Tuesday 26 March 2013

Bible Book:

John 12:20-37 Tuesday 26 March 2013


This passage is part of the Palm Sunday story in John's Gospel.Among those gathering to celebrate the Passover Festival inJerusalem were a group of people who were not Jewish but wereattending the festival. These are the people John's Gospel refers to as "Greeks" (v. 20).

Their request to see Jesus was met with a shocking response -"The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified". With thecrowd's cries of "Hosanna" (John20:13) still ringing in their ears, they heard Jesus make thishuge declaration about what was going to happen next.

When Jesus used the word "glorified", he was speaking about hisdeath, resurrection and ascension. Unless Jesus dies the storycannot move on and reach its climax. Part of the glory lies inhumiliation, pain, rejection and death - possibly the very oppositeof what these people expected to hear. After all, only yesterdaythe crowds had welcomed him into Jerusalem as a king, even thoughhe was riding on a donkey!

More shocking perhaps for this group of people, is Jesus'conviction that the pain and the death are all part of God's planfor him (verse 27). However, nothing can compare with the shock ofwhat happens next: "then a voice came from heaven, 'I haveglorified it, and I will glorify it again'" (v. 28). This wasabsolute confirmation that what Jesus said was true. The voice camefor the people's benefit, not for Jesus', he already knew. Thecrowd around Jesus heard the voice but they had no understanding ofwhat was being said.

These verses call to mind Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane (John17:1-26). From this point onwards the journey to the cross gathersmomentum and even those who were closest to Jesus were unable tobelieve that the cross and all that led up to it, wasinevitable.

To Ponder

  • The group of people John calls "Greeks" are on the edge of theJewish community and yet Jesus shares a really important message.What do the people on the edge of your community have to say aboutJesus? Are you listening?
  • Imagine you are reading this passage for the first time: whatemotions are you experiencing as you read?
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