Summary: Introductory Comments 1.
1. Palm Sunday is a joyous time. A time when we rejoice and wave our palm branches as we sing "Hosanna, Loud, Hosanna". It is the time that we welcome Jesus into our midst and we receive Him as the King of Israel and as the Saviour of our lives. We imagine what it would have felt like standing at the side of the road, just outside of Jerusalem, catching a glimpse of Jesus, as he rode by. Soon He would free us from our enemies, our struggles, our pain. Soon He would sit on His throne and bring us peace and joy forever .
2. Its fun to wave our branches and to rejoice. Its also easy - even a little child can carry a branch - its easy to hold onto and not very heavy. Who would not want to welcome Jesus and let Him ne their King. That is what the Pharisees feared as they watched the crowd. One of them even said "Look the whole world has gone after Him."
3. Their prediction comes true in the very next verse, the first verse of our passage today.
4. There were some Greeks or Gentiles at the passover. They were either proselytes - non- Jews who had become jews or else they were seeking God and checking out the Jewish festival. But they represent the world that is going after Jesus.
2. They are not sure whether they can even approach Jesus. His ministry has been almost exclusively to the Jews. And so they approach Philip. Perhaps because He had a Greek name they felt more at ease asking Him or perhaps they just ran into Him. But they ask him "Sir, we would like to see Jesus." Perhaps they had seen Jesus riding into Jerusalem and seen the crowds naming Him their king. Perhaps they had heard about this from others. But they wanted to see Him. And not just see Him or be introduced to Him. They wanted to get to know Him. Hhere was a man on his way to power, and it does not hurt to know people in high places.
3. When Philip and Andrew tell Jesus about their desire, Jesus gives an unusual answer. He does not say whether or not He will meet with them and we are not told if they ever did. They probably did not meet with Jesus to get to know them. But His answer tells them that such a meeting would probably have done little good. They would not have been able to understand what He would tell them.
4. For the way they would get to know Jesus is by His actions and by His disciples. They would know Him not by seeing Him, lifted up on a donkey, but by seeing Him lifted up on a cross. They would know Him not by seeing people carrying palm branches, but by seeing His disciples carry their own crosses. That is the essence of that which Jesus is telling His disciples, that which he is really telling these Greeks, and that is essence of what He tells us today.
5. First, we know Jesus through His actions. The people were ready to place Jesus on a throne on Palm Sunday. They would have let Him bypass the events of that Monday through Saturday and go right to Easter Sunday. Christ would be exalted, He would establish His kingdom on Easter Sunday. But what happened between these two Sundays, these two Lord’s Days would enable us to understand Him and His kingdom.
6. Jesus talks about His actions and what would happen to Him in the coming week. He does not explain details of every event but He gives meaning to them. He makes it clear that He is talking about Himself when he says "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified." The time had come for Christ to be raised up and exalted. But later in chapter 12 Jesus would talk about this hour in a different way.
John 12:27 "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it"
He asks His Father to save Him from this hour, because it would be an hour or time of intense, unbearable suffering. Jesus' time has come. His hour would be the events of that most holy of all weeks. The hour is the time when Christ would be exalted but first He would suffer.
7. Jesus explains that unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single seed, But if it dies it produces many seeds. The passover week was a feast of harvest. Jesus says that unless He dies on the cross there will be no spiritual harvest.