As we come to John 12, Jesus has ridden into Jerusalem on the donkey. Jerusalem is full of people from all over the world, gathered for the feast, and among the crowd, there are some Greeks. They would have been Jewish converts, but they’re not native-born Jews. Do you see their question in verse 21? ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’
It’s not obvious on the surface how Jesus’ reply relates to the Greeks’ desire to see Him.
Instead, it is the question, and who it comes from, that is the signal for Jesus, the indication that his time has come.
So That All May See Jesus
The Hour has now come...
Up till now, there has been a repeated theme in John’s Gospel that Jesus’ hour or time has not yet come.
...for the Son of Man to be Glorified...
But now, in response to the request of these Greeks to see Him, Jesus announces (John 12:23), “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” Salvation would now be proclaimed to the whole world. The hour had come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
...in the most unexpected of ways.
Now, when you think of Jesus being glorified, what is it that comes to mind? You might think of the crowds in Jerusalem shouting their praise; or being elevated high on people's shoulders. But as Jesus is glorified, as he is lifted up, it means his death on the cross - as John says: 'he said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.
So That As We See Jesus, All May See Jesus In Us
The Necessity of Death
“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit...”
Somehow death and seeing Jesus are intimately related. To see Jesus is more than looking at him. It is more than just believing the things he said and did. We follow Christ as participants not spectators. If we want to see Jesus then we must also learn to die.
The Process of Death
see Galatians 2:19b-20
Seeing Jesus means dying to our own self-sufficiency. We let go of our life to receive God’s life.
This work of dying (to self) is difficult and painful. But in the process of dying is what begins to heal our vision. We see a new life, and a new way of living, and this new way looks a lot like Jesus, and his way of living and being. That’s a big part of what Lent, and Holy Week, are about.
The Purpose of Death
"Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
When we hear of the next tragedy, the next shooting, the next suicide, we need to hear the words, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
Bearing Much Fruit
The Foster Care service and churches:
In 2012 there were 397,000 foster care cases; by 2016 there were 437,500 children in the system. In 2012 there were 384,000 functioning churches in America. So if every church in America had one family willing to take in a foster child or two, we would empty the system out, at least for a time.
Imagine if all these children were shown what a loving family looks like? What Jesus' love looks like?
When was the last time in Western world that the Church did something that was shockingly good?
Do we wish to see Jesus? Do we want others to see more of Jesus in us? If Jesus said that where He is, his servant will also be found, then Jesus calls us to stand in the place of self-sacrifice with Him. If we hear His call, then we will see Jesus...