Some Greeks were among those who had come up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and made a request: “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” Philip told Andrew, and Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
Jesus replied, “The time has come for the Human One to be glorified. I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their lives will lose them, and those who hate their lives in this world will keep them forever. Whoever serves me must follow me. Wherever I am, there my servant will also be. My Father will honor whoever serves me.
Some Greek people sought out an audience with Jesus. “We want to see Jesus,” they requested. Can you imagine a better request? They came to a disciple who was a fellow Greek, Philip. Philip told Andrew, who was also a Greek Jew. Andrew presented the request to Jesus, along with Philip. The fact that the word about Jesus had spread to these Greek travelers meant that Jesus was becoming known far and wide.
Wouldn’t that be exciting news? But Jesus doesn’t answer their request directly. He responds about what will be required of anyone who wants to see Jesus: we must follow him. And where he is about to go we may not wish to go. But this is how we will see him and know him.
Did Andrew and Philip relay the message back to those who were seeking Jesus? And did they stick around town long enough to see him? When he’s hung from the cross as a spectacle for all to see, they will get their chance. Maybe that’s not what they were wanting to see. It’s hard for us too. We want the grinning, thumbs-up victorious Jesus.
Not the one who talks about death and relinquishing as the way to life.
Open our eyes, Lord, we want to see Jesus. Make the desires of our hearts focused on the fullness of all you show us through him. Amen.
Drive through a part of town you are usually warned not to drive through. Look on the suffering you may see there. Pray, “Let me see you, Jesus!”
Get ready for Palm Sunday. Talk about the clothes you will wear. Then talk about getting our insides ready as much as our outsides. Read the Palm Sunday story beginning in John 12:12.