Today is the beginning of the lead up to Easter, Jesus is leaving Galilee, leaving safety and heading to Judea which is not safe. Why? Because he loves his friends. Today we read (listen and watch) at an incident in the life of Jesus as recorded for us in John’s gospel chapter 12.
These Greeks come to Philip – what was it about Philip that whenever we meet him in the Bible he is bringing people to Jesus? We cannot be certain but there must have been something about him that led people to come and ask him questions about Jesus. I think he must have been a man who was sympathetic, approachable and easy to talk to. Not a pushy disciple, just content to bring people to Jesus. You know there must have been something about Philip that made these men know he was a disciple of Jesus and that he could introduce them to Jesus. Now here are two questions for us all. Do people know I am a disciple of Jesus? Would they approach me to be introduced to Jesus?
Well Andrew and Philip may not have had all the answers but this they did know, and this we all need to know, no seeker was a nuisance to Jesus. They do not shrink back from bringing people to meet with Jesus. They had no fear that he would say ‘I am tired, now is not the right time.’ They may not have known much but this they did know - there was (and is) an ever open door into the presence of Jesus. So they bring these Greeks to Jesus.
Out of this encounter, Christ proclaims that the ‘hour of his glory is now come.’ What did Jesus mean by this? For the Hebrews amongst his hearers this phrase would have almost taken their breath away. Their minds would immediately be cast back to Daniel 7 and the prophetic picture of the Son of Man who would bring in a new era of peace and harmony in contrast to the tyrannical rule of mankind. The Jews expected a Warrior Messiah like King David, a champion, like the judges of old, who would conquer their enemies, meaning the Roman oppressors, at that time. They were looking at the wrong enemy.
To help them, and us, understand ‘glory’ Jesus takes a grain of wheat and teaches that his ‘glory’ is found in ‘death.’ The Romans were mighty enemies in their day but they were not going to keep God's people out of heaven. Satan, sin and death, were the real enemies. Have you been being beaten up by circumstances in your life? Are you facing a Giant problem? Are you seeing the right enemy? Ask God to show you the real hidden enemy, then fight the right way, on your knees in prayer.