John 12:44-50 – Yeshua Does Not Act On His Own

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POSTED 06 NOVEMBER, 2017

“And Yeshua cried out and said, ‘He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.’”

reproduced from Salvation on the Line, Volume I

The mission of Yeshua the Messiah was profoundly different than many of the expectations of those who encountered Him. When readers encounter His declarations, particularly in a passage like John 12:44-50, they see how Yeshua the Son will frequently deflect the attention from Himself, and onto His Heavenly Father. The most significant reason for Yeshua doing this, was to decisively neutralize any claim that He was a self-aggrandizing independent actor—who had especially committed crimes of self-deification. Yeshua is instead the Son of God sent to Earth by the Father in Heaven. The obedience, of the Son to His Heavenly Father, is to be a model for His followers to emulate, in not only their commitments to the God of Israel, but also their service to one another and their fellow human beings.

A reader can be a bit taken aback by Yeshua’s statement, “Whoever puts trust in Me believes not in Me but in the One who sent Me!” (John 12:44, TLV). Is it not true that in order to receive salvation, we must each believe or put our trust in Yeshua? This word obviously includes some hyperbole, as it is not Yeshua alone in whom people must believe, but also the Heavenly Father who sent Yeshua to the Earth: “And he who beholds Me beholds the One who sent Me” (John 12:45, NASB). This is to emphasize, once again, that Yeshua is not acting alone and all on His own. That belief in Yeshua is required—although belief in Yeshua is not exclusive to belief in the Heavenly Father who sent Him—is seen in His further direction, “I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in Me [ho pisteuōn eis eme] would not abide in the darkness” (John 12:46, PME).

Yeshua further teaches, as His mission is to see people removed from the evil influence of darkness, that “As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it” (John 12:47, NIV). Yeshua’s explicit purpose was not to judge or condemn the world, but rather see people brought into the light of redemption. Yeshua specifies how He personally will not be the One judging people in the end, but rather how poeple reacted to His teachings will be what will judge people: “Those who reject me and don’t accept what I say have a judge—the word which I have spoken will judge them on the Last Day” (John 12:48, CJB/CJSB). And as it is seen, the word issued by Yeshua is not something that He spoke of Himself, but the authority He demonstrated in all of His activities is something which found its ultimate source in the Heavenly Father:

“For I did not speak on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting. Therefore what I say, I say just as the Father has told Me” (John 12:49-50, TLV).

What might John 12:44-50 inform us about the nature of Yeshua? In other passages, where Tanach or Old Testament passages are applied to Yeshua the Messiah, we tend to find ourselves evaluating significant supernatural actions that can only be performed by the LORD or YHWH, being performed by Yeshua—a sure sign of His being integrated into the Divine Identity. But let us not forget that another part of Yeshua being integrated into the Divine Identity is the close relationship that the Son has with the Father. And, when the close relationship that the Son and the Father have is considered, we tend to find that Yeshua is a very subversive figure, when it comes to much of our natural, human evaluation of what we often think the Messiah is to do.

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