“And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” He said this to indicate how he was going to die. The crowd responded, “We understood from Scripture that the Messiah would live forever. How can you say the Son of Man will die? Just who is this Son of Man, anyway?” John 12:32-34
MISUNDERSTOOD! That is the number 1 complaint of students about their parents today–“I’m misunderstood by them!” Jesus, here was clearly misunderstood!
The people, having been taught the scriptures by the Jewish religious leaders, expected their coming messiah to be a conquering hero, and rightly so! They had read verses like Isaiah 9:6-7 which says, “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!” They expected a political conquorer because that was what THEY WANTED, so much so that they missed verses like Isaiah 53:5 (yes, from the exact same book) that also described the Messiah as being “pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” Wooh, that doesn’t sound so “conquory” to me! Often though, we too go to God’s word wanting it to confirm what we ALREADY believe, not what we need to hear!
So the crowd here, retorts with, “wait a minute–we understood from Scripture that the Messiah would live forever. How can you say the Son of Man will die?” Good question! How could our conquorer be predicting His own death?
Turns out, they didn’t misunderstand their Messiah as much as they misunderstood their enemy! They thought the enemy was the Romans–Jesus knew their real ememy was sin and its originator, the devil! None of their enemies, not the Romans or the Assyrians, or the Babylonians could never keep them from God. But sin, originated and suggested by the davil as far back as the garden of eden was DESIGNED to keep them and us from God!
Jesus, the Messiah came to defeat sin. To do this He had to die and rise from the dead. Great conquorer? ABSOLUTELY! Misunderstood? ABSOLUETLY!
Don’t feel alone because you feel misunderstood. Everyone, including our Savior, Jesus the Messiah, have been misunderstood!
Think about it!