Waters of Life

Biblical Studies in Multiple Languages

Search in "English":
Home -- English -- John - 078 (The Greeks seek Jesus' acquaintance)
This page in: -- Albanian -- Arabic -- Armenian -- Bengali -- Burmese -- Cebuano -- Chinese -- Dioula? -- ENGLISH -- Farsi? -- French -- Georgian -- Greek -- Hausa -- Hindi -- Igbo -- Indonesian -- Javanese -- Kiswahili -- Kyrgyz -- Malayalam -- Peul -- Portuguese -- Russian -- Serbian -- Somali -- Spanish -- Tamil -- Telugu -- Thai -- Turkish -- Twi -- Urdu -- Uyghur? -- Uzbek -- Vietnamese -- Yiddish -- Yoruba

Previous Lesson -- Next Lesson

JOHN - The Light Shines in the Darkness
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to John
PART 3 - Light Shines in the Circle of the Apostles (John 11:55 - 17:26)
A - Prelude to Holy Week (John 11:55 - 12:50)

3. The Greeks seek Jesus' acquaintance (John 12:20-26)

JOHN 12:20-24
20 Now there were certain Greeks among those that went up to worship at the feast. 21 These, therefore, came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” 22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn, Andrew came with Philip, and they told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Most certainly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Greek converts to Judaism had gathered in Jerusalem; they had come for the Passover from the Hellenistic world. When the crowds welcomed Jesus with cheers as King, the Greeks too were impressed. So they resolved to know him better. The desire of nations was epitomized in this request. Finding that Philip spoke Greek, he agreed to speak with his friend Andrew on their behalf. The two disciples approached Jesus, deeply moved because they saw the first fruits of those who would come to Jesus from the Gentiles. They may have felt that to escape to the lands of the Greeks would be a way out of danger besetting them among the fanatical Jews.

Jesus perceived their thoughts, just as he gathered the longings of the nations in the request made by the Greeks. He sent out a vital call which was not clearly understood, yet is a victory call, and was to become the motto of John’s gospel, "Now is the Son of Man glorified". The hour had come for him to be magnified, and the moment expected by heaven and earth was drawing near.

Yet wonder of wonders; victories at war, the seizure of political power were not the signs of Jesus’ glory. John does not record the transfiguration on a high mountain, for he does not deem this as essential glory. He does mention however, the linking of Christ’s glorification with his death. There, on the cross, we see the core of his divinity which is love.

Jesus called himself a grain of wheat, the heavenly seed falling to the ground, to empty himself and demonstrate righteousness and glory. Jesus was ever glorious. His death sanctifies us, the corrupt people, so that we may be worthy to share in his majesty. The arrival of the Greeks evoked an exultant call, as it showed that he calls people from all nations. He will renew in them his original glory. That glory will penetrate creation only through the cross.

JOHN 12:25-26
25 He who loves his life will lose it. He who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, let him follow me. Where I am, there will my servant also be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

Jesus shows us that his way of death and passing on to glory applies to his disciples also. Just as the Son left his glory, emptied himself of divine attributes to save mankind, so also our aim is not to become great or famous, but to deny ourselves constantly. Examine yourself, do you love or hate yourself? Christ says that if you forget yourself, and serve his Kingdom faithfully you will gain the divine life. You will preserve your soul unto eternal life. With these words Jesus shows you the charter of true glory. Do not live to please your desires, nor be indolent or proud, but return to God listening to His commands, seeking the wretched and the depraved to serve them, just as he emptied himself of glory to sit at table with the adulterous and thieves. In sharing with such sinners for the Gospel’s sake God’s glory will appear in your life. Do not imagine you are better than others. Jesus alone can make you transparent with others in spite of your failures. This change comes only by self-denial.

Jesus set out this principle clearly when he explained that our service for him means to follow and to imitate him and to share in the scorn he sometimes endured. The path is not to splendor with luxuries and boastings; this is not what Christ’s followers should expect. They may experience rejection, hostility, persecution even death. Are you ready to suffer for his name’s sake? He promises, "Where I am, there shall my servant be also." Jesus has gone before you in the path of affliction, he suffers with you. Obvious glory is not the theme of Christ’s servants in this journey. Our happiness is not in pleasing ourselves, but it is to serve the needy. Christ’s name is glorified in the sacrificial spirit of his followers. The Father’s name is glorified as we become like His Son.

Just as Christ is seated today on his Father’s throne living with him in perfect fellowship and union, so also those persecuted today for his sake will live and join with their heavenly Father. Great is this mystery. What do you think will be the honor that the Father will offer to His beloved Son’s servants? He will renew His image in them, as at creation. More than this, he will descend on them in the fullness of his Spirit. They will become children like His Son, for him to be the firstborn among many brethren. Forever, they will be with his Father in the heavenlies (Romans 8:29; Revelation 21:3-4).

PRAYER: We thank you, Lord Jesus, because you were not content to enjoy your glory, but stripped yourself of your greatness. We worship you for such humility, praying that you will free us of our self-satisfaction and pride so that we may know the liberty that your Spirit gives to serve you and know your love in our lives.


  1. Why is Christ’s death regarded as the glorification of truth?


Page last modified on February 03, 2022, at 06:43 AM | powered by PmWiki (pmwiki-2.3.3)