12 August 2017

John 12:20-50

“Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’” (vv. 20-21)

Psalm: Psalm 55:16-22


Word about Jesus has now spread beyond the Jewish community, and in verse 20 some Greeks approach the disciples and ask to see Jesus. The gospel message has always been a universal one. Jesus uses the opportunity yet again to point out the ways in which his life upholds prophecies long spoken (verses 33, 38-40). The prophecies are now more urgent and personal: Jesus is, in effect, saying to his disciples, "I do not have long left here; I am going to die."

What follows is the clearest sign any sceptics in the area could ask for. In response to Jesus' prayer that God's name be glorified, a voice calls out from the heavens: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again" (v. 28).

Jesus speaks again of what will happen. But people either don't get it or are expecting something different to happen (verses 34, 37). Amongst the leadership, some are coming to believe in him but not going public about it (verse 42).

To Ponder

  • If someone dear to you told you that they were about to die, how would you react to the news?
  • In your opinion, what can churches do to be proactive in welcoming people from other cultures?

Bible notes author

George Luke

George Luke works as an editor and writer at Methodist Church House. He grew up in Sierra Leone and now lives in London.