Today’s Thoughts, John 12:20-26

by Pastor Lee Hemen
April 17, 2008

Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. (John 12:20-26)

What one important person who would like to meet in this day and age? A movie star or scientist? A famous singer or song writer? How about a politician or a famous writer? Now, if we asked you who would you like to meet from history, whose name would immediately be on your lips? Would it be Abraham Lincoln? How about George Washington or George Washington Carver? Would it be Peter, Paul, or perhaps Mary? Now, I know some of you would immediately say, “Jesus!”

Just as the Greeks who wanted to see for themselves the one who was shaking up the first century Israelite world, you would like to ask him a few questions of your own and see him for yourself. Some of you think that you would just like to just look into his beautiful face to see his divine nature or feel the power of God emanate from him. However, here is a secret that I firmly believe to be true: You would be surprised at not only how normal Jesus looked but also at how human he acted! Do not believe me? Then why did not others of his day see in him something other worldly as you might want to suggest? He was the kind of individual people did not normally want to look at; in fact, most were repulsed by him and his message! For these reasons, remember that Isaiah prophesied: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3) And is this not how many treat Jesus today?

Now, some of you may try to argue that this speaks about when Jesus is being punished for our sins. Yet, the idea of Isaiah is that the Messiah would be quite normal in appearance and in the way he interacted. Certainly, Jesus did miracles, but I think that if you did not know from the crowds that followed him in order to see something or to get something from him, you would not immediately recognize him. In fact, we find that he was able to go to festivals and such where no one recognized him until he began to speak. This is why Jesus often told those he healed, forgave, and restored to be quiet about who he was. His time for his personal sacrifice was not yet and he did not want to be easily recognized and followed by crowds who only wanted a good Messianic show. He was not seeking the political office of being their king nor the superstar adulation of the throngs.

Many today say they would long to see Jesus, but if they did I think they would be surprised at who they actually saw and especially by what he might relate to them personally! Notice his cryptic answer to his disciples when they came relating that these Greeks wanted an audience. He immediately goes into the fact that he is going to die, but he also is referring not only to his own death and resurrection but it is a suggestion to those “Greeks” that needed to come to him not as groupies, but to be willing to lose their lives for eternal life! That if they truly wanted to “see” him then they needed to be willing to follow him through serving him, because those are the people God honors!

Jesus has a lot of “Greeks” in our day and age that just want to “see” Jesus, but few servants who want to truly serve him. Why? Service demands personal sacrifice. It demands that you place all of your interests on the back burner and that you wait for the Master to call you into the service he desires! I am often startled by the blunt words Jesus gave to Thomas who just want to “see” Jesus as well, after his resurrection: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) In these words to Thomas Jesus reminds us that seeing is not believing, but believing is truly seeing. And, if you want to “see” Jesus you must be willing to serve him. Here is the wonderful secret: You can see Jesus today if you are willing to come to him as his servant.

Do you want to “see” Jesus today? Serve him and not only will you actively see him but others will as well.

NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety.


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