If Jesus sat down with us for some one-on-one time, what would we ask Him? More importantly, how would we respond to His questions?
Knowing He is omniscient God, the Living Word of God [John 1:1-3] who knows the “thoughts and intents of the heart” [Hebrews 4:12], compels us to answer honestly and fully. No hiding, deflecting, or excusing. Just honest answers.
John’s Gospel records several questions Jesus asked in His earthly ministry. By personally considering each of His questions, we face His same probing truth. By responding truthfully, may we be drawn into a more intimate walk with Him.
13th Question – Now My Soul is Troubled and What Shall I Say?
“We wish to see Jesus” [John 12:21].
Jesus had just raised Lazarus from the dead. Such a divine demonstration should have convinced everyone He was the Messiah. However, the frenzied religious establishment wanted Him dead. In their spiritual blindness and madness, they also wanted to kill Lazarus. Unfortunately, he was a living testament to Jesus’ divinity.
Against this backdrop, a group of men approached Philip asking for an audience with Jesus. Like the wise men shortly after His birth, some inner desire drew these men to Jesus shortly before His death. They arrived in time to hear Him say,
“The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name” [John 12:23, 25-28, bold text added].
Jesus chose that moment to foretell His death, explain the cost and reward of following Him, and also disclose His purpose. His appointed time had arrived—there were no random circumstances or surprise events. His purpose was divinely orchestrated [Acts 2:23] in “the fullness of time” [Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:10].
Yes, the awesome responsibility and horrible suffering of His purpose “troubled” Him. Yet, He “endured the cross, despising the shame” [Hebrews 12:2] because that was why He came. By fulfilling His purpose, He was exalted “at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus’ question and example prompt us to examine our own purpose and whether or not we will fulfill it. How will we answer? Will we shrink from it to pursue something more safe or obscure? Or will we diligently confirm it, then boldly seize it because “For this purpose, I came to this hour”?
Our souls may also be troubled, but what shall we say? May Jesus’ words comfort our hearts: “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” [John 14:27]. In seeking Jesus, may we follow Esther’s example and courageously fulfill our appointed destinies “for such a time as this” [Esther 4:14].
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This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Nate Stevens