“If I be lifted up” — John 12:32

“If I be lifted up” — John 12:32


“Lift Jesus higher… For He said “if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw men unto me.”


Thus goes a popular Christian praise-worship song. This song is based on a faulty understanding of Jesus’ statement in John 12:32 — “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” (KJV)


This text does not imply praising God, nor lifting Him high. The phrase “lifted up from the Earth” is explained within the context of the same chapter. Observe the very next verse;


33 This He said, SIGNIFYING BY WHAT DEATH He would die.


Note that John used the same phrase “lifted up” (“hupsoó” in the Greek) three other times in his Gospel account in reference to Jesus’ crucifixion (John 3:14 used twice, and John 8:28). Jesus being “lifted up from the Earth” HERE (John 12:32) would therefore refer to His death for sins, particularly His being “lifted up” (or hung) on the Cross, not His exaltation. Proper Bible interpretation saves us in all ramifications, even in what we sing!


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2020.


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