Summary: In John 12.20-36 where the Greek-speaking Jews asked to see Jesus. Three things stand out from this episode, People WANT to see Jesus; People NEED to See Jesus; and People WILL See Jesus. As His disciples we can aid or hinder people in seeing Jesus.
1. What Will They Find?
The story that I begin with today is a true story. A woman named, Helen, lived in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada. They found her body one night at the door of Emmanuel Pentecostal Church. Helen had been trying to get into the church. But she never got further than the door.
John Harris was the caretaker and security guard who lived in an apartment in the church. He heard what he thought was a scratching or clawing at the door of the church that night. He quickly got dressed and made his way carefully to the front door where he heard the noise.
First he looked out the little window in the front door and he didn't see anyone there. Then he quietly began unlocking the door. Thinking it was perhaps a stray animal you can imagine his surprise when he opened the door and found the body of a woman lying there. In fact, she fell into the church as the door.
At once he recognized the blood that seemed to be everywhere from obvious stab wounds on the woman's body. She was still breathing but just barely. John immediately made his way to the telephone and alerted the police and emergency personnel. Then he called the pastor and told him what was going on.
The police arrived on the scene quickly and began to assess the situation. The emergency personnel showed up and tried to help the woman but she had already lost too much blood and she died.
This was an easy crime for the police to solve however, because all they had to do was follow the trail of blood that led to where the crime had taken place. It led them to her second floor apartment just around the corner and about three blocks away from the church, where she lived with her boyfriend. He was still there with knife in hand sitting on the floor of the apartment in a pool of blood. The police immediately arrested him.
But there were still some questions that were unanswered. The police wondered as they followed the trail of blood back to the church why Helen had come here to this church. Why didn't she pound on her neighbor's door for help? Why not to the little convenience store on the corner of the street that was open 24 hours a day. Why did she pass the phone in front of the store? If she had gotten help sooner there was a real good chance that she could have been saved before the loss of blood became too great.
The trail of blood went from her apartment down the stairs onto the sidewalk. It didn't stop at any house along the way. It kept going for three blocks and they could tell that Helen, at times, had drug herself along the sidewalk. There were places where there was more blood than others as she stopped along the way to, no doubt, regain strength. If she had just turned into one of the houses, but she didn't and Helen kept crawling along to the church. She dragged herself around the corner of the third block and headed to the church. At the bottom of the steps to the church she must have laid there for a long time until she finally gained enough strength to climb the stairs. Up the stairs she went to the front door, where she had tried to open it up and that was where John, the caretaker, found her.
When the Pastor arrived he was able to identify the body as that of a young woman that he and his wife had taught a Bible Study to about a year ago. "So she is a member of your church," the policeman said. "No, she doesn't attend any church to my knowledge," replied the Pastor. She had shown so much interest when they talked to her about the Lord. But she had never made it out to church. All she knew about the church was through that one Bible Study. So it was a mystery to the police why she did what she did.
‡” Why did she struggle for three blocks and around the corner to the church?
‡” Why was she trying to get into the church?
‡” What did she expect to find there?
‡” What did she expect to see?
‡” What could getting into the church do to help her in the condition that she was in?
Those were the questions that were in the minds of the police officers that night.
With that story fresh in our minds, my question to you and the subject of my message is this: When people open the door of our Church on any given Sunday, "What will they find?" The very first thing that I hope people see when they open the door of this church is Jesus Christ.