What is “the hour” in John’s Gospel?

In John

The Gospel of John has an intentional focus on “the hour” of Jesus. Before his first miracle, Jesus said that “My hour has not yet come” (2:4). During his early life and ministry, we are twice told that “his hour had not yet come” (7:30 and 8:20). Toward the end of his life, Jesus realized that the hour was at hand, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (12:23). He recoiled from the horror of it, but knew that this hour was the fulfillment of his mission, “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say – ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour” (12:27). The forward momentum of Jesus’ hour in the Gospel of John reaches a climax at the Cross, “Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father” (13:1). “After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you” (17:1).

There is a deep meaning of “the hour” in John’s Gospel that wants to reveal more to us than merely “this is the hour when Jesus died.”

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