"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself." (John 12:32 NASB)
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." (John 12:32 KJV)
This lesson explains what Jesus meant when he said, "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself" (John 12:32).
Consider. What are you doing in response to Jesus' drawing of you? How are you responding to Jesus' influence in your life?
The scripture references in this lesson are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless noted otherwise (Ref. 1).
Jesus said, "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself" (John 12:32).
The "I" here at the beginning of John 12:32 is strongly emphatic (Ref. 2). In John 12:32 Jesus points to himself versus his opposition -- the "ruler of this world" who will be cast out (John 12:31, Matthew 4:8-10). Jesus will assert his rule over the world, and Jesus will draw all (people) to himself (Ref. 2).
If I am lifted up from the earth
Jesus knew with certainty and accurately predicted that his death would be by crucifixion (John 12:32-33, John 3:14-15, Numbers 21:6-9 ESV). Jesus knew that men would crucify him and elevate him above the earth (John 19:17-18). The Greek word for "lift up" in John 3:14 and John 12:32 has two meanings, first to elevate, and second to exalt (Ref. 3).
The people who crucified Jesus thought they were ending his life. However, they didn't realize that God would exalt Jesus through his death, his resurrection, and his ascension to heavenly glory at the right hand of the throne of God (Matthew 28:1-7, Acts 1:8-11, Philippians 2:5-11, Ephesians 1:17-23, Hebrews 12:2).
Will draw all (people) to Myself
Jesus said in John 12:32 "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all to Myself" (Ref. 4 - Berean Literal Bible). (The NASB and KJV translations add the word "people" or "men" after the word "all"). The Greek word for "draw" [helkó, pronounced hel-koo'-o] means to induce influence, or attract by inward power (Ref. 5). The Greek word for "all" [pas] in John 12:32 means the whole, every kind of (Ref. 6).
Beginning at Pentecost (after Jesus' ascension) and continuing to this day, the drawing of people to Christ is accomplished by the work of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8, Acts 2:14-21, Ref. 2). The Holy Spirit's work of drawing people to Christ is for all people -- regardless of ethnicity, national identity, gender, geographic location, or economic or social means. The Holy Spirit does not exclude you from being drawn to Christ because of "who you are."
The drawing influence of the Holy Spirit for all people to come to Jesus may be accepted or rejected. Mankind has free will. Some people will reject the influence of the Holy Spirit and the spiritual attraction power of Jesus Christ. Others, praise God, will yield to the drawing influence of the Holy Spirit and will receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. In Jesus Christ, believers will find acceptance, forgiveness, salvation, love, spiritual empowerment, and the gift of eternal life.
How are you responding to the drawing power and influence of Jesus Christ?
Apply. Respond with joy to the drawing power and influence of Jesus Christ, who was lifted up, and died for you. Receive him unto yourself. He will welcome you, forgive your sins, guide you, and will give you eternal life. (Luke 15:20-24, 1 John 1:9, John 16:13, John 3:14-16, Romans 6:23).
Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers - John 12:32
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