(John 12:20) Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.
(John 12:21) So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
- Where is this taking place? John doesn’t say. It could be in Jerusalem, or things may have quieted down and Jesus and the disciples are back in Bethany.
- A new group of people, probably God fearing Gentiles.
- Remember, we’ve had the local Jews, the sojourning Jews, and now these gentiles.
- They respectfully address Philip, who was a Jew, but had a Greek name.
- (Not Greek speaking Jews (Gr. Hellenistes), but (Gr. Hellens), Gentiles)
(John 12:22) Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
- There was a bit of stalling going on here… Why didn’t Philip go straight to Jesus?
- Jesus had said "not to go to the gentiles" (Mat 10:5), so they may have been discussing if this request was proper.
- Jesus must have decided it was a proper request at this time in His ministry. Jesus comes out and begins to speak to them…
(John 12:23) And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
(John 12:24) Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
- It says, Jesus "answered" them. We don’t know what they said the He was answering, but we can guess based on how Jesus responds: With a proclamation that "the hour has come".
- The Greeks knew about the public decrees to put Jesus under arrest, and were probably trying to reason with Him to save His own life.
- Jesus’ answer is that His purpose is not to save His own life.
- Jesus had every right to save His own life and live a comfortable, kingly lifestyle, but He intended to use His life to purchase our lives as well.
Jesus calls upon His followers to give up their own lives in like manner:
(John 12:25) Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
(John 12:26) If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
- Is there a difference between "loving life" and "loving your life in this world"?
- Godly "Loving life" involves recognizing that God is the source of all earthly pleasures: eating, drinking, love, family, etc. and putting those gifts in their proper perspective.
- Godly "Loving life" recognizes that everything in "this life" is temporal and will end.
- Godly "Loving life" will follow where Jesus has gone, and is willing to give up everything for Him.
- "Loving your life in this world" by contrast, focuses on obtaining earthly pleasures at the cost of what is right.
- "Loving your life in this world" rejects God and His ways for fear of what others might think.
- "Loving your life in this world" glorifies you and your abilities when blessings come and ignores the true source of them, God.
- Where Jesus has gone, there He calls us to go to, not to give up our lives in the sense of going to the cross, but giving up our lives in service for God’s glory.
(John 12:27) "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.
- Jesus had a lot to feel troubled by. Not just immanent, painful death, but He who knew no sin was about to take on and be judged for the sins of the world. This must have been a terrifying prospect to one who had always had perfect communion with the Father, but in bearing these sins would have to be separated for a time. But… It was for this purpose that He came.
(John 12:28) Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
(John 12:29) The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
(John 12:30) Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not mine.
- Human nature never changes. Today we have people that say that the Israelites crossed through an ankle-high pond in their exodous from Egypt, and that when Jesus died, He must have only seemed dead, he couldn’t have actually been resurrected. Now here in verse 29 you see people saying, "Oh, that great, booming voice must have just been some thunder!" Others recognized it as supernatural, but not, as it was, the voice of God.
- What perfect faith Jesus had. In the midst of what might have been his weakest moment, God the Father talks directly to Him. I would be stunned and amazed, but Jesus took it in stride; He knew He was doing exactly what He should be doing, and didn’t need a sign from the Father to confirm it.
- The crowd that had gathered around is who needed this confirmation, for Jesus was about to, yet again, was about to challenge their understanding of the Messiah.
(John 12:31) Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
- Now is the time for every sin covered by Jesus’ blood to be judged, past, present, and future.
- The ruler of this world being cast out: maybe because of the rapid spread of the kingdom of God?
- Verse 32 could support this:
(John 12:32) And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."
- Previously Jesus had ministered primarily to Jews in the particular areas of Judea and Galilee, but now He would draw "all people" to Himself, Jews and gentiles alike, and the church would be the primary instrument in this.