As the Lenten season has just begun, let us seek to see Jesus. When Jesus talked of the days to come, he spoke of being lifted up. It has always been said that this is a reference to being on the cross, but a new thought just occurred to me, that is that after His resurrection, He was "lifted up" into heaven also. I will post a few snips along the way drawn from this passage taken from the "Message" version.
We Wish To See Jesus
There were some Greeks in town who had come up to worship at the Feast. They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee: “Sir, we want to see Jesus. Can you help us?”
Philip went and told Andrew. Andrew and Philip together told Jesus. Jesus answered, “Time’s up. The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.
“If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.
“Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’ ”
A voice came out of the sky: “I have glorified it, and I’ll glorify it again.”
The listening crowd said, “Thunder!”
Others said, “An angel spoke to him!”
Jesus said, “The voice didn’t come for me but for you. At this moment the world is in crisis. Now Satan, the ruler of this world, will be thrown out. And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me.” He put it this way to show how he was going to be put to death.
Voices from the crowd answered, “We heard from God’s Law that the Messiah lasts forever. How can it be necessary, as you put it, that the Son of Man ‘be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”
Jesus said, “For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn’t destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don’t know where you’re going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light.”
First of all it is interesting that it was outsiders that had come into town and wanted to see Jesus. I wonder why outsiders were the signal that the time had come or Him to go through His passion. Barclay gives some clues about the Greeks: He (the Greek) was characteristically a seeker after truth. It was no unusual thing to find a Greek who had passed through philosophy after philosophy, and religion after religion, and gone from teacher to teacher in the search for truth. The Greek was the man with the seeking mind.
How had these Greeks come to hear of Jesus and to be interested in him? J. H. Bernard throws out a most interesting suggestion. It was in the last week of his ministry that Jesus cleansed the Temple and swept the money-changers and the sellers of doves from the Temple court. Now these traders had their stance in the Court of the Gentiles, that great court which was the first of the Temple courts and where Gentiles were allowed to come but no further. If these Greeks were in Jerusalem at all they would be certain to visit the Temple and to stand in the Court of the Gentiles. Perhaps they had actually witnessed that tremendous scene when Jesus had driven the traders from the Temple court; and perhaps they wished to know more of a man who could do things like that.
However that may be, this is one of the great moments of the story, for here is the first faint hint of a gospel which is to go out to the entire world.
The Greeks came with their request to Philip. Why Philip? No one can say for certain, but Philip is a Greek name and perhaps they thought that a man with a Greek name would treat them sympathetically. But Philip did not know what to do, and he went to Andrew. Andrew was in no doubt and he led them to Jesus. They wanted more than to see Him; they wanted a conversation, an encounter with Him. Who ever “sees” Jesus will have an encounter. Have you had an encounter?
Andrew had discovered that no one could ever be a nuisance to Jesus. He knew that Jesus would never turn any seeking soul away, but Jesus said something interesting didn’t He? He said times up…the time is fulfilled.
Jesus used the phrase Son of Man and Times up. How can we tie this to prophecy or understand how He came to the conclusion, that time was up. When we look at Jesus or are brought to Him, what do we see? Jesus used the phrase “son of man.” Who is the son of man? From where do we get that phrase? Let’s look at Daniel 7:13-14, “My dream continued.” I saw a human form, a son of man, arriving in a whirl of clouds. He came to The Old One and was presented to him. He was given power to rule—all the glory of royalty. Everyone—race, color, and creed—had to serve him. His rule would be forever, never ending. His kingly rule would never be replaced.” This is the reason Jesus knew the time had come, It is found in the phrase, “Everyone—race, color, and creed.” It had happened!
So Steemeans, we are many, every race, color, and creed. What does that tell you about our time?