John’s Gospel is full of rich truths. In particular, John highlights Jesus’ divinity more than the other Gospels. From John 1:1 to the end, it’s obvious not only that Jesus is God, but that Jesus knows He is God.
At the same time, we see over and over again Jesus pointing to His Father, reminding people that the Father sent Him, that He speaks on behalf of the Father, that He’s an exact representation of the Father, and that He seeks only to glorify His Father. In short, the Father and His Son are both God, but there seem to be some similarities and differences between them. Both are said to have created the world, but we also know the Father didn’t die on the cross. As theologian Fred Sanders has said, “They are equal, but they are not each other.”
Why does this matter? John’s Gospel in general and John 12 in particular give us a peek into the life of our Trinitarian God. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—one God in three persons. This is important to affirm because it’s important to know and understand God rightly (at least, as best we can with our limited humanity).
John 3:16 tells us that God (the Father) sent His only Son (Jesus) to give us eternal life—the eternal life they share as God. As we will see in John 14, we also know that Jesus will send the Holy Spirit to remind us of Jesus’ words and to empower us to live Christlike lives. In other words, we see clearly that God loves us, and that He’s provided everything we need to be saved.
If a person believes in Jesus, he believes in the Father who sent Him (John 12:44). If a person believes in the Father and Son, he must believe in the Holy Spirit who will be sent to him. God the Father sent God the Son into the world, and God the Son sends God the Spirit into our hearts. And we know that through this faith, we have eternal life (John 12:50).
God has come into the world. He has come to save sinners. And He has come to live within us. May we say with the psalmist in Psalm 118:25, “Lord, save us!” We know that He wants to save us and that in Himself, He has given us all we need for salvation. Have you called out to Him?
Written By Brandon D. Smith