Summary: # 34 in series. Jesus states three amazing paradoxes, Life comes through death, Life comes through spending it, Greatness comes through service.
A Study of the Book of John
“That You May Believe”
Sermon # 34
“We Would See Jesus”
I want to begin this morning by reading you the text from the translation called (The Message). I want to use this translation as the introduction because I believe it gives us a good sense of what is happening here. We read in John chapter twelve and verse twenty, “There were some Greeks in town who had come up to worship at the Feast. They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee: "Sir, we want to see Jesus. Can you help us?" (22-23) Philip went and told Andrew. Andrew and Philip together told Jesus. Jesus answered, "Time’s up. The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. (24-25) "Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal. (26) "If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.”
Jesus had just entered into Jerusalem to the shouts and praises of a huge crowd present in the city for the Passover celebration. The people were anxious to proclaim Him king, but the Lord refused to accept the role they wanted him to take. Our story today opens with a group of God-fearing Gentiles (Greeks) who have come to worship at the feast. But they are more than just curious visitors or one time investigators of Judaism they are seeking the truth. They approach Philip with an appeal to “see” Jesus. But to their credit, they did not just want to physically see Jesus. They did not just want to learn more about Jesus. Having heard and observed, they were attracted and they wanted to believe in Him, they wanted to “know” him.
In verse twenty we read, “Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. (21) Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” (22) Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus”
We are told that a group of men came asking to see Jesus and interestingly enough we are not told that the people who made this request actually did see Jesus, although I do think they did. We are told they came to Philip, although John does not say why. It may be because Philip has a Greek name: Philipos, means “a lover of horses.” Philip was apparently also perplexed about what to do so he consulted Andrew (v. 22). And Andrew did what he always did. Andrew would have no doubt. Every time we meet him in the Gospels he is bringing someone to Jesus (1:41-42. 6:8-9). Obvious, at least to him, the right thing; is to tell Jesus that these foreigners want to see him. John does not actually tell us that the two apostles brought the Greeks to Jesus, but this seems implied.
The first part of Jesus’ response is startling. He says, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.” (v. 23) Up to this point His Disciples, have heard him say over and over, "My hour has not yet come." The first occurrence is at the Wedding in Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle when his mother came to him and asked him to do something about the wine for the wedding feast. Jesus said to her, "…. My hour has not yet come," (John 2:4).In the seventh chapter of his Gospel, John tells us that Jesus told his brothers to go on up to the feast at Jerusalem but that he was not going up because "my hour has not yet come" (John 7:6).And, in the eighth chapter, as he is speaking in Jerusalem and already the opposition against him is beginning to form, John says, "No man laid hands on him to arrest him, because his hour had not yet come," (John 8:20).Yet now, when a handful of strangers come and the report is carried to Jesus that a certain group of Greeks want to see him, suddenly, to his disciples’ amazement, He seems greatly moved with emotion and says, "Now my hour has come. The time has come for me to be glorified." This event seems to be to Jesus like a great clock striking the hour, a momentous moment of his life when all that he had lived for shall now find its fulfillment.