Tuesday 12 April 2022

Bible Book:

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.' Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. (vs 20-22)

John 12:20-36 Tuesday 12 April 2022

Psalm 71:1-14


This portion of John’s Gospel contains many of Jesus’ statements on his impending sacrifice and death. It doesn’t get much clearer than this as an expression of how Jesus understands the future days to be panning out. From a human perspective, it is not going to end well. Yet, with the eye of faith and the benefit of hindsight, we can hear of the necessity of Jesus willingly walking that road to the Cross. Jesus’ death is both necessary and life-giving because, as a result, a new community of disciples will be formed. Through Jesus’ death all people will be drawn to him, drawn to the light, in order to become children of light, the people of God.

The focus for today’s gospel passage is the arrival of some Greeks who have made the journey to Jerusalem for the festival of Passover. Meeting Philip, recognising him as a disciple, they ask to be able to see Jesus. Maybe they wished to meet with Jesus in order to become disciples. Maybe that making their approach to Philip and then through Andrew suggests a connection between the first Jewish disciples and the arrival of the first Gentile (non-Jewish) disciples. In this story the Church’s future mission to the Gentiles, and the inclusion of Gentiles in God’s promises, is prefigured. As we continue to reflect upon the way of the Cross, and follow Jesus’ willing walk towards his destiny so, again, John demonstrates a model of discipleship that does not conform to the stereotypical assumptions. We begin to grasp the importance of the inclusive nature of the call to discipleship.

Yesterday we recognised the special place of women amongst the disciples. Today we recognise the special place that Jesus held open for the Gentiles. The loving act of service that Christ will perform on the Cross is for all people, because God’s promises are for all people. In this passage, most starkly, we see the connection between the death of Jesus and the life of the community of believers. The community which gathers in the name of Christ is the community which is the fruit of his death. It is the community that will continue to demonstrate discipleship as loving service. It is the community that will proclaim that in his death is life, in all its fullness, for all the world and its peoples.


To Ponder:

  • In what way can you be a part of making your local church, or another group known to you, more inclusive?
  • How do you respond to the demand to express loving service in your personal discipleship?
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