John 12:31-35
John 12:31 (KJB)
Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
This is a very important verse concerning the impending crucifixion of Christ. It is going to have two devastating effects. The first effect is that the world is now going to be judged. This means that the wrath of God will be sure upon all the unbelievers and those who are saved will experience the grace of God. The cross had revealed the enmity the world had for Christ and righteousness. In crucifying Him, they thought they would be rid of Him but the cross became the instrument whereby God would judge the world. The word “judgment” carries with it the meaning of “judicial penalty or verdict.” When Christ was crucified, the verdict was the world was guilty before God. (Rom 3:19 KJV) Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. The world was now divided between the unbelievers and the believers. The Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan.
The second effect is that Satan had been bound, in that, he no longer can hinder the Gospel from going out nor does he have any authority over the believers. (John 14:30 KJV) Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. Satan had nothing in Christ and he has nothing in the believer. He may try to hinder us or throw a stumbling block before us but he has no authority over the believer. He has been cast out of his seat of power over the believer. This does not mean that he still does not cause havoc but his power over the Elect of God has been broken.
John 12:32 (KJB)
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
Here Jesus is indicating what type of death He is going to experience. It will be the cross and He will be lifted from the earth. His death was needed to pay for the sins of the Elect and to fulfill the demands of the righteous law of God. Since the cross will be the payment for the sins of millions of believers, it is those who will be drawn to the Lord Jesus Christ who will become their Savior. The words “will draw” are in the future tense so He is speaking of all the Elect down through the ages and not just at the time of the cross. It must also be noted that the “all” in this verse is speaking of all the Elect, those whom Christ died for. If He died for the entire world, then the whole world would be saved but as we can plainly see around us, the whole world is not saved, in fact, it is only a small portion of the world which is saved.
John 12:33 (KJB)
This he said, signifying what death he should die.
There were many methods of death which the Romans used but here Jesus is referring to the fact that He is going to be crucified on a cross. The cross then became the most expressive symbol of Christianity. The prisoner was laid down on the cross and then his hands and feet were nailed to it and then lifted and placed in a pre-dug hole thus suspending the condemned to hang between Heaven and Earth.
John 12:34 (KJB)
The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?
The people made a legitimate statement based upon what was written in the Hebrew Scriptures. They no doubt had in mind Isaiah 9:7 which speaks about the government of Messiah having no end and His kingdom will have no end. (Isa 9:7 KJV) Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. They may also have had Ezekiel 37:25 in mind. (Ezek 37:25 KJV) And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. Ezekiel 37:25 also speaks about eternity so what confused the people was that Jesus had claimed to be the Messiah and the Messiah’s kingdom was to be eternal and it seemed that Jesus was speaking of a temporal kingdom and this confused the people. If He was to be crucified, then how could He be the eternal Messiah? They were probably thinking about a physical kingdom to last for eternity and the salvation and spiritual aspect of the kingdom never entered their mind.
Then they asked Him who the Son of Man is? In the law they read about the Son of Man and now they needed to have a clarification as to who he is. Jesus had referred to Himself as the Son of Man, so they were seeing a different Son of Man here who was about to be crucified and in the Law one who was eternal. They saw His miracles and knew that these miracles came from God, so there was confusion if He was going to be crucified, then how could He be the Messiah? They did not know that “Son of Man” was His Messianic title.
John 12:35 (KJB)
Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
Jesus did not directly answer their query but He tells them basically that soon He will be crucified but until then He is still with them for then next few days and they should take advantage of that fact. Christ is the light of salvation and they should walk in that light. If they walk in darkness, then that means they are walking in unbelief. They still need to understand that the miracles which Christ had performed previously did not change who He was now. He was still the Messiah but His kingdom is a spiritual one and will not be a physical one. This the people did not understand because they wanted a military type Messiah to throw off the yoke of Rome. Jesus was speaking of spiritual darkness which all of them were under because of their rejection of Him as Messiah. There were a few who walked in spiritual light like Lazarus, Mary, Martha, Nicodemus, and others.