Monday, June 29, 2009

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me (John 12:32)

Jesus said if He is lifted up from the earth, He will draw all men unto Him. Contextually, Jesus was referring to either the way He would die or His resurrection.

The Apostle John’s interpretation was the former – He said this to show the kind of death that He was going to die (verse 33). Jesus was crucified and crucifixion involved putting someone on a cross (put very simply, perhaps too simply) and standing the cross upright with the person on the cross – the person is lifted up from the earth. We can be very sure that when Jesus was hung on the cross at Calvary, many people were there watching to see what happened i.e. people were drawn to the crucifixion.

I tend to believe that Jesus was referring to the latter, i.e. His resurrection. The main reason for this is due to the second portion of the scripture; it stated that He will draw all men unto Him. I suggest no matter how you interpreted the word “all men”, it should suggest more than a local population/gathering of men in a locality. What I am saying is that Jesus cannot be referring to the crowd that would gather at His crucifixion. He was referring to all people of the world, his present time and future. I believe at least a portion of the past people (with reference to His time), were included [a separate article to come]. It was the resurrection (from death) that was the victory over Satan, Sin and Death. It is by this resurrection that Jesus will draw all men unto Him. If He died and was not resurrected, He would not draw men, would He? So, what Jesus was saying was that with resurrection, He will draw all men unto Him. [to avoid misunderstanding, it is only right to say the Apostle John understood the resurrection power]

How can we apply this verse in our walk with the Lord?
Why would we want to be bothered with this verse?
Isn’t it past or is it not?

It is not past. The power of resurrection is still available and on-going. The actual event is past but the consequence of the event is continuous. The key power of resurrection is the Saving power. This is the power to save people from their fate of eternal deaths in Hell. We should be bothered with this verse because we have been saved (that is if you are already a Christian) by this power, and it is the continuous will of the Father God for mankind – that all men be saved from their fate of eternal deaths in Hell. In Mathew 7:21 Jesus stated that not everyone will enter the kingdom of heaven but only he who does the will of the Father God.

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Mathew 7:21)

Of course, God will many things, but we often say we do not know what is God’s will for our lives. But that is not good enough excuse for us not to try to comply with the requirements of entry into the Kingdom of Heaven [a separate article to come]. I know I sounded a little like we have to make an effort but I made no apologies for it. I do not subscribe to “salvation by works” but I believe God grants us grace to perfect holiness [Be holy because I am holy] and to do good works (produce acceptable fruits to God). I am not trying to put fear into us and suggesting that we will not be going to heaven if we die now, just because we are not doing the will of God all the time. I believe God does look at the heart of a person. Nevertheless, it is important that we take note of the explicit wills of God and walk in them. Saving people from the fate of eternal deaths in Hell is an explicit and continuous will of God that we can always walk in. So what must we do then? Tell people about the power – The resurrection story of Jesus and He will draw men unto Himself.

What else can we do apart from sharing the resurrection story? We have to be careful whenever we take a verse out of its context. One possible window of application is when a particular verse is consistent with the general theme of various parts of the Word of God. I do apply this verse in this manner:

I often pray this:
Lord, when I lift your name, draw men unto yourself (basically drawing upon John 12:32)

Father God resurrected Jesus and that resurrection draws men unto Jesus. In this case, I lift Jesus’ name by testimonies, by speaking of his attributes (like greatness, love, compassion, etc), by exercising faith in prayers and in exercising the gifts of the Spirit. I am saying, “Jesus, draw men unto yourself as I do these things.” Because I move in a little way, in the gift of words of knowledge (to a lesser extent, prophecy), I would pray this regularly:

Lord when I lift your name, come and hold up your name.
Let me receive from you clearly and that I speak only what you want spoken.
I rather not lift your name than to lift it up and see it fall to the ground.
My intention is to glorify your name and let people with needs be helped.
Lord, when I release your words, come and hold up your name by doing the necessary – healing, setting people free, convicting people, and ministering to people.
Lord, when I lift your name, draw men unto yourself

I am honored that the Lord honored the motivations of my heart and allowed me to be a blessing to others (some were healed, others felt ministered, still others were encouraged to walk closer to the Lord; indirectly, maybe even others gave their lives to the Lord because of what they see/experienced). I believe I have been a blessing to more people in the last one year than the previous 7 years. When we
lift Jesus’ name with the correct motivations, He will draw men unto Himself.

Anthony Chia -God wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:4)

Comments are welcome here. Alternatively, email them to me @:
Or just email me your email address so that I can put you on my blog (new entry) notification list. To go back to blog main page, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome comments.