John 12:31-34

31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

[Now is the judgement of this world] The events which are about to transpire are the dividing point by which this world and the inhabitants of it are judged. To judge is to evaluate, decide, choose. Examples; This is good, this is bad. This is healthy, this is not. This is true, this is false. The most important judgement of all: One may believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he died for our sins, that he rose again and ascended to the Father and that he is coming again to receive us unto himself, that we may be with him for eternity; Or -- NOT believe this. See John 10:36, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 1 Corinthians 15:20-22, John 14:1-3.

This most importatnt judgement is both active and passive. Inhabitants of this world make a judgement regarding Christ, and in turn are judged by the judgement which they have made. John 3:16-18.

[Now shall the prince of this world be cast out] Satan, who is also described as,"The god of this world", 2 Corinthians 4:4, and "The prince of the power of the air", Ephesians 2:2, is the arch competitor of God for the souls of mankind. Throughout the Bible we see evidence of this, from the deception of Eve, Genesis 3:1-6, to the failed attempt to enlist Christ, Matthew 4:8-10, to the use of misdirection and false prophets, 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.

Christ's death on the cross marked the defeat of Satan, Hebrews 2:14, as was foretold in Genesis 3:15.

32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

In the previous verse Jesus specified the judgement of this world. In John 8:23 Jesus states, "Ye are of this world; I am not of this world." and in response to Pilate's question Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). Yet Christ came into this world, 1 Timothy 1:15, and by his substitutionary death on the cross, 1 Peter 2:24, ("Lifted up" was a common euphemism for crucifixion), Jesus ransomed all mankind 1 Timothy 2:5, and is now calling out those who will believe on him, John 6:40, that they might, in this world, live for him, Acts 1:8, and, in the world to come, live with him, John 14:1-3.

33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?

[Christ abideth forever] Read Psalm 110. At the time of Christ the Jewish nation was under the rule of the Roman Empire. Scripture such as Psalm 110 was music to their ears. However, the Scriptures also taught that Messiah was to die, Isaiah 53:3-9, and Daniel 9:24-27, but they did not understand it at that time. The first verse of Psalm 110 covers the time from the ascension of Christ following his death and resurrection through a time of opportunity for the entire world, Gentiles and Jews alike, to respond to Christ's invitation, John 10:27-30.

Based upon excerpts from Adam Clarke's Commentary, 2nd edition published in New York by Lane and Scott, 1850. More recent editions may be purchased from


This page updated 01/10/2007

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