Sunday Services @ 9:15am & 10:45am
John 12:20-26 – Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
This is an odd scene, to say the least. Jesus has just entered Jerusalem, and the Jews have worshipped and received their king. Ironically, within a few days the crowds will declare, “We have no king but Caesar” – Jesus was not the king they expected. At this moment, the shadow of the cross looms close-by.
With this as background, John tells of two “Greeks” who have come to Worship at Passover. They have heard of Jesus, and now they want to see Him, so they find Phillip and request an audience.
Jesus’ reaction to this is curious and difficult. I don’t know whether it is what Phillip expected – it certainly isn’t what we expect. Jesus essentially brushes off the request. Instead of rushing out to meet with this contingent, Jesus explains that His death will bring life… and the time has come for His death. It seems like a random answer to a straight-forward request.
Remember, though, that Jesus repeatedly preached that He came first for the Jews, then for the Gentiles. He came to His own, but they didn’t receive Him. Because of the cross, however, everyone, whether Jew or Greek, can have access to God 24/7. I almost get the feeling that Jesus is saying, “Almost." The door is about to open. Everything is changing. Just a little longer.”
Jesus’ “teaching moment” aside, I am struck by the request of these Greeks, made to Phillip. “We would see Jesus.” Show us Jesus. Introduce us to this great man. It would not be long until that request was the driving force in Phillip’s life, as it is in mine, and hopefully as it is in yours. We exist to introduce Jesus to those who would meet Him.
Has it ever occurred to you that you represent Jesus Christ 24/7 before an unbelieving world? The world is watching. What does our representation of Christ say to the world about the things we say we believe? Do they know us more for our political affiliations and our sports preferences than for our Savior? Do they know us more for what we are against than what we are for? Are we a bad, mediocre, or good “advertisement” for Jesus? Are we helping people see who He really is and what He is really like?
After all – the cross has opened the door for everyone to see Jesus.