Understanding Context Lets You See More
Understanding Context Lets You See More
John 12:32 (NKJV)
32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”
The Bible is not a “this or that” book; it is a “this and that” book. That means there is no end to the revelation that can be gleaned from scripture. It has been compared to a diamond, whose appearance changes as light shines on it; from one angle to another, it’s beauty is multiplied and amplified.
Seeing scripture in its context is important for getting the most out of it. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “context” as “to knit together.” What context does is to take parts of a discourse which precede and follow the sentence quoted and knits them together to give a clearer picture of what the passage is revealing.
John 12:32 is an often-quoted scripture and reveals an important truth…that, Jesus, draws all men unto Himself. Yet, when reading in context, knitting it together with verses 31 and 33, a complete picture emerges. Note in the scripture above; the word “peoples” is italicized. (In some Bibles, the King James version uses the word “men” rather than peoples.) When a word is italicized in the Bible, it means that the word did not appear in the original text; it was added by the translators. With that in mind, John 12:32 would have originally read, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all to Myself.” What does “all” refer to? We find the answer by understanding its context. Look at v.31 (Phillips): “Now is the time for the judgment of this world to begin, and now will the spirit that rules this world be driven out.” The “all” in v. 32 was referring to the judgment that Christ was about to experience on the Cross to pay for our sins as quoted in v. 33.
In a practical sense, does it really matter which way this scripture is quoted? Yes and no. As stated above, there is no doubt that Jesus draws all men unto Himself. However, by putting this scripture into context, it allows us to have a deeper understanding of what Jesus did on the Cross. When we understand that Jesus bore all the judgment of the world on the Cross and was declared guilty by His Heavenly Father, we see more clearly that all judgment against sin – past, present and future has been satisfied. One of the most difficult things for a believer to get beyond is the fact that God is not mad at him for sinning, or that when he sins, he is cut him off from God’s Love. The sin problem was solved when Jesus hung on the Cross. The act of sinning continues, but God does not judge it; He judged all sin 2,000 years ago. When we repent, it is not to avoid God’s judgment, but rather out of a heart of thanksgiving in response to what God has already done. Furthermore, repenting strips the enemy of his ability to make accusations against us that bring condemnation – a major tool he uses to separate us from the love of God.
Knowing that Jesus bore the judgment of the world, brings a sense of freedom to our lives. Not the type of freedom that says, “I’m free to do whatever I want,” but the freedom to live the abundant life that God desires us to have. Jesus was lifted up and drew every ounce of judgment that sin brought (past), brings (present) and will bring (future) to man’s life. With that one act, the floodgates of GRACE opened and the flow of God’s unending supply of everything that man could ever need – spirit, soul and body – became ours.
- Mission Statement
- Why You Need Jesus
- Why You Need the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Prayer to Receive Salvation
- Focus on the Word
- Spiritual Helps
- The Living Word
- What Do You See When You Look at the Shield of Faith?
- How to Get Victory Over Condemnation
- The Old Man is DEAD – D.E.A.D.!
- Crossing Paths Can Make an Eternal Difference
- Is It Easier to Say….?
- How to Increase Your Strength for the Fight
- Don’t Limit God!
- A Dangerous Faith-Buster: Misplaced Expectations
- Patience – the First Responder of the Fruit of the Spirit
- Two Big Questions that Need to be Answered in Your Life
- SEE ARCHIVED ENTRIES