Getting A Name…
Lord, I pray for an open mind and willing spirit, so that I might learn Your truth and share it.
Read John 12:20-26
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you built up a reputation for something, earning you respect? How do you feel about this and what does it give you?
This is such a fascinating passage. We begin by meeting some Passover pilgrims who have heard of Jesus in far-away Greece, and now want to meet him. So, following ancient protocol, they approach someone who could effect an introduction for them–Philip, one of Jesus’ Greek-speaking disciples. This was the way to meet a VIP in the culture of Jesus’ time.
Did it work? No. Philip and Andrew try, but they prompt a response from Jesus that seems unwelcoming and beside the point–or is it? Jesus’ first words, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (23), may have an ironic, humorous edge, “Well, now I’ve arrived! Greeks want to see me!” In fact the whole thrust of verses 23-26 is to explode the “honor” system into which Philip and Andrew, and the visiting Greeks, are trying to entice Jesus. Yes, this is the moment for glory–his “hour” has come (see 2:4; 7:30; 8:20; 13:1)–but the glory Jesus will now experience is not that of adoring crowds and admiring fans, in spite of what just happened as he entered the city (13). It is the glory of the seed that dies and gives itself totally so that a new life may arise (24); and all who want to follow Jesus are going to have to embrace the same attitude towards their lives–losing them, so as to find them. God will “honor” those who follow him like this (26)!
I am writing on the day after a million people lined the streets to cheer Olympic athletes for their amazing achievements. That kind of “glory” is deeply natural, and right, in our world, but Jesus invites us away from the spotlight to seek his Father’s glory in self-denial, anonymity, humility and death.
What might God be saying to you through this powerful message? Apply it with repentance (if necessary) to your life.
Patient Father, the allure and praise of the world is very seductive. If You have given me worldly honor, may I use it for Your glory. In all things may You have the pre-eminence.