attraction which the doctrine of the Cross exerts.(1) The stupendous fact arrests and fixes the attention. The whole fabric of Christianity, both as to doctrines and duties, is founded on a fact; and that fact, drawn out into details more touching and tender than can be found in any history or romance. Conceive the effect upon pagans, conversant with nothing but the puerilities of a barbarous state, who heard for the first time of the death of the Son of God.(2) As an exhibition of unparalleled love, it melts and captivates the heart. John calls it the manifestation of love, as if nothing more now remained to be known of love in any age or world; St. Paul speaks of it as the commendation of love, as if nothing more could now ever be said upon the subject; and Christ uses the remarkable emphasis, "God so loved," etc. There is a mighty power in love, and the heart which wraps itself up in the covering of a stubborn and reckless despair against the attacks of severity, like the flower which closes at the approach of the angry blast, will put forth all the better parts of its nature to the smiles of love, like the tendrils of the sea anemone when it feels the first wave of the returning tide upon its native rock.(3) As a system of mediation, it allays the fears of a guilty conscience, and draws the soul into confidence in God. The idea of retributive justice seems far more easily deducible by the sinner from the light of nature, than that of mercy. What is the meaning of all those bloody sacrifices? But the Cross puts an authorized and perfect satisfaction to justice in the sinner's hand.(4) By admitting an individual appropriation of its benefits, it appeals to all the feelings of self-regard and personal interest. It is the glory of the gospel that, while it makes ample provision for the world, it lays its blessings at the feet of every individual.(5) By the suitableness and certainty of its blessings, it awakens hope and establishes faith. Are we guilty, here is pardon; "rebels, here is reconciliation; unholy, here is sanctification; agitated, here is peace for a wounded spirit; without knowledge of or hope for the future, here is life and immortality.

3. The effects which the doctrine of the Cross has produced.(1) In Judaism, at the metropolis, and in heathen lands.(2) In heathenism at Antioch, Corinth, Athens, and more recently in India, etc.

III. THE FIRST CONSUMMATION OF MISSIONARY SUCCESS.

1. Review the present results of missionary zeal.

2. Forecast its future triumph.

(J. Angell James.)

The Crucifixion furnished a significant type of the influence which the Cross would exert. Witnessing that spectacle were all classes of men. In the Roman centurion behold a representative of the intellectual and sceptical convinced, saying, "This is the Son of God." In the multitude remark the careless and thoughtless roused and agitated, "smiting heavily on their breasts." In the thief see the power of the Cross to stir and still the guilty clamour within. Whatever the intellect of man there is an argument in the Cross to convince him; whatever his heedlessness there is an energy in the Cross to rouse him; whatever his guilt there is a magnetism to draw, a magic to change, and a mystery to save him.

(R. Fuller, D. D.)

When I was a student at Princeton, Professor Henry had so constructed a huge bar of iron, bent into the form of a horseshoe, that it used to hang suspended from another iron bar above it. Not only did it hang there, but it upheld four thousand pounds weight attached to it! That horseshoe magnet was not welded or glued to the metal above it; but through the iron wire coiled round it there ran a subtle current of electricity from a galvanic battery. Stop the flow of the current one instant, and the huge horseshoe dropped. So does all the lifting power of a Christian come from the currents of spiritual influence which flow into his heart from the living Jesus. The strength of the Almighty One enters into the believer. If his connection with Christ is cut off, in an instant he becomes as weak as any other man.

(T. L. Cuyler.)

Our world has two forces: it has one tendency to run off at a tangent from its orbit; but the sun draws it by a centripetal power, and attracts it to itself, and so between the two forces it is kept in a perpetual circle. Oh, Christian! thou wilt never walk aright, and keep in the orbit of truth, if it be not for the influence of Christ perpetually attracting thee to the centre. Thou feelest (and if thou dost not feel always, it is still there) — thou feelest an attraction between thine heart and Christ; and Christ is perpetually drawing thee to Himself, to His likeness, to His character, to His love, to His bosom, and in that way thou art kept from thy natural tendency to fly off, and to be lost in the wide fields of sin.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

He was lifted up, that He might draw all men unto Him by drawing them out of, and away from, the sins that had put them so far off from Him. The sun, lifted into the meridian heavens, draws through its far-reaching beams from ten thousand lakes, and rivers, and oceans. But there is separation as well as attraction. Here a crystal drop is lifted from a muddy pool, but with no trace of impurity remaining in it; and there another drop is drawn from the Dead Sea waters, but with no taint of the acrid salts left in it. There is attraction and separation in one process. So, the beams of love from Christ's Cross fall upon this sinful world, and draw men to Him. Not alone to win you to Himself did Jesus die; but also to win you away forever from the sins that have held you in the bondage of corruption. "Thou shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins."

(A. T. Gordon.)

The image, which most naturally suggests itself to the mind on reading the declaration, is that of the loadstone attracting on all sides the iron to itself. But this is a defective image; the loadstone draws only one kind of substance; Christ declares that He will draw all men, however diverse their character. Some of the ancient philosophers, observing the attractive power of the earth, by which various bodies are made to fall towards its surface, inclined to the opinion that the earth itself was one huge loadstone. Sir Isaac Newton fairly argued that the earth attracts a feather as much as a piece of iron; whereas the loadstone attracts only iron, and he therefore contended there could be nothing analogous between the loadstone and the earth. Now it will follow from this, that Christ must be thought of as having the properties of the earth rather than of the loadstone. Some bodies indeed are so light that they float in the air, but this is not because the earth attracts them not, but simply because the air resists their descent. If there were no air, the tiniest leaf would fall as rapidly as a mass of lead. And here we cannot but observe a beautiful analogy. Only a few are actually drawn to Christ, the great mass of men continue at a distance. But Christ, like the earth, attracts all — though, as with the earth, all come not to Him. Why, then, are not all literally drawn unto Him? Oh! just because there is a carnal atmosphere round them, which neutralizes, as it were, the attractive power; and thousands float in it, who, if it were destroyed, would rush eagerly to Jesus as their centre. So that in these respects the earth, though not the lodestone, is the exact emblem of Christ; there is attractive virtue enough in each case to draw all; but in each case there is also a resisting medium which prevents the lighter bodies from descending. And it is possible, that this is something more than imagery, and ought to be received as interpretation. It is clear that the fact of one substance drawing another does not depend on the two being actually brought into contact. The earth draws the feather as much as it draws the lead; yet the feather falls not, and the lead rushes. Thus with Christ: it is not that He did not die for all; it is not that He does not love all; it is not that He does not invite all; and therefore we cannot be warranted in saying that He does not draw all — just as the earth draws all. But the feather of the unstable and worldly mind descends not, whilst the lead of the weary and heavy-laden spirit approaches Him rapidly. All are drawn; but one is inflated with vanity, and therefore floats; another is burdened with sin, and therefore falls. So that by illustration, at least, if not by argument, we make out that Christ might say of Himself that He would draw all, and yet know that all would not come to Him for life.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

Homiletic Review.
The attraction of gravitation is an invisible force, whose centre is the sun. This natural force illustrates the attractive power of the Cross. The Cross attracts —

I. BY ITS EXHIBITION OF JUSTICE (Romans 3:25).

1. Violated law demands the punishment of the guilty. This principle is inherent in man's conscience. There is a distinction between chastisement and punishment. The one originates in love, and its end is the good of the offender; the other originates in justice, and its end is the maintenance of the majesty of law.

2. The Cross of Christ satisfies the demand of conscience for justice. Christ is "the propitiation for our sins" (2 John 2:2).(1) The sufferings of Christ were penal. He bore our sins (Isaiah 53:4-6). He was "made a curse for us" (Galatians 3:13). "God made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin" (2 Corinthians 5:21).(2) The sufferings of Christ were vicarious (1 Corinthians 15:3).(3) All the difficulties of this truth find their practical solution in the union of the believer with Christ (Hebrews 10:22).

II. BY ITS EXHIBITION OF LOVE.

1. It has its origin in love (1 John 3:16).

2. It reconciles the attributes of God. The substitution of Christ for sinners is not a mere arbitrary interference (Psalm 85:10).

3. The sacrifice of the Cross was voluntary, and in accordance with a covenant arrangement between the Father and the Son (John 10:17, 18).

III. THIS EXHIBITION OF LOVE AND JUSTICE IN THE CROSS OF CHRIST IS THE MIGHTY MAGNET OF THE SPIRITUAL WORLD.

1. The power which draws near to the Cross is the work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-11).

2. There is no passion, affection, or desire of the human heart which the Holy Spirit cannot subdue by the Cross.

3. The attractive power of the Cross, through the influences of the Holy Spirit, is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

(Homiletic Review.)

Note:

I. CHRIST'S SUBLIME CONFIDENCE. He knew that the triumphal procession to Jerusalem was but a funeral march. The Church has had many moments of despair since then, but never one like that. There is much to weary and depress in the slow progress of the Church, yet how much brighter is our outlook than His. Yet He never faltered. And He is standing in the midst of His waiting Church today, sure of Himself, and of His truth and His destiny.

II. THE CONDITION OF VICTORY "lifted up." Eighteen hundred years were needed to explain this — lifted up out of the passions of men, their prejudices, errors, misconceptions, sins — He was so far above His age that it has taken eighteen centuries of moral growth to enable men to partially understand Him. By and by the world will see the King in His beauty, and then this promise will be fulfilled.

III. THE TRUE CHARACTER OF CHRIST'S POWER — "draw." It is the magic attraction of Divine beauty, and not the compulsion of Divine terrors. He would have no slaves, but free men. He disdained to entice men by the bribes of this world or the next. He had faith in human nature, and laid hold of its aspirations with His love.

IV. THE VAST KINGDOM OVER WHICH CHRIST WILL REIGN — "all men." The text lies parallel to Christ's prophecy of one fold and one shepherd, and the apostles' anticipation of the complete victory Christ will win when He shall put all things under His feet.

(J. G. Greenhough, M. A.)

The words σύρω and ἐλκύω differ. In σύρειν, as in our "drag," there lies always the notion of force, e.g., the headlong course of a river; and it will follow, that where persons, and not merely things, are in question, σύρειν, will involve the notion of violence (Acts 8:3; Acts 14:19; Acts 17:6). But in ἐλκύειν this notion does not of necessity lie. It may be there (Acts 16:19; Acts 21:30; James 2:6), but not of necessity, any more than in our "draw," which we use of a mental and moral attraction, or in the Latin traho. Only by keeping in mind this difference can we vindicate from erroneous interpretation this doctrinally important passage. The word here is ἐλκύσω. But how does a crucified, and thus an exalted, Saviour draw all men unto Him? Not by force, for the will is incapable of force, but by the Divine attraction of His love. Again (John 6:44) "Father which hath sent Me draw him" (ἐλκύση ἀυτόν). Now, as many as feel bound to deny any gratia irresistibilis, which turns man into a mere machine, and by which, willing or unwilling, he is dragged to God, must at once assert that this ἐλκύση can mean no more than the potent allurements, the allective force of love, the attracting of men by the Father to the Son; compare Jeremiah 31:3 (ἔλκυσα σε), and Song of Solomon 1:3,

4. Did we find σύρειν on either of these occasions (not that I can conceive this possible), the assertors of a gratia irresistibilis, might then urge the declarations of our Lord as leaving no room for any other meaning but theirs; but not as they now stand. In agreement with all this, in ἐλκύειν, is predominantly the sense of a drawing to a certain point, in σύριεν merely of dragging after one. Thus Lucian likens a man to a fish already hooked and dragged through the water. Not seldom there will lie in συριεν the notion of this dragging being on the ground, inasmuch as that will trail upon the ground (Isaiah 3:16), which is forcibly dragged along with no will of its own: as for example, a dead body. We may compare John 21:6, 11, with ver. 8 of the same chapter, in proof of what has just been asserted. At ver. 6 and 11 ἐλκύειν is used: for there a drawing of the net to a certain point is intended: by the disciples to themselves in the ship, by Peter to himself upon the shore. But at ver. 8, ἐλκύειν gives place to συριεν, for nothing is there intended but the dragging of the net, which had been fastened to the ship, after it through the water.

(Abp. Trench.)

I. THE MANIFESTATION OF THE POWER OF CHRIST'S DEATH.

1. Evidences of this power are to be found in the national and social life of countries wherever His death has been proclaimed. Is it not marvellous that an obscure teacher, who spent but a few years in making known His doctrines to a despised people, and was so despised by them that they put Him to death, should draw to Him the steadfast gaze of all who have heard His name?

2. Within the broad circle of popular homage to Christ, there is the narrower one containing those who are personally attached to Him. He who was despised and crucified is loved by millions with an ardour that death cannot quench.

3. Whatever may now be the power of Christ's death, it will be greater still. "Every knee shall bow" to Him. The fulness of the promise is not yet realized; but because the stream of homage has daily risen higher, the hope is kindled that the whole family of man will be gathered into the household of God.

4. But if this hope be not realized, in yet another sense all men will be drawn to Christ. "When He cometh with clouds every eye shall see Him."

II. WHENCE COMES THIS ATTRACTIVE POWER?

1. Christ's death is significant, because in it He triumphed over the prince of this world (ver. 31). He shook the kingdom of evil to its foundation, and gave to all the power to become the sons of God. So men are drawn to Him as their Deliverer.

2. Christ's death exemplifies the highest form of self-sacrifice, and declares with greatest emphasis the love of God. The world knows of no greater forces than love and self-sacrifice.

3. Christ's death is the ground of the impartation of spiritual life (ver. 24).

(F. Carter.)

Homiletic Review.
I. MAN THE WANDERER. The centrifugal influence of sin has been felt not only by devils, but by men. It has so separated man from God that he has neither the disposition nor the ability to return.

1. Cain-like he has gone out from the presence of God.

2. Prodigal-like he has gone into a far country.

3. Pharaoh-like he has asked, "Who is the Lord that I should serve Him?"

4. Eve-like he has been seduced from his allegiance.

II. CHRIST THE RESTORER. A Divine Person, one representative and a substitute.

1. He has provided for our restoration by the Cross. He was lifted up in the very heart of Satan's kingdom. In the midst of fiery flying serpents He heals our diseases and restores us to our place of duty in His kingdom.

2. From earth to heaven. "Led captivity captive." "A highway shall be there." "I am the Way." Thus only is the wandering star brought back to its orbit by the attraction of the Sun of Righteousness.

III. THE BLESSINGS THUS SECURED.

1. Man is freed from sin; its guilt, pollution, love, power, alienation, and curse.

2. Mammon is no longer His Master. As the greater fire extinguishes the less, so the love of Christ puts out the love of Mammon.

3. He is drawn to Christ. This first; to Church and ordinances after. Union is followed by communion. Being like Him, we shall spend eternity with Him.

IV. APPLICATION. Men by nature are drawn by sin to hell; they must by grace be drawn from sin to heaven. Which power controls you, the centrifugal or the centripetal? The one will land you in the zenith of glory; the other sink you in the nadir of despair.

(Homiletic Review.)

I. THE OBJECT OF CHRIST WAS TO DRAW ALL MEN UNTO HIM. The opposition in which He sets Himself to the prince of this world (ver. 31) shows us that by drawing He means attracting as a king attracts to his name, claims, standard, person. Note some of the characteristics of this kingdom.

1. It is a kingdom; a community of men under one Head. Those who are attracted to Christ are formed into one solid body or community. Being drawn to Christ, we enter into fellowship with all the good who are labouring in the cause of humanity. Every man out of Christ is an isolated individual.

2. It is a universal kingdom — "all men." The idea of universal monarchy has visited the great minds of our race. But an effectual instrument has ever been wanting. Christ turns this grandest dream into a rational hope. He appeals to what is universally present in human nature, and there is that in Him which every man needs. He does not say that His kingdom will be quickly formed. If it has taken a million ages for the rocks to knit and form for us a standing ground and a dwelling place, we must not expect that this kingdom, which is to be the one enduring result of this world's history, and which can be built up only of thoroughly convinced men, and of generations slowly weeded of traditional prejudices and customs, can be completed in a few years.

3. Being universal it is necessarily inward. What is common to all men lies deepest in each. Christ knew what was in man, and knew also that He could sway all that was in man. This He would do by the simple moral process of drawing. It is by inward conviction, not outward compulsion, men are to become His subjects. And because Christ's rule is inward, it is therefore of universal application. The inmost choice being governed by Christ, all conduct is governed by Christ. The kingdom of Christ claims all human life as its own. If the statesman is a Christian, it will be seen in his policy; if the poet, his song will betray it, etc. Christianity does not mean churches, creeds, Bibles, but the Spirit of Christ. It is the most portable and flexible of all religions, and therefore the most persuasive and dominant in the life of its adherent.

II. THE CONDITION OF HIS ATTAINING IT. Not His remarkable life, but His shameful death. Wherein then consists the superiority of the latter as a constraining force?

1. Because it presents in a dramatic and compact manner the devotedness which is diffused through every part of the life, and was the culmination and seal of the life.

2. Because Christ was the representative of God, and His death the last syllable of the utterance of God's great love for man. It draws us because the very heart of God is laid bare to us. It is this which is special to the death of Christ, and separates it from all other deaths. Nothing could be more noble or pathetic than the way in which Roman after Roman met His death. But beyond respectful admiration they win from us no further sentiment; they have no connection with us. But Christ's death concerns all men, and the result of our contemplation of it is not that we admire, but are drawn into new relations with Him whom that death reveals.

(Marcus Dods, D. D.)

"You have," said the Hon. and Rev. W.B. Cadogan, to a young clergyman, "but one thing to do; exalt Jesus, and the promise is, 'I will draw all men unto Him.'" The Moravians laboured in Greenland for a number of years with no apparent fruit. When they spoke to the savages of the being and attributes of God — of the sin of man — of the necessity of an atonement — of the evil of sin — of the excellence of holiness — of the glories of heaven, or of the horrors of hell — their hearers talked of soul catching, and said they did not understand these things. But, on one of the missionaries one day describing to them, with unusual minuteness, the sufferings and death of Christ, one of the savages suddenly stepped forward, and said, "How was that? Tell me it once more. I also would fain be saved." This amazed and delighted the missionaries, and led them to adopt a new method with their pagan disciples. They preached the Cross. They held up Jesus, lifted up from the earth, and virtue came forth from Him. The poor brutalized Greenlanders were interested; their dark understandings were enlightened; their stubborn hearts melted; in a word, they were drawn to Christ; the Spirit wielded resistlessly His favourite instrument — the Cross.

(J. Brown, D. D.)

Take Unitarianism, for instance, Christianity with the Cross left out, the Gospel with the Atonement struck off. What is the result? It does not "draw." One of the leaders of English Unitarianism declared publicly in Birmingham the other day that Unitarianism failed to "draw." The English public will not attend their chapels. That is just what Christ fore. saw. He knew that nought save His Cross would serve to draw men. "And I, if I be lifted up, will draw." It is not His character, though spotlessly white, not His teaching, though sublimely pure, not His person, though mysteriously Divine, but His Cross that is the centre of the world's attraction. The popularity as well as the efficacy of Christianity is mainly dependent on the Cross.

(J. C. Jones, D. D.)

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