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4-10-22 “His Hour”

“His Hour” (John 12:20-43)

David Peterson / General

John 12:20–43

Sermon type: Textual-Topical

Proposition: Decisions in this life matter. Jesus’ decision to go to the cross changed the world. Our decision to live for Christ matters for now and for eternity.


1.) A turning point in the story (Jn. 12:20-23)

I. What if he had not done it? (Jn 12:23)

1. The work we spoke of last week wouldn’t have happened—our being made right with God

2. But emphasis here is on the spread of the knowledge of God.

3. His one action led to a chain reaction right down to the present day.

The Influence of Jesus

Let me quote from the end of Kenneth Latourette’s seven-volume history of the expansion of Christianity. Referring to Jesus he says, “No life ever lived on this planet has been so influential in the affairs of men as that of Christ. From that brief life and its apparent frustration has flowed a more powerful force for the triumphal waging of man’s long battle than any other ever known by the human race.

“Through it, millions of people have had their inner conflicts resolved. Through it, hundreds of millions have been lifted from illiteracy and ignorance and have been placed upon the road of growing intellectual freedom and control over the physical environment. It has done more to allay the physical ills of disease and famine than any other impulse, and it has emancipated millions from chattel slavery and millions of others from thralldom to vice. It has protected tens of millions from exploitation by their fellows, and it has been the most fruitful source of movements to lessen the horrors of war and to put the relations of men and nations on the basis of justice and peace.”

This is the influence of Jesus through his followers in society. Don’t underestimate the power and the influence that even a small minority can exert in the community.

Source: John Stott, “Christians: Salt and Light,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 109.

II. What if we don’t do it? (Jn 12:25)

1. He’s calling us to do the same, because if we don’t act, things won’t happen.

The Seedbed of Elon Musk’s Imagination

Joshua Haldeman grew up on the prairies of Saskatchewan. When the domino effect of the Great Depression hit Canada, Haldeman lost his five-thousand-acre farm and had to start from scratch. He tried his hand at chiropractic medicine and politics. Then Haldeman discovered his passion—flying airplanes.

In 1950, Haldeman uprooted his family and moved halfway around the world to South Africa, a place he had never even been to before! With the help of his wife, Winnifred, and their children, he disassem­bled his 1948 single-engine airplane. The airplane was packed into crates, shipped to South Africa, and reassembled by the family once it got there.

A few years later, Joshua and Winnifred Haldeman embarked on a thirty-thousand-mile round-trip flight from Africa to Australia and back. They are believed to be the only private pilots to have ever made that flight in a single-engine airplane. As a comparison point, Charles Lindbergh’s legendary transatlantic flight in 1927 was only 3,600 miles. Twenty-seven years later, the Haldemans flew more than eight times as far!

Few people have heard of Joshua and Winnifred Haldeman, but I bet you’ve heard of their grandson Elon Musk. Musk’s entrepreneurial exploits are well documented. He has turned the automotive and aero­space industries upside down. At SpaceX headquarters, there are two giant posters of Mars. One shows a cold, barren planet. The other looks a lot like Earth. The second poster represents Musk’s life purpose—colonizing Mars.

How does someone even conceptualize colonizing a planet, in the non-science-fiction sense? Dreams are not conceived in a vacuum. One of Musk’s biographers noted, “Throughout his child­hood. Elon heard many stories about his grandfather’s exploits and sat through countless slide shows that documented his travels.” Those stories were the seedbed of Musk’s imagination. Those stories were the shoulders he stood on.

Source: Excerpted from Win the Day: 7 Daily Habits to Help You Stress Less & Accomplish More Copyright © 2020 by Mark Batterson, pages 24-25. Used by permission of Multnomah, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

2. We can start a chain reaction every day.

It is precisely because of the eternity outside time that everything in time becomes valuable and important and meaningful. Therefore, Christianity … makes it of urgent importance that everything we do here (whether individually or as a society) should be rightly related to what we eternally are. “Eternal life” is the sole sanction for the values of this life.

Source: Dorothy L. Sayers in Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul. Christianity Today, Vol. 41, no. 11.

III. This is our moment to act (Jn 12:36)

1. This is our moment to act

2. To Receive Christ

Lord Kenneth Clark, internationally known for his television series Civilization, lived and died without faith in Jesus Christ. He admitted in his autobiography that while visiting a beautiful church he had what he believed to be an overwhelming religious experience. He wrote, “My whole being was irradiated by a kind of heavenly joy far more intense than anything I had known before.”

But the “flood of grace” as he described it, created a problem. If he allowed himself to be influenced by it, he knew he would have to change, his family might think he had lost his mind, and maybe that intense joy would prove to be an illusion. So, he concluded, “I was too deeply embedded in the world to change course.”

Source: Vernon Grounds, “Changed Lives Are Possible” Our Daily Bread (10-1-05)

3. To Be Moved by him to action



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