John 12:20-33

                Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks.    They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.

                Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

                “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say–‘ Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”

                Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

                He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

 

From Rev. Jayne Chafin, Pastor

First Christian Church, Ravenswood

I always feel like I’m missing something when I read this part of John’s Gospel. Some Greeks want to see Jesus. They don’t say why, just that they want to see Jesus. They tell Phillip, Phillip tells Andrew and together Phillip and Andrew tell Jesus. Seems like a lot of fuss and worry over “somebody’s at the door and would like to see you.” Did the message get twisted, like in the old game telephone? And Jesus’ response is to launch into this speech that leads to him telling them what kind of death he would have.

Some days that’s how it feels. I want to “see” Jesus. I want to be able to hear him speak to me about what I want to hear, what I think I need to hear. And then something (or someone) gets in the way (at least in my mind) and the response I get is not what I was expecting or hoping for.

Jesus, I don’t want to hear about your death. I don’t want to hear about how difficult this is going to be. I don’t want to lose my life. I’m here to learn about all the great things you have done and how I can do them, too. But you know me so well. You know the depths of my heart and you know that deep down I really want to hear your thundering voice so that I know I’m on the right path, following you the way I should.   Maybe I need to drop my expectations and desires and “needs” and open my ears and heart to what you are saying to me.

 

Speak to me anew, O Christ, even today, even now. Amen.

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