Last time we met we learned how the disciples remembered events from Jesus’ life and then once they understood them later, told others what they knew. Today we study from John 12: 20-26. The Greeks come to talk to Jesus.
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 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. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 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.
So we know that Jesus was at the Passover preparations/feast. We know that people had been looking for him. We’ve also seen him being welcomed with hosannas, a trail of coats and a young donkey to ride in on. Today we learn that Greeks were part of the crowd… they came to worship at the feast.
You know what that tells me? They were converts to Judaism…otherwise why would they come? Greeks wouldn’t show up at a Jewish event to take part, to worship, unless they had converted to Judaism. Therefore we have these Greek Jews on a mission. They came to Philip and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
Philip went to Andrew and then together they went and told Jesus.
Jesus’ answer seems a bit odd to me. It wasn’t sure… bring them on over, rather it was more total end game. His response: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 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. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 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.
I gotta wonder, did the disciples take that response back to the Greeks?
Or did they wonder… what is Jesus talking about? I know they didn’t really understand that Jesus came to die, so these references probably had them shaking their heads a bit. In retrospect we understand what he says. Jesus’ time to die was fast approaching. But his death would bear much fruit just like a wheat kernel dying to produce a new plant with many seeds. It’s important to realize this truth you know? Especially in light of his next lines.
Then we get the reference to those who follow after Christ. They need to be willing to die for him. But that death would yield eternal life. Service to Christ requires that we follow him, and since we are following him we are with him. Christ’s servants are honoured by God the Father. Jesus’ death lead to much fruit. We need to be willing to follow Christ…even to the point of death. What might our deaths bring in terms of fruit borne? Do we even really ever think about that?
I know that I don’t tend to. In fact most days I have to admit I often don’t think of my relationship with Christ in those terms… of dying to myself so that I might serve Christ better? I rarely wonder about how I might die to myself as I follow the Lord… and that’s not a great thing you know? I shows how very self-centred I can be. That is SO not a good thing. How can I follow the Lord well if I mostly see myself and my own needs/desires? Here the Lord reminds me well what my calling in… service, willingness to follow him regardless because where I am… so is he.
What a word for the Greek Jews eh? To hear Jesus say to follow him and be honoured by God?
What a word for us now. To be reminded on just who we follow… a glorified Jesus. The Son of God and how through following him and serving him, God the Father will honour us.