"Now is the time for judgment on this world ..." (John 12:31)

"Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out." (John 12:31) 

Is Jesus speaking of his coming crucifixion?

Some sectarian institutions and their teachers interpret this statement as Jesus referring to his crucifixion.

Many that follow this interpretation teach that all we have to do is "accept that Jesus died for our sins" and we will be "saved."

This is despite the fact that Jesus never taught this.

Does this interpretation even make sense? If it were true, why did Jesus even bother teaching anything? Why didn't he simply teach, "just accept that I will die for your sins and you will be saved"?

If this "Jesus died for my sins" teaching is true, then this means that Jesus was wrong when he taught:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 7:21)
Those who are teaching and those who are practicing this "Jesus died for my sins" doctrine fall under this category of people who are saying "Lord, Lord" in the above verse. They are proclaiming Jesus as Lord without following his teaching: "only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

Jesus goes on to say:
"Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matt. 7:21-23)
This is what many sects do in Jesus' name... prophesizing in Jesus' name, performing miracles, and driving out demons in Jesus' name. Yet here Jesus is calling them "evildoers," saying "Away from me." Why?

Because they are not following his teachings, which were to serve the Supreme Being ("does the will of my Father who is in heaven.")

Who is the 'prince of this world'?

Is it a horned character with a pitchfork who lives underground in fiery-hot caves? Is it someone who sits on our shoulder tempting us? Such fictitious characterizations are certainly creative.

"This world" is being translated from the Greek word κόσμος (kosmos), which means, according to Thayer's lexicon, "universe" or "world", but also, "world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly; a) the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc."

If we accept this meaning, we can understand that "this world" isn't simply a place: Jesus was talking about the consciousness that pervades this material world: A consciousness of greed and self-centeredness.

And the use of the word "prince" is being translated from the Greek word ἄρχων (archōn), which means, according to the lexicon, "ruler, commander, chief, leader." So just who is leading or ruling this consciousness of greed and desire that pervades the physical world?

"The prince of this world" that Jesus is discussing is self-centeredness. This is the root cause of greed, envy, and sin. Being self-centered is putting ourselves at the center. Being self-centered is "loving ourselves." Being self-centered is putting ourselves first and everyone else last - including God if we even believe in His existence.

Self-centeredness is the "prince of this world" because this is the opposite consciousness that Jesus was teaching about. Jesus was teaching us to be God-centered, while self-centeredness is opposed to Jesus' teachings.

So why is Jesus saying that "Now is the time for judgment on this world" and "now the prince of this world will be driven out"? What was happening at that moment in time that would refer to this? 

This follows God's saying, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." after Jesus asked God, "Father, glorify your name!" and Jesus stating after God spoke, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine" directly afterward. (John 12:28-30)

So the word "now" is the key, coming from the Greek word, νῦν (nyn) which means "at this time, the present, now," according to the lexicon.

Jesus was not dying on the cross "at this time" and in "the present." Rather, Jesus was teaching a crowd that surrounded him by the temple in Jerusalem, and they had just heard God speaking to them, and God glorified His Name. That is what was happening "now."

How does glorifying God's Name bring 'judgment on this world'?

Glorifying God's Name brings "judgment on this world" because the consciousness of "this world" is self-centeredness. 

Glorifying God is the opposite consciousness. This creates a contrasting moment, dividing those who are self-centered from those who are God-centered.

Those who are God-centered were marveling and giving thanks at hearing from God, while those who were self-centered were not. They - such as the Pharisees and priests who were observing - were envious - saying "See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!" (John 12:19)

Why were the Pharisees so against Jesus?

The Pharisees and priests were not interested in glorifying God. They were focused upon maintaining their positions in the temple hierarchy and were thus 'towing the line." Unfortunately, this is similar to many sectarian institutions and their teachers today.

Like the Pharisees, many of sectarian institutions that claim to follow Jesus are not interested in glorifying God. They want to glorify Jesus - which is good - but they ignore the very person Jesus came to teach us to love: the Supreme Being.

Instead, their teachings is that all we have to do is "accept Jesus into my heart" and "Jesus died for my sins."

This "Jesus died for my sins" is the teaching that the Roman government promoted because it supported their ability to control the Christian world with one doctrine that could be consistent with their continued materialism.

Remember that it was the Romans - the same government who murdered Jesus and many of his followers, and the same government who murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews in the first century - who governed the process of assembling and editing the books of the Bible - and destroying other sacred texts. 

It was the early Roman Catholic Church - organized by the Romans in the Fifth Century - who dictated the meaning of Jesus' teachings. Meanwhile, they de-emphasized Jesus' actual teachings. 

And they disregarded the teachings of Jesus' direct disciples while promoting the teachings of someone who was not a direct follower of Jesus (Paul) - who created this teaching that Jesus died for our sins.

Jesus' real teachings instructed us that in order to return to the spiritual world, we would have to change. Jesus strictly applied the teachings of David, Moses, Abraham, Samuel, and others, who emphasized that we need to learn to love God and dedicate our lives to the Supreme Being. 

This means changing our consciousness from being self-centered to being God-centered. This is supported by every teacher from the Old Testament, and the instructions by Moses, who summed up the meaning of God's commandments with this single instruction:
"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deut. 6:4)



*Here is the translation of Jesus' statement according to the Lost Gospels of Jesus:

"Now this material world is condemned; and the chief of this world will be cast out.” (John 12:31)