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What Had to Be

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All Are Coming to Jesus

The passage for this Fifth Sunday of Lent is John 12:20-33.  This passage sees Jesus predicting His death.  The first thing that jumps out at the reader is that the text starts out with some Greeks among the crowd worshipping at the festival.  These Greeks ask to see Jesus.  It is interesting to see that all are attracted to Jesus and His message.  He has come not simply as Savior for the Jews but as the Savior for all humanity.  All humanity is welcome to follow Jesus.

Now is the Time

It might be simple coincidence (but then what is in Scripture), that now that some Greeks have come looking for Him, Jesus announces that it is time for Him to be glorified.  Now that He is available to all, not just the Jews, it is time for Jesus to fully reveal who he is and why He is here.  Of course, all this means that Jesus is going to be executed in a horrible manner.

Jesus explains the situation with a typical agricultural metaphor.  His task ahead is like a kernel of wheat falling to the ground and dying, then transforming into a bountiful harvest, producing many more  seeds.  Jesus must undertake this and so in our own way, must we.  Now is our time to trust in God’s word and follow Jesus.  As Jesus explains, anyone who puts anything above Jesus (God) will lose all.  On the other hand, any who trust God and loves Him more than anything will gain eternal life.  This is what we have  confidence in, that our faith in God will carry us to an eternal relationship with our Father in heaven.

God’s Will, Not Ours

Jesus knows what many are likely thinking.  Why must we go through this sacrifice?  As Jesus points out in verse 27 “Father save me from this hour” (Jesus would Himself ask this in the garden).  Yet, Jesus points out that this is the reason He came to earth as one of us.  This becomes the reason we trust Jesus and His good and gracious word, even though it be very hard.  Jesus glorified His Father by trusting and submitting to His will, even though it was deadly, so must we.  It may be dispiriting to realize that all this must happen, but we cannot get to the empty tomb without first going through the Cross.  It simply must happen this way.

The passage finishes with a voice from heaven confirming that God has been glorified in all of this, and that He will continue to be glorified.  Jesus points out to the crowd that this voice was for their benefit not His.  Jesus fully submits to the will of God with a perfect trust and faith.  Nothing we do will ever be perfect, but we can simply glorify God by trusting Him and believing in Him.  Imperfect as we are, this is enough.

Praise Be to God

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