Tuesday 15 April 2014

Bible Book:

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” (v. 23)

John 12:20-36 Tuesday 15 April 2014


The Pharisees had said that the whole world hadgone after Jesus (John 12:19). It immediately becomes obviousthat this is not just the Jewish world, but also Gentiles (nonJews). Some Greek-speaking Gentiles have come to worship inJerusalem at the Passover Festival, even though they will beexcluded from the sacrifice itself. Yet in their search for God,they recognise that they need to see and know Jesus (verses 20-22).So they come and find one of Jesus' followers who has a Greek name,Philip, who goes and finds another, Andrew, and together Philip andAndrew take their request to Jesus.

Jesus recognises that this request means that"the hour has come". In John4:21, 23 Jesus had said that the hour would soon come whenSamaritans and Gentiles would worship God alongside Jews "in spiritand truth" (John 4:24), and that that fact was beinganticipated in his encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well(John 4:4-30). In our passage, Gentiles arecoming to him. The hour is therefore near when God will beglorified by all. But in John's Gospel that hour is not so much atthe resurrection but at the crucifixion of Jesus, when he defeatsevil and draws all people to himself (verses 31-33). God hasalready glorified the name of Jesus (John1:14; 2:11) and will glorify it again as he dies onthe cross (verses 27-33).

So Jesus has to be ready to go to his death inorder to bear fruit for others, and to be raised to live indifferent ways. So must his followers (verses 23-26). They mustlearn from him whilst he is with them. Like candles lit from aflaming torch, they must take his love and life into themselves sothat when he is not physically with them, they can enlighten theworld in his name (verses 35-36). So must we.

To Ponder

  • Does it make a difference to say that the glory of God is seenin the crucifixion of Jesus rather than the resurrection? Why?
  • Why do you think the Gentiles who approach Philip never get tosee Jesus in this passage?
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