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John 12:27

ESV “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.
NIV Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.
NASB Now My soul has become troubled; and what am I to say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
CSB "Now my soul is troubled. What should I say--Father, save me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour.
NLT Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came!
KJV Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

What does John 12:27 mean?

Jesus is continuing to speak to a group of non-Jewish seekers brought to Him by the disciples (John 12:20–22). His earlier statement compared His impending death to the planting of a seed (John 12:23–26). What might seem like death and destruction is really the process which turns something mundane and immature into something mature and productive. This is a concept also explored by Paul in his letters (1 Corinthians 15:36–42).

This verse provides a fascinating glimpse into the humanity of Jesus Christ. Here He describes Himself the same way He did when approaching Lazarus' grave (John 11:33). It's the same term John chose to depict the turbulence of a pool of water (John 5:7). All of these passages use the Greek root word tarassō, often translated as "troubled," implying an agitation or disturbance. As one fully human, Jesus experienced the same emotions as anyone else (Hebrews 4:15), and in this case that means the anxiety one would expect, given all He knows of what's to come (John 19:1; 19:16).

Jesus also makes an interesting statement about asking God to spare Him from what is coming. There are two ways to interpret this: the first suggests that Jesus is saying, "I should not ask God to spare me." However, that reads too much into the text, which the text does not explicitly say. Jesus does not say anything like "no, I should not." He simply notes that this "hour" (John 12:23) is the purpose for His earthly ministry.

The more reasonable interpretation is that Jesus is saying the same thing He'll pray later in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:39; Luke 22:42). Then, with His death hours away, Jesus will make the request His humanity is begging for. At the same time, and without contradiction, He will pray for the will of God the Father to be done. Here, Jesus is saying the same thing, in a somewhat less dramatic form. His statement recorded here is along the lines of saying, "I can pray that…but I know God's will is for this to happen."
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