April 6, 2003

John 12:20-33

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?"

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.

"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. I the same way, anyone who hold 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.

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.

Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? 'Father, get me out of this'? No, this is why I came in the first place. I'll say, 'Father, put your glory on display.'"

A voice came out of the sky: "I have glorified it, and I'll glorify it again."

The listening crowd said, "Thunder!"

Others said, "An angel spoke to him!"

Jesus said, "The voice didn't come for me but for you. At this moment the world is in crisis. Now Satan, the ruler of this world, will be thrown out. And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me." He put it this way to show how he was going to be put to death.

[The Message]


1. We want to see Jesus - too late - "Son of Man" here.

2. All we wanted was to catch a glimpse of or get the autograph of Jesus the celebrity, the Lazarus raiser. All we got was listening from afar to being told to get unstuck from our satisfaction of the present and to go serve (as though serving were a place where we would meet Jesus instead of more conveniently meeting him at some restaurant). Most unsettling.

3. To pile unsettlement upon itself we hear rumbles and a word of interpretation passed through a crowd that being spoken to by GOD is not for oneself alone, but, if followed, will be for the sake of others. Well, if we are not for ourselves, who will be! This doesn't make any sense. What kind of messianic leader is this. It's probably a good thing we never got to meet Jesus. I wonder if we can find someone to get us an audience with Annas? I'd settle for Caiaphas, wouldn't you?