Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; everything will be thrown down. “ As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ’, and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumours of wars but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pangs” (Matthew 24:1-8 NIV).
Jesus advised of possible deception, citing that many would claim to be the Christ, thereby deceiving many. Humanity gets fixated on material things, rather than substance. This is why physical death catches most people by surprise, rather than accepting it as an anticipated event.
Death is a phenomenon that surprises most people. Existing physically; portrays death, described at the time of Adam and Eve. Physical humans loosely describe physical demise as death, other than God’s description.
Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me. Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, same from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name” (John 12:23-26 NIV).
Jesus was describing His physical death as being glorified. Physical humanity would see it as death, but Jesus accepted it as the process of being glorified. Without unpacking such Scriptures, it is impossible to understand the entire Scriptural references depicting Jesus’ teachings.
“Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth will draw all men to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ will remain forever, so how can you say ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?” (John 12:27-28 NIV).
This was a good question but understood by the enlightened ones. Jesus’ words befuddle ordinary humanity. To them, Jesus’ physical death would mark His end. How could the Son of Man die and be the Messiah, at the same time?
The Messiah, whose mission is to deliver humanity from death, pronounced at the Garden of Eden, cannot be appreciated physically. As Son of Man, Jesus represented humanity, in redeeming life conditions.
Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them (John 12:35-36 NIV).
Jesus was the light of the world. However, ordinary people could not appreciate the physical Jesus, as the Messiah, whose life is eternal. The deception that Jesus was talking about would manifest physically. The Jews understood that the Messiah would come in physical form, but would be unable to die.