John 12:20-23 – Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. "Sir," they said, "we would like to see Jesus." Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified." (NIV)
A church in Canada that I used to be associated with became known as the "immigrant church" because the elders decided to assist people from other nations. In these countries, those we helped could routinely be sent to "re-education centres" if they became Christians.
One young man left a country that did not allow Christians to work or to go to school. This fellow heard about God and came to our church seeking to learn more. As a result of our ministry, he accepted Jesus as his Lord and was baptized.
In today's passage, the apostle John wrote about some Greeks who sought God in the Jewish temple at Jerusalem. Since these seekers were Gentiles, they worshipped in the outer portion of the temple reserved for those who were not circumcised. In one of those wonderful God incidents, Jesus' disciple Philip just "happened" to be there. The Scripture states that they sought out Philip because they wanted to see Jesus. Then Philip sought Andrew to go with him to find Jesus. What did the Lord say when they found Him? Did He dismiss Philip's request? No, Jesus said, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified."
To modern readers, we want to scratch our heads. Why did Jesus respond this way? That doesn't sound like either acceptance or rejection. So, what was Jesus talking about? In speaking of being glorified, Jesus sent the shadow of the cross on Mount Calvary across the entire account, but He also foretold His resurrection. He was embracing God's plan of salvation for Jew and Gentile alike.
Later, Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6 NIV)
Jesus is the way to God — the only way.
If we seek Jesus like those Greeks, we will find the One who gives us access to God, because after His crucifixion, He was glorified through His resurrection and subsequent ascension into heaven.
Today, Jesus is calling anyone who seeks Him to come and find the spiritual fulfillment, peace, and joy that they seek.
Prayer: Father God, we come seeking more of Jesus in our lives. Forgive us for our waywardness, deliver us from every evil, and fill us afresh with the Holy Spirit, for we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "O How I Love Jesus" (Lyrics)