April 19, 2011 - Approaching Jesus

April 19, 2011 - Approaching Jesus
Rev. Heather Reilly

John 12:20-26

The Greeks approach Philip because he has a Greek name. They identify with him. They feel comfortable asking him to see Jesus. He was like them and he was connected to Jesus. Philip was the “in” to see Jesus. People want to identify and relate to believers as they come to Christ. These Greeks longed to know Jesus personally, not just see him as a celebrity. Philip is hesitant. He hears the heart of the Greeks but must believe he doesn’t have authority to get them to Jesus directly. There seems to be a chain of command among the disciples. He goes to Andrew for wisdom.

Something more important has developed. The time has come. Something greater is about to happen. Jesus has suggested this before, but now the time is actually here. “Jesus’ hour of glory has come” (John 12:23). Glory is an uplifting word reflecting the bitterness of Jesus’ death. We cannot have life without his death. Jesus wanted to teach the Greeks, the disciples, the Jews and the Gentiles that “the way to glory is not through triumph and praise, not through domination. The way to glory is through death to self and through service to God and man” (The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible). Jesus is not ignoring the Greeks or minimizing their desire to see him. “They will come to 'see Jesus' through the faithful witness and ministry of obedient disciples who have lost their lives to serve Jesus wherever He is” (Fredrickson).

“The great desire of our souls should be to see Jesus; to have our acquaintance with him increased, our dependence on him encouraged, our conformity to him carried on; to see him as ours, to keep up communion with him, and derive communications of grace from him: we miss of our end in coming if we do not see Jesus” (Henry).

It’s never too late to come to Jesus. Even when we stall or hesitate or even ignore the Holy Spirit for a time, it is never too late to come to Jesus. As our people in our neighborhoods and communities seek Jesus though our churches, are we approachable? Can they identify with us? Can they connect with us in away that they will meet Jesus? May we reflect a life devoted to God by living in full service and obedience to him.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8:12

Fredrickson, R. (1985). The Communicators Commentary. Word Books, vol. 4.
Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry Bible Commentary on the whole Bible. Biblestudytools.com
The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible. Matthew-John. 1991. Leadership Ministries Worldwide. Vol. #1

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