Fifth Sunday in Lent, Mar. 18

Read John 12:20-33

From William B. Allen

Regional Minister Emeritus

Here we are late in the Lenten season and the mood is becoming more intense.  The arrival of Greeks wishing to see Jesus may sound to us like just another event in Jesus’ journey.  But on second look it is much more than that.  The arrival of Greeks at the Passover festival was unusual and Jesus took it as a turning point in his ministry.  His response to the request to see him was not, “Sure, bring them over.”  It was, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”

The arrival of the Greeks was a sign that the mission of Jesus was no longer to Judea and Samaria alone but was now to the whole creation. This was the moment for which he had come into the world.  It would require his death and resurrection, which he likened to a grain of wheat falling into the ground in order to bear much fruit.  Talk about love!

While those around him had trouble understanding what was happening, Jesus knew that God was driving out evil from the world and drawing all people to Jesus, himself.

This is a powerful prelude to the events of Holy Week and a sure sign that God’s activity is aimed at saving us and giving us abundant life.


Holy God, thank you for the events we celebrate in these days, which mark our lives with love, compassion and new from you. Amen.