Lent Midweek: Sir, We Want To See Jesus

John 12:20-36

If it dies, it bears much fruit

After the whole scene surrounding the raising of Lazarus from the dead, some Greeks arrived in Jerusalem. (They may have been in some sense religiously Jewish, since they went there to worship at the Passover festival.) Perhaps they heard about the Lazarus miracle, or heard about the large crowds. What we know is they sought to contact Jesus, eventually finding the disciple Philip. They asked him, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” Philip went to Andrew, then Philip and Andrew went to Jesus. John doesn’t actually say the Greeks got a private audience with Jesus (they might have), only that the two disciples triggered a strange reaction out of Jesus, in words presumably spoken at least to the Greeks and probably everyone else in the crowd that was following Him around.

Jesus started talking about His impending death, which must happen for the sake of all, and the victory of the purposes of God.

I doubt that this was what these Greeks were expecting to see out of Jesus. The last thing you expect when you go to meet some famous person is for him to tell you that he’s about to die and is about to accomplish great things by doing so. That would strike me as, well, kinda weird.¬† But Jesus was not speaking to expectations. Jesus was not here to be seen, in the sense of someone visiting a friend, or scheduling an audience with a ruler, or (to use modern terms) to have a photo-op for the gossip magazines, or even to be interviewed by the press. Jesus was here to see life by, like the light of the sun or of a lamp, so you can know what’s in front of you and around you, so you can know where to go.

Sovereign One, may our feet walk by the light of your Son, so that we may see Jesus, and see the world He reconciled to You the way He saw it. Amen.

Bob Longman


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