The signs of the Messiah, 2:13-12:50

8. Jesus the triumphant king, 11:55-12:50

iii] Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground


John now records a rather unique incident where a group of Gentile "Godfearers" take the trouble to seek Jesus out. The incident occurs during the final days of Jesus' Jerusalem ministry and serves to round off his public ministry to Israel and at the same time point forward to the gathering together of all peoples, Jew and Gentile, under the cross. Philip and Andrew convey the request of the Gentiles to meet with Jesus, but Jesus responds with a rather strange statement; "the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified." Then, in a saying about corn and wheat, Jesus points out that both life and death applies to him and his followers. The cross looms large as Jesus calls on the Father to glorify his name. A divine response is followed by Jesus' declaration of ultimate victory.


Christ's death is the necessary condition for the life of broken humanity.


i] Context: See 12:1-11.


ii] Structure: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground:

Greeks come to Jesus, v20-22;

Jesus' response, v23-36:

Only death leads to life, v23-26:

"anyone who loves their life will lose it,

while anyone who hates their life in this world

will keep it for eternal life."

The necessity of Jesus' death, v27-30:

"it is for this very reason I came to this hour."

The significance of Christ's glorification, v31-33;

"I, when I am lifted up from the earth,

will draw all people to myself."

The call to choose between light and darkness, v34-36:

"believe in the light while you have the light."


iii] Interpretation:

Jesus has entered Jerusalem to inaugurate his eternal reign and through Philip he is approached by a group of Gentiles, possibly God-fearers. The homage of Gentiles to the messiah is indeed a subtle temptation for it suggests that the kingdom-harvest can be realized without the death of the king. Yet the truth is, the messiah must die to realize the harvest, for only by identifying with his death can the seeker find eternal life, v20-26. The cross looms large before Jesus, its cost and agony, and in that thought there is divine confirmation, v27-30. The battle is now set, the victory assured and the harvest guaranteed, v31-33. The gathered crowd has grasped the significance of Jesus' words about a dying and rising messiah, but they are still mystified. Does not the messiah abide for ever? Jesus doesn't bother debating matters of theology with the crowd for the day of judgment is at hand, and so he reminds them that like a traveller at sunset they have a fading moment to find their way to safety and security - to life, v34-36.


iv] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 12:20

Victory over death, v20-36: i] Some Gentiles approach Philip to see if they can gain an audience with Jesus, v20-22. The impact of Jesus' ministry is beginning to move beyond his own countryman, such that a group of God-fearers try to get to speak with him. They obviously feel uneasy about approaching Jesus directly so they tackle one of the disciples. Philip, with a Greek name, may well be a bit more approachable, a bit less Jewish. Interestingly, Philip discusses the approach with Andrew, the only other disciple with a Greek name. There is no indication whether they get to see Jesus, but they will "see" him after his crucifixion. When he is lifted up he will draw both Jew and Gentile to himself, cf., v32.

de "now" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative to a new episode.

EllhneV (hn hnoV) "Greeks" - [there were some] greeks. Nominative subject of the imperfect verb to-be. There is much to commend the suggestion that they are Greek-speaking Jews, but that they are Gentile God-fearers is to be preferred. The fact that they come to Philip rather than Jesus, that Philip checks with Andrew, and that Jesus becomes quite agitated (Gentiles approaching Jesus indicates both, temptation - the gaining of the whole world without the cross, and a signification that the hour had come for his glorification [the cross]), indicates that they are Gentiles. The point John is making is that they are people of non-Jewish birth. A God-fearer could attend the temple, but only in the court of the Gentiles, a court in which Jesus would often teach.

ek + gen. "among" - from. Here the preposition is used instead of a partitive genitive; "from among."

twn anabainontwn (anabainw) gen. pres. part. "those who went up" - the ones going up. The participle serves as a substantive. This is often a technical term for going on pilgrimage rather than just going up from the low country to the highlands of Jerusalem. "Among those who used to go up to worship at festival-time", Harris.

iJna + subj. "to [worship]" - that [they might worship]. Here introducing a final clause expressing purpose; "in order to worship / do obeisance."

en + dat. "at [the feast]" - in [the feast]. Local, expressing space, "at", but as Novakovic notes, it may also be temporal, "during the festival."


As already noted, Philip and Andrew are the only two disciples with Greek names. There is no indication that these God-fearers got to meet with Jesus.

oun "-" - therefore. Transitional, establishing a logical connection; "So these came to Phillip", ESV.

proshlqon (prosercomai) aor. "came to" - [these ones] approached, came to. Why did they approach Philip? Bethsaida is actually in Gaulanitis, not Galilee, so possibly it's because he is from Gentile territory, but John obviously doesn't see the connection.

filippw/ (oV) dat. "to Philip" - Dative of direct object after the proV prefix verb "to come to, approach" / dative of destination.

tw/ "who [was from Bethsaida]" - the [from bethsida]. The dative article serves as an adjectivizer turning the prepositional phrase "from Bethsida" into an attributive adjective limiting "Philip", as NIV.

thV GalilaiaV (a) gen. "in Galilee" - of galilee. The genitive is adjectival, partitive; "Bethsaida, a village in Galilee."

hpwtwn (epwtaw) imperf. "with a request" - [and] were asking, requesting [him]. They approached Philip ..... and asked him saying ... Durative aspect is possibly intended; "they kept asking him"

legonteV (legw) pres. part. "-" - saying. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to ask", redundant; "they asked him and said."

idein (oJraw) aor. inf. "[we would like] to see" - [we will] to see [jesus]. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "to want/will." Here in the sense of "to interview / converse with." They have already seen him, now they want to talk with him.


Andrea/ (aV ou) dat. "[Philip went to tell] Andrew" - [philip comes and says] to andrew [and andrew, and philip comes and says to jesus]. As with "to Jesus", dative of indirect object. "Philip went and told Andrew, and the two of them went and told Jesus", TEV.


ii] Jesus' discourse on the coming death and glorification of the Son of Man, v23-36. "The function of the discourse is to show the necessity of the death and exaltation of Jesus for the establishment of the saving sovereignty of God that embraces all nations", Beasley-Murray.

a) Jesus is glorified in his death, and what is true for him is true for his disciples, v23-26. The approach of the Gentiles prompts Jesus to speak of his coming death, the coming "hour". Jesus illustrates the purpose of his dying in a short illustrative / teaching parable. Although it is without explanation, it obviously refers to Jesus' lifting up from the earth to draw all people to himself, cf., v32. In the synoptic gospels, Christ's glorification is identified with his ascension and heavenly rule. For John, Christ is glorified in his crucifixion, for the cross draws lost humanity to God. Jesus' words in v23-25 seem to parallel the synoptic gospels where Jesus follows up a prediction of his death with a word on discipleship. Yet, hating life does not necessarily mean dying to the world, cf. Lk.9:24, but rather dying to self in the sense of resting in Christ for our salvation. Similarly, being where Christ is does not necessarily mean cross-bearing, cf. Lk.9:23, but rather identification with Christ in his humiliation / glorification.

autoiV dat. pro. "[Jesus replied]" - [but/and jesus answered saying] to them. Dative of indirect object. The participle legwn, "saying", is attendant circumstance, redundant.

elhluqen hJ wJra "the hour has come" - "The time of Jesus' death has arrived." The approach of the Gentiles obviously triggers this response from Jesus. Their approach indicates that his work with Israel is complete and now he must turn toward the lost and outcast. As this ministry is not directly his, but rather a ministry of the Spirit through his disciples and the church, then it is time for him to leave - the hour has come. At a more subtle level, his response is also triggered by the temptation that he can gain the world and reign over it, apart from the cross. This is Satan's classic temptation and one that Christ had to resist until the end. For this reason, he turns away from the approach of these "Greeks" and turns toward the cross.

iJna + subj. "for" - that. Here introducing an epexegetic clause, limiting by explaining the noun "hour" in temporal terms, so Barrett; "the hour when the Son of Man is glorified, crucified", cf., iJna for oJte, Zerwick #428. By the use of iJna "Jesus is drawing attention to the significance of the hour", Schnackenburg. Read as a purpose clause, so Klink etc., "the hour has come in order for the Son of Man to be glorified" is possible, but unlikely, ie., iJna + subj. for an adverbial infinitive modifying the verb "to come."

uiJoV tou anqrwpou "the Son of Man" - Barrett suggests that John's usage of Daniel's "Son of Man", the mysterious messiah who will reign over an eternal kingdom, is slightly different to the synoptic gospels. John sees him as "the heavenly Man incarnate, whose glory is achieved in his humiliation." See 1:51.

doxasqh/ (doxazw) aor. pas. subj. "glorified" - may be glorified. For John, Christ is glorified in his crucifixion. Although rightly the reign of Christ demonstrates the divine glory, for John his reign begins on the cross when he draws lost humanity to himself, both Jew and Greek. "To be invested with glory", Cassirer.


Jesus depicts his death / glorification as a seed sown in the ground, dying to produce a rich harvest, cf., 15:1ff and 1Cor.15:36.

uJmin dat. pro. "[I tell] you [the truth]" - [truly truly i say] to you. Dative of indirect object. Jesus often uses these words to reinforce what he is about to say; See 5:24.

ean mh + subj. "unless" - if not. Introducing a negated conditional clause, 3rd. class, where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true; "if, as may be the case, a grain of wheat does not fall into the ground and die, then it remains a solitary grain."

oJ kokkoV (oV) "a seed / kernel" - the seed, grain. Although "seed" has a definite article it is generic, so he phrase is representative, "a seed (any old seed)". It is possible that the definite article is used to indicate that the seed represents Christ, although this is unlikely. Either way, Jesus is obviously illustrating his coming death.

tou sitou (oV) gen. "of wheat" - of edible grain. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "seed". "In rabbinic literature, the kernel of wheat is repeatedly used as a symbol of the eschatological resurrection of the dead", Kostenberger.

peswn (piptw) aor. part. "falls" - having fallen [into the ground dies, it remains alone]. Although anarthrous, the participle is probably adjectival, attributive, limiting the "kernel of wheat", "which has fallen into the ground"; "that drops into the earth", Berkeley. Of course, it may be adverbial, possibly temporal, "a seed of wheat dies when it falls into the ground."

de "but" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative to a counter point; "if ... does not ... then ...., BUT if .... does .... then ....." "If the wheat-grain does not fall into the soil and die, it stays as it was, a single grain, but if it dies it yields abundantly", Rieu.

ean + subj. "if" - if, as may be the case, [it dies then much fruit it bears]. Introducing a conditional clause, 3rd. class, where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true; "But if it dies it brings a good harvest", Phillips.


Verses 25 and 26 serve to explain and apply the illustration Jesus has used in v24 of his coming death and its consequential results. Verse 25, a typical wise saying, consists of two antithetical statements which make the point that the "loss of life is the condition for the emergence of new life", Ridderbos. cf., Mk.8:35. Morris follows the normal line of interpretation when he explains that "the man whose priorities are right has such an attitude of love for the things of God that it makes all interest in the affairs of this life appear by comparison as hatred." When it comes to hating one's life, there is little in the context to explain how this disdain for one's personal life actually works out in practice. Discipleship criteria seems the obvious fit, but when applied we immediately find ourselves in a works frame. We should, therefore, beware of literally applying what is a classic example of Jesus' use of hyperbole. He is simply making the point that the gaining of life involves the setting aside of life. Such entails reliance on Christ for eternal life, rather than self. Gaining and keeping eternal life is always by grace through faith.

oJ filwn pres. part. "the man who loves [his life will lose it]" - the one being fond of the life [of him loses it]. The participle serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the verb "to lose." The parallel in Mark 8:35 has "the person who wishes to save their life will lose it", save in the sense of keep themselves safe, preserve. John has a slightly different sense, "the person who wishes to live (love is used in the sense of live for themselves) will lose it". "The man who loves his own life will destroy it", Phillips. The "lose" is not future, "shall lose", but present continuous, losing/destroying right now. The synoptics, as well as John, use "soul" in the sense of a person's real living self as opposed to their fleshly self. The soul is not the spiritual or godward self, rather it is a person's life evidenced in their breath, their being.

kai "while" - and. Coordinating; "He who loves his life loses it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it in eternity", Rieu, or less sexist, "the lover of life ........ and the hater of life .......", Berkeley.

oJ miswn (misew) pres. part. "the man who hates / anyone who hates" - the one hating [the life of them]. The participle serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the verb "to keep." "The person who hates their life will gain it.", possibly "loves their life less than ....", so Beasley-Murray, or "as of second desirability and importance", Barrett.

en + dat. "in [this world]" - Local, expressing sphere.

fulaxei (fullassw) fut. "will keep it" - will guard, keep safe, preserve. With a passive sense "will be kept safe", REB.

eiV + acc. "for [eternal life]" - to, into [life eternal]. Possibly expressing advantage, "for", or purpose / end-view, "with a view to", or even result, "eternal life being the outcome", Cassirer.


Jesus, in Mark 8:34, says, "if anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." John makes a similar point in v25 with the use of two parallel sayings / statements - the lover loses, the hater gains. This saying is now supported by a promise of the Father's honor for those who "serve". It is often understood that this service is an imitation of Jesus in his suffering and death (see Brown), but as noted above, it seems more likely that it is an identification in Jesus' suffering and death. By sharing in his humiliation (by following a convicted criminal) we share in his glorification, honored by the Father.

ean + subj. "if / whoever" - if [anyone]. Introducing a conditional clause, 3rd. class, where the condition has the possibility of coming true; "if, as may be the case, anyone serves me, then let him follow me."

diakonh/ (diakonew) subj. "serves" - serves. What is this service to Jesus? John explains that it involves following Jesus.

emoi dat. pro. "me" - Dative of direct object after the verb "to wait on = serve."

akolouqeitw (akolouqew) pres. imp. "must follow" - let him accompany, attend = follow as a disciple [me]. The present tense, being durative, may serve to express continued following. What is involved in following? John gives us a clue: following involves being where Jesus is. Barrett says that "to serve Jesus is to follow him, and he is going to [his] death." Morris suggests that v25 dictates where Jesus is, namely, at the cross, so that's were we should be, suffering. Beasley-Murray parallels the verse with the synoptic image of cross-bearing, Mark 8:34, cf., Lk.9:23, "Christ draws men to fellowship with himself, alike in suffering and in the presence of God" (cf. v26b). Yet, John doesn't actually tell us where Jesus is. As already noted, a following that involves imitation is unlikely. We are best to view our following of Jesus in the terms of identification. So, where is Jesus? In reality, Jesus has ascended and sits at the right hand of the Father. We sit with Jesus and are honored by the Father, and this because we reign through our identification with the glorified Christ.

kai "and" - Coordinative.

o{pou "where" - wherever [i am]. Indefinite marker of space.

kai "also" - [there] also [the servant of me will be]. Adjunctive.

ean + subj. "-" - if, as the case may be, [anyone serves me, then the father will honor him]. Introducing a conditional clause, as above.

timhsei (timaw) fut. "will honor" - The content of this honor is undefined. Surely not "may well involve suffering or even martyrdom", Kostenberger. Better "vindication", Carson; "the Father who glorifies the Son will honor those who serve the Son and give them a share in his glory", Bruce.


b) In God's plan, the humiliation of the cross is Christ's glorification, a glorification confirmed by the Father, v27-30. Jesus is quite disturbed by the shadow of the cross and so he asks, "What am I to say?" - "what am I to do in this situation?" He answers his question by proposing a prayer, "Shall I pray Father save me from this hour?" Given that it was for "this hour" that he lives, he can only pray "Father, glorify your name." The Father responds audibly saying that he is already glorified in Jesus' life and will be glorified in the cross. Jesus comments in v30 that the theophany (a manifestation of the divine) is more for the crowd's benefit than his. Since the theophany requires the ears to hear, few, if any, in the crowd, understand the words or identity their source.

nun adv. "now" - Temporal adverb used by Jesus to relate his feelings to the present circumstances; "Right now I am storm-tossed", Peterson.

hJ yuch (h) "heart" - the soul [of me]. Nominative subject of the verb "to disturb." "Now comes my hour of heart-break", Phillips.

tetaraktai (tarassw) perf. pas. "is troubled" - has been disturbed, troubled. Jesus is agitated, shocked, fearful, horror struck ...... at the shadow of the cross and the temptation to sidestep it, cf. Matt.26:38ff. "Went into turmoil."

kai "and" - Here probably alerting the reader to the coming question and therefore left untranslated.

eipw (legw) aor. subj. "[what] shall I say" - [what] am I to say. Deliberative subjunctive. Morris notes that the verb is important here; Jesus doesn't say "what shall I choose",

swson (sozw) aor. imp. "save" - [father] save [me]. The phrase, "save me from this hour", is most often understood in the terms of Jesus musing over whether he should pray for the Father to save him, "shall I pray that the Father saves me? The answer being "certainly not ..." On the other hand, it may be treated as a petition / prayer; "What am I to say? Father, save me from this hour", NEB, so AV, RV, Goodspeed, Weymouth, Beasley-Murray. Harris takes it as a petition / prayer request which, as in the synoptic gospels, is then countered by a further prayer, "Father, glorify your name." So, Jesus is conflicted, proposing first that the Father rescue him from the coming horror, but then overruling this request with a more important one, namely, that he may glorify the Father in his coming death. Either way, the removal of the cup, an alternate way to the cross, is a powerful temptation, but Jesus stands his ground, turns aside the temptation, and accepts the divine purpose for which he has come - "not my will, but thine."

ek + gen. "from" - Expressing separation; "away from."

alla "No" - but. As noted above, this strong adversative may take a contrasting / adversative sense, as if in a counterpoint construction, "not that ..... but this"; "I could pray Father save me from this hour, but, given it was for this end that I have lived, I pray Father, show the glory of your power." On the other hand the adversative may take negating sense, cf., BDF #448.4. This is the more widely accepted option, as NIV, ie., "save me from this hour" is a hypothetical question and is not directed to the Father.

dia + acc. "it was for [this very reason]" - because of [this i came to this hour]. Causal. The touto, "this", is the "hour" / cross. "But no, it is for this purpose that I have come to this hour", Barclay.


The "name" of God the Father, namely, his person, is glorified in the faithful obedience of the Son of God. So, "Father, glorify your name", virtually means "Father, may your will be done and in the doing of it reveal your glory." The response "I have glorified it and will glorify it again" takes a similar sense; the faithful obedience of the Son has served to display the glory of God the Father, his divine person (grace, love, holiness, ....), and will continue to do so in the day of Jesus' lifting up (his own glorification thru the cross).

doxason (doxazw) aor. imp. "glorify" - [father] glorify [your name]. Jesus prays for the glorification of the Father. The divine answer states that the Father's name has been glorified in the revelation of Jesus' life and will be further glorified in the lifting up of His obedient servant. As Ridderbos notes, the glorification of the Father is inextricably tied to his salvation-historical purposes achieved through the obedience / faithfulness of the Son.

oun "then" - therefore. Transitional, "then", as NIV.

ek + gen. "from [heaven]" - [came a voice] from [heaven]. Expressing source / origin; "out of, from"

kai .... kai "and" - both [I glorified] and [I will glorify again]. A correlative construction. The Father is confirming that Jesus' prayer has already been answered. The Father's name has been glorified in Jesus' ministry and will again be glorified in Jesus' salvic act on the cross.


An inadequate response by the crowd, cf., 11:37. Calvin notes that the crowd's failure to recognize God's voice (some think it is thunder, others think it is an angel) is paralleled by people's response to the gospel today; "many are as cold toward the teaching as if it came only from a mortal man, and others think God's Word to be a barbarous stammering, as if it were nothing but thunder."

oun "-" - therefore. Inferential, establishing a logical connection, "consequently ...."

oJ ... eJstwV (iJsthmi) perf. part. "that was there" - [the crowd] the one having stood. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "crowd", as NIV.

akousaV (akouw) aor. part. "[and] heard it" - [and] having heard. The participle as above, although it may be treated as adverbial, temporal; "when they heard the sound, the people standing by said it had thundered", Moffatt.

gegonenai (ginomai) perf. inf. "it had [thundered]" - [were saying, thunder] to happen. The infinitive forms a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what the crowd said. The noun "thunder" serves as the accusative subject of the infinitive. Everybody heard something, some a voice, others a sound like thunder. Thunder expresses the power of God and is often associated with a theophany, cf., Ex.19:16.

lalalhken (lalew) perf. "[an angel] has spoken" - [others were saying an angel] has spoken. Some others heard words, and they concluded that it was an angel speaking with Jesus. On a number of occasions in the Old Testament the Angel of the Lord speaks with Israel's great ones, cf. Gen.21:7, 22:11, 2King.1:15.

autw/ dat. pro. "to him" - Dative of indirect object.


Most commentators note the problem posed by the Father speaking for the benefit of the crowd, and yet many in the crowd fail to hear the words, let alone identify its source. This is obviously a word for those with ears to hear, but then, did anyone hear? Tasker suggests that the phrase is a "Semitic way of expressing comparison" ie., "more for your sake than mine." This is quite credible and therefore, the message is for all those with ears to hear. So, Jesus certainly heard the message, and at least some the apostles. The apostles may not have understood the words at this point in time, but they will came to understand.

di (dia) + acc. "[this voice was] for [your] benefit" - [jesus answered and said, not] because of [me this voice has come but] because of [you]. Here expressing benefit / advantage, "for the sake of / benefit of", as NIV.

alla "but" - Strong adversative standing in a counterpoint construction; "not for me, but for you."


c) The significance of Christ's death and glorification, v31-33. In the coming of the "Greeks" Jesus is again tempted to look for another way other than the cross. He casts aside this temptation and sets his face firmly to life through death, v23-26. None-the-less, the cross weighs heavily on him, but his path is set, v27, and to this he prays that the Father will be glorified in this "hour", which prayer the Father attests, v28-30. Jesus now explains the consequences of his glorification, v31-32, while John adds a further clarification, v33. The consequences of Christ's glorification (his crucifixion) are as follows:

The world is judged;

The prince of this world, the devil, is defeated;

Christ is exalted;

All people are provided with access to God through Christ.

nun "now [is] the time for" - now. Temporal adverb, coexstensive time.

tou kosmou (oV) gen. "[judgment] on the world" - [is judgment] of the world. Possibly "for/on the world", if the genitive is taken as verbal, objective, "now is the time that sentence is being passed upon this world", Cassirer, or adjectival, possessive, "now is the world's judgment-day", Bruce. "World" is used in the sense of "all human society in rebellion against its creator", Carson. The "world" passes judgment on Christ and carries out its sentence in his crucifixion. Yet, this sentence is overturned, Christ rises, and the world finds itself condemned in return. John's eschatology is realized, but ultimately this eschatological judgment-day is both now and not yet.

tou kosmou (oV) gen. "[the prince] of [this] world" - [now the ruler] of [this] world. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, or attributive / idiomatic, subordination; "the prince who rules over this world."

ekblhqhsetai (ekballw) fut. pas. "will be driven [out]" - will be throw out, cast out. The agent is unstated - divine passive?? The synoptic gospels use the image of the wicked cast into outer darkness and this may be what John has in mind. A number of commentators note that Jesus' pronouncement of judgment on the world and Satan doesn't seem to fit with the flow of the discourse. Of course, if the discourse is prompted by the temptation of another way other than the cross, a word about the tempter is not out of keeping.


Christ's lifting up (crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, enthronement) saves "all". "When He says 'all' it must be referred to the children of God, who are his flock", Calvin. Although universalism can be argued from this verse, the notion is opposed elsewhere in the gospel. If we follow Calvin the "all" inevitably means all those who seek, but of course, the "all" may be representative "all", all humanity, both Jew and Gentile.

kagw "but I" - and i. This crasis is emphatic by position. As Carson notes, the same victory, the same death/exaltation, is in view, so "and I, when I am lifted up."

ean + subj. "when" - if. Introducing a conditional clause, 3rd. class. The majority of these conditional clauses do not indicate the fulfillment or otherwise of the condition, so it is assumed that the condition has the possibility of being fulfilled; "if, as may be the case, ......., then ......" Some, particularly where a future tense is used in the apodosis, as here, have a likelihood of being fulfilled, even fulfillment that is certain. In such a case ean virtually takes the place of oJtan, "when", as translated in the NIV here.

ek + gen. "[I am lifted up] from" - [i am lifted up] from [the earth]. Expressing separation; "away from." The verb uJyow, "to lift up", is purposely ambiguous. In one sense Jesus is lifted up ek "from (= separation) the earth as he is lifted up on the cross. So "lifted up" refers primarily to Jesus' crucifixion and death. In another sense Jesus, through the cross, is lifted from the earth as one who is lifted up to heaven and enthroned in glory. So "lifted up" refers to Christ's glorification.

eJlkusw (eJlkuw) fut. "I will draw" - i will drag, draw to, attract. The purpose of Christ's "lifting up" is to draw "all" to himself. The sense of "draw all to myself" = "save all."

pantaV (pas, pasa, pan) adj. "all men" - all, every .... everyone [toward myself]. Accusative direct object of the verb "to draw." "He will draw to himself (all =) Gentiles as well as Jews, all without distinction", Bruce.


de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative, here to an aside / editorial note.

shmainwn (shmainw) pres. part. "to signify" - [he was saying this] showing, signifying, indicating, pointing out. The participle is adverbial, final, expressing the intended purpose of Jesus' words in v32; "he said this in order to show .." A technical term for the speech of someone who communicates an oracle.

qanatw/ (oV) dat. "[the kind of] death" - by [what kind of] death. The dative is instrumental, expressing means, "by means of", or modal, expressing manner, "in this way indicating the manner of his coming death", Harris.

apoqnhskein (apoqnhskw) pres. inf. "[he was going] to die" - [he was about] to die. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "he was about."


d) In the face of coming judgment, Jesus makes a final appeal for faith - walk in the light, ie., commit to / believe in, the one who is the light of the world, v34-36. The crowd has a question, but Jesus doesn't answer it since "this is neither the time nor the audience for an extended discussion on the relation of the death and exaltation of the Son of Man to the kingdom of God and the ministry of the Paraclete-Spirit", Beasley-Murray. The issue facing the crowd is not a fine point of theology, but the judgment soon to be enacted by the Son of Man. They need to come to the light lest the darkness overtakes them. So, Jesus warns them that the time is short and that the moment for decision is quickly passing them by. If, at this moment, they fail to come to the light they will be left to walk in darkness. If they wish to be children of light, children of God, and so inherit eternity, they must receive the one who is the light of the world. And so with this call to faith, Jesus' public ministry comes to an end and he moves away from the gaze of the maddening crowd.

oun "-" - therefore. Inferential, establishing a logical connection, "so, consequently"; the crowd responds to Jesus' words; "so (then) the people answered", Moffatt.

autw/ dat. pro. "-" - [the crowd answered] him. Dative of indirect object of the verb apekriqh, "replied".

hJmeiV pro. "we" - Emphatic use of the pronoun.

hkousamen (akouw) aor. "have heard" - we heard, taken heed of, obeyed. "Our information from the Law is that the messiah is to remain as long as time lasts", Barclay.

ek + gen. "from [the law]" - out of [the law]. Expressing source / origin. "Law" is used here not of the Law of Moses, or the books of the Law, but of scripture itself, ie., the Old Testament. Those with an understanding of scripture in the crowd question Jesus assertion that the Son of Man / Messiah will die. They affirm the immortality of the messiah from their reading of the scriptures, eg. Psalm 89:37.

oJti "that" - that [the christ remains into the age]. Here introducing a dependent statement, indirect speech, expressing what they have deduced from scripture.

kai pwV "so how [can you say]" - and how [do you say]. Inferential; "how then."

oJti "-" - that [it is necessary]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Jesus has said.

uJywqhnai (uJyow) aor. pas. inf. "[must] be lifted up" - to be lifted up [the son of man is necessary]. The infinitive serves as the subject of the verb dei, "it is necessary." "The Son of Man" serves as the accusative subject of the infinitive.

eiV ton aiwna "forever" - to/unto the age. Temporal construction, "eternally." Messiah stays with his people "for ever", although note the later works, 4 Ezra 7:28-29, where the messianic kingdom is temporary and ends with the death of the messiah.

tou anqrwpou (oV) gen. "[Who is this Son] of Man?" - [who is this one the son] of man? The genitive is adjectival, relational. Possibly, "what sort of Son of Man (messiah) is this [that ends up dying by crucifixion]?". Another possibility is "do you really mean Messiah when you say Son of Man?", Barrett. For "Son of Man" see 1:51.


Jesus may not directly answer the question put by the crowd nor disparage their understanding of scripture, but when it comes to divine revelation, Jesus is the light of the world and they need to listen to him and find life in his words.

oun "then" - therefore. Inferential, establishing a logical connection; "so then."

autoiV dat. pro. "[Jesus told] them" - [jesus said] to them. Dative of indirect object.

en + dat. "[you are] going to have [the light]" - [yet a little time the light is] in [you]. Local, expressing space, "among you."

mikron cronon (oV) acc. "a little while longer" - a little time. Accusative, extent of time. Jesus' final appeal to the Jews is couched with urgency - the time is short. Of course, the Jews will be able to believe after the resurrection, so the sense of urgency reflects a common gospel perspective - now is the hour of decision.

peripateite (peripatew) imp. "walk" - walk about. Used in the general sense of conduct ones life. John has used the term of following Jesus and here uses it in the sense of believe / have faith in Jesus.

wJV "while [you have]" - like, as [you have the light]. Most translations opt for the rare temporal use of this conjunction here rather than a comparative sense; "go on your way while you have the light", Barclay.

iJna mh + subj. "before" - that not = lest [darkness overtakes you]. The clause is obviously not temporal; not "before darkness overtakes you", but rather negated purpose; "so that the darkness does not overtake / master you."

kai "-" - and. The conjunction here may take a causal sense; "walk in the light lest the darkness master you, because / for the person who walks in the dark has no idea where he is going", cf., Phillips. Kostenberger opts for an emphatic usage; "in fact, whoever moves about in darkness does not know where he is going."

oJ peripatwn pres. par. "the man who walks" - the one walking. The participle serves as a substantive. The person who walks in darkness (the person who doesn't put their trust in Jesus, doesn't commit to Jesus) is left in ignorance with regard the condemnation that faces them in the day of judgment.

en + dat. "in [darkness]" - in [the darkness does not know where he is going]. Local, expressing space; "walk in the shadow of darkness."


eiV + acc. "[put your trust / believe] in [the light]" - [as = while the light you have walk ] to/into [the light]. McHugh argues that "believes into" takes the sense "believes-and-trusts." Possibly, "receive the light", while there is light, so that you can see. "Believe in the light and become sons of God", Beasley-Murray.

iJna + subj. "so that [you may become]" - that [you may become]. Possibly a purpose clause, but it may well be consecutive = expressing result. When we receive the light, as a consequence, we become sons of light and so do not walk in darkness, cf., 4:14. Ref. children of light, Eph. 3:8.

fwtoV (wV wtoV) gen. "[sons] of light" - [sons] of light. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "light", idiomatic; "children who possess the light", ie., "possessors of the nature of light and destined to enjoy the light of the divine kingdom", Beasley-Murray, or simply "those who believe in Jesus", Brown.

elalhsen (lalew) aor. "[when he had finished] speaking" - [jesus] spoke [these things]. Often translated as a temporal clause although not indicated in the Gk.

apelqwn (apercomai) aor. part. "left" - having gone away, departed. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "he was hidden, "Jesus went away and hid himself", or adverbial, temporal, "Jesus said these things, and after he departed, he hid from them", Novakovic.

ekrubh (kruptw) aor. pas. "hid himself" - he was concealed, hidden. Jesus' public ministry is now ended. The light shined one last moment and is now hidden from them.

ap (apo) + gen. "from [them]" - from [them]. Expressing separation; "away from."


John Introduction.


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