Jesus knew that there would be some people that would not fully buy into Him being the Son of God. He knew that it would take time for them to see that He was the complete fulfillment of prophecy and that it would even take the resurrection before some would become disciples. To help encourage their faith along, Jesus would leave a few subtle hints throughout His ministry about things that would shortly come to pass. For instance, when Jesus overturned the money changer in the Temple in John 2 the subtle hint was “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up again” (John 2.19). The hint being that He was speaking of His impending resurrection. In our reading for today, Jesus again leaves one of those subtle hints. “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto Me” (John 12.32). Today, it is easy for us to see that Jesus was speaking of being lifted on the cross. However, for them, this wasn’t something that they would catch on to until it happened. In fact, this is the second time that Jesus makes this reference. In John 3, when Nicodemus comes to Jesus to gain some insight concerning Jesus being the Christ, Jesus leave this hint: “ And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
(John 3:14-15). The parallel to the story is found in Numbers 21, when the brass serpent was placed on a pole to offer healing to those who had been bitten by the serpents. We will never know, this side of eternity, how many people were able to look back on these subtle hints that were happening in real time and allow those incidents to be what lead them to their faith. But we can, as students of the Word, appreciate the fore thought of God as He offered these subtle hints to help them believe. I also pray that it lifts your spirits, peaks your interests and encourages you to want to know more about this wonderful man…JESUS!