John 12:27-28 KJV Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. (28) Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
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It was a beautiful day yesterday, so I took a lunch break at Woodland Park. On pretty days I love to go there to pray and praise my Lord. While I was in the park I heard two of the strangest things I think I have ever heard. As I sat there I heard the music of an ice cream truck. What made it very interesting was that it was playing Christmas songs. “Silent Night, Holy Night” and “Little Town of Bethlehem” played as the driver sold ice cream to the children at the playgound. What made it surreal was that it is October 30th, and children are eating ice cream while Christmas music plays. I thought it was interesting, and an unexpected blessing from God!
Then I heard something else that wasn’t a blessing. The ice cream truck left and a mother drove up with twin girls – beautiful little girls. They were about 30 feet away from me, and the mother was horribly cursing her children. I don’t know what they had done, but she took God’s name in vain repeatedly and tossed the “F” bomb around like a wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz. They got in their van and drove away, but my heart broke for these little girls.
God gives us life for a purpose. He gave us tongues and ears for a purpose. Our tongues were given to us to glorify the Lord, to praise Him, to pray to Him. Our tongues were meant to help one another, to communicate, to care.
Tonight I want to talk about the Golden Prayer. Jesus taught us how to pray in His model prayer of Matthew 6:9-13. But tonight Jesus shows us how to pray a Golden Prayer. There are many great prayers in the Bible. Moses prayed great prayers. So did King David, and Elijah, and Daniel. There is a prayer that is greater than all other prayers, a prayer that will be answered in the affirmative at all times. That simple prayer is the one that our Lord Jesus prayed.
John 12:28 KJV Father, glorify thy name. …
to which God immediately replied,
.. I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
This a golden prayer because, unlike the many prayers that men make for their own blessing, this prayer is going to be answered. God said “I have both glorified [my Name], and will glorify [my Name] again”. (John 12:28)
God will glorify His Name, and when we – like Jesus – pray Father, glorify Thy Name – this is a prayer that He has already promised to fulfill. He will glorify His Name.
This Prayer Is Golden Because It Chooses God Over Self
Often we pray because we are in turmoil, are worried, or are seeking relief from suffering. There is nothing wrong with praying for yourself. In fact, I know God would rather you pray than worry about something. The Bible tells us:
Psalms 55:22 (KJV) Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
God wants you to bring your heartaches to Him. Do you not remember the sweet words of our Savior?
Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
The power of King David was that he knew when to bring his troubles to God. He said:
Psalms 34:17 (KJV) The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
God wants us to pray, to take time to pray. Our Lord Jesus is facing the greatest trial He can possibly face. He is preparing to go to the Cross for you and I. As Jesus contemplates what is going to happen to Him He says:
John 12:27 (KJV) Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
Jesus’ soul is troubled. If I were in His place looking toward the Cross I would be in a panic. But Jesus is “troubled” (tarasso, meaning disturbed, distressed, anxious). He does not want to have to go through this terrible trial, but will do so. But anyone with human flesh would be troubled by this terror. Jesus says, “What shall I say? How shall I pray?”. How would you pray in this situation? Wouldn’t we ourselves pray “Father, save me from this hour”? If Jesus had prayed that prayer don’t you think the Father would have answered the prayer? And if the Father answered the prayer, don’t you know we would still be dead in our trespasses and in our sins?
If Jesus had prayed selfishly that the hour of the Cross pass, if He had prayed Father, save Me from this hour, the world would have died under sin!
But He didn’t. Jesus knew that He must go to the Cross if others were to be blessed. This prayer is golden because Jesus realized the primary reason He came into the world. He came to die for our sins.
for this cause came I unto this hour
The reason that God placed us on this earth is not to be all about ourselves, but to live our lives for a greater good. We – like Christ – are to live our lives to glorify God. Return to my opening story of the woman who was cursing her kids – horribly cursing them.
What seed is she planting in the lives of these children?
I am all for discipling children. The Bible commands it. Society needs it. We have too many grown up children beating on the doors of the Supreme Court because they were not disciplined when they were children. We have far too many biological adults running around in society who are psychologically no more than children because they were not disciplined when they were biological childen. Discipline is good! But to curse and blaspheme God is to plant evil, to use your lips to sow darkness. No good comes of it. These children will grow up just as their mother, for this is the seed she planted.
We need to plant godly seed.
As Jesus prayed He knew others would hear and record what He said. He wanted us to understand that our goal in life is not to be all about ourselves. Just prior to this Jesus said:
John 12:23 KJV Verily, verily, I say unto you …
Before Jesus prays this Great Prayer He begins it with His trademark verily verily or His double Amen to show that He is going to give us a great spiritual truth. Jesus now uses a wonderful illustration from the field – a grain of wheat. He says:
John 12:23 KJV … Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
When you cling to your comfort zone – selfishly staying on the stalk – you abide alone. I have read over the last couple of years obituaries of people who clung to the stalk of themselves, selfishly living out the lives God gave them just to satisfy their own whims.
They lived alone.
They died alone.
Many years ago I read the story of Frances Bavier who played Aunt Bee on the Andy Griffith Show. When the Andy Griffith Show closed, Frances retired from acting and moved to Siler City, North Carolina where she bought a home. Frances never married and never had children. Though she would have been given the key to Siler City, she withdrew in her later years. She ended up dying in her home eight days short of her 87th birthday of conjestive heart failure. She died alone.
She is not the only one.
To live for self is a lonely life.
The grain still on the stalk has absolutely no value but for the basest of uses. Certainly it can be fed to cattle and lesser creatures as fodder, but it has no higher use than that.
Jesus chose to give His life for others, not to selfishly keep it. In so doing He is celebrated forever, How horrible to live lives of selfishness! It is to be a FOOL! Jesus illustrated this by this parable.
Luke 12:16-21 (KJV) … spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
We are to live our lives as Jesus did, not for ourselves but for the glory of God. The Bible commands:
1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Everything we do should glorify His Name. The Golden Prayer of Christ sought God’s will over all else. He prayed:
John 12:28 KJV Father, glorify thy name. …
As Jesus Put The Glory Of God First So Must We
John 12:26 KJV If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.
Jesus put all of His glory to the side in order to follow the will of God. He willingly left a palace in Heaven – a place of eternal Joy – to give Himself unselfishly for us. We are told in …
Philippians 2:6-8 KJV [Jesus] being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Jesus surrendered His Heavenly Home and Family to come and die for us on the Cross. He surrendered His earthly family, His earth mother and stepbrothers, in order to suffer that terrible fate for us. (Philippians 2:6-8)
If you hold to the stalk of family apart from God, God cannot bless you. Jesus told us that faith in Him could bring division in our families. We are to love Christ most. Jesus knew that this relationship would cause conflicts in the family. He said:
Matthew 10:34-38 KJV Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (35) For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. (36) And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. (37) He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (38) And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Following Christ our Lord means to do as He did, to separate from the stalk that is family and surrender your life to the Family of God. (Matthew 10:34-38; Isaiah 53:2-6)
This may cause some dissension, some warring, some anger and separation between you and those you love. Jesus Christ’s own stepbrothers did not believe in Him until after His resurrection. His mother believed in Him, and was one of the few who stood at the foot of His Cross and wept instead of jeering. His disciples abandoned Him except for John. The Bible prophetically said of Jesus:
Isaiah 53:3-6 (KJV) He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
But remember the promise of God! Jesus surrendered the stalk of His family, and God honored His surrender. If you do not surrender yourself to God above the stalk of family, you may find that you have led your children down the pathway of condemnation. If you want your children, your grandchildren, your great grandchildren to be saved, then remember what Jesus said:
John 12:31-32 KJV Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. (32) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
Do you wish to see your family blessed? Then lift up Jesus above all else! A sure way to condemn your own kin is to minimize the Lord Jesus Christ, to cling to the stalk of family above surrender to the Lord. When the corn of wheat fall into the ground and die … it bringeth forth much fruit. There can be no blessing until there is the surrender to God. But
When we surrender to God, we will see God glorify His Name. We will see our loved ones led to Jesus, saved from condemnation. We will see the Evil One cast out, just as Jesus has promised. ( John 12:31-32)
Jesus Surrendered All For Us
John 12:27 KJV Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
This is the FIRST time Jesus expressed discomfort over the coming Cross, but it was not the last.
Jesus knew what was coming. It was like a perpetual toothache throughout His ministry.
When He went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray just hours before His trial our Lord prayed three times:
Matthew 26:39 KJV … O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
Not once, but THREE times. He prayed that IF IT WERE POSSIBLE that the Cup of suffering pass from Him. And yet each time He prayed Jesus said:
nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt
Jesus sought the glory of the Father above all else. But it was hard, very hard, for Him to go forward. We are told in another place that as He prayed in Gethsemane that He prayed ….
Luke 22:44 KJV …. in an agony … prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
The answer to His prayer was not that Jesus be relieved from His burden. The answer the Father gave the Son as His sweat – like great drops of blood – poured from Him was the same answer He gave before: I have glorified My Name, I will glorify it again. After the third prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus allowed Himself to fall as a grain of wheat to the ground.
He would die for us, so we could live for Him.
He would suffer death for us, so we could find eternal life in Him.
He would surrender to the Ground, to Eternal God the Father, and rise triumphant three days later because God will glorify His Name. Yes, it is outside of the comfort zone to obey God and surrender fully to Him. And yet, if you will be blessed, you must surrender. We must first of all surrender to Him for salvation. Jesus Christ
1 Peter 2:24 (KJV) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
God Will Be Glorified
John 12:28-29 KJV Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. (29) The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
Tonight is what the world calls “Halloween”. Some will glorify selves tonight. Let us glorify God. It is only in glorifying God as Christ did that we will hear His Voice. Too few today hear the Voice of God.
Some heard an angel, others merely heard thunder.
Those who refuse to turn to God are in tune with this world
Hear only thunder.
Others heard an angel.
But only Jesus and His followers heard GOD.
You will not hear the voice of God unless you are willing to glorify God. When we make life about ourselves we will not hear Him. C.H. Spurgeon reminds us:
Learn hence, then, all of you who would have Christ as your Savior, that you must be willing to serve him. We are not saved by service, but we are saved to service. When we are once saved, thenceforward we live in the service of our Lord. If we refuse to be his servants, we are not saved, for we still remain evidently the servants of self, and the servants of Satan. Holiness is another name for salvation; to be delivered from the power of self-will, and the domination of evil lusts, and the tyranny of Satan,—this is salvation. Those who would be saved must know that they will have to serve Christ, and those who are saved rejoice that they are serving him, and that thus they are giving evidence of a change of heart and renewal of mind.