Greeks came to see Jesus in the Last Week. When told, the Master began a moving soliloquy John 12:20-28. He understood the universal implications of his Cross in their arrival. While much more is involved, the Lord’s response in verses 27-28 is very instructive.
First, “Now my heart is troubled….” Then, “What shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’”
His coming death troubled Jesus, though death by degradation achieved colossal results. That’s a constant in the Gospels: the always-fresh-in-his-mind-awareness of Calvary.
To limit this blog, consider one point we can learn from the Lord’s words: that our purpose as God’s servants, not any cost paid to effect it, is our motivation. The Master’s heart was troubled. That didn’t mean he had to quit. It meant he had to subject his trouble to his purpose. From the first he fixed his mind to die for the sins of the world. He never lessened in his determination to do so. He served God’s purpose despite his struggle. Persevering in his purpose subjected all feelings, sorrows, successes, rejections, et al to its fulfillment.
Our purpose as his servants should have the same effect. The experiences in life may challenge us, entice us or seek to divert us. Harm in serving may afflict. Disappointment may annoy. Failure may humiliate. Do any of them, or all of them, have the defining impact on us?
No. We don’t serve God because we’re happy; we don’t question God if he doesn’t answer prayer. We don’t serve God if it’s easy and stop serving when it’s difficult. Our purpose in life—being Christ-centered, Christ-honoring disciples—motivates our response to life. Whatever we face, that purpose keeps us persevering. Until God finds another purpose for us—and he never will—we commit to serving as Christ-centered, Christ-honoring disciples. It’s the least we can do.