Read John 12
The Jews had been scattered across the known world for various reasons in their past. If there were enough Jews in a certain town, they built a synagogue. Should someone not from Abraham’s seed desire to become a convert to the Hebrew faith; there were hoops to jump through, but it could be done.
Some Greeks, probably converts to the Hebrew faith, had traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover. I say that they probably had been converted because no Greek would travel to Jerusalem during Passover week unless he just wanted to sleep out under the stars. This was no time for tourists.
The Greeks wanted to see Jesus. Philip and Andrew brought the news to Jesus, surely thinking that he would be pleased that men had traveled far to see him. Instead, Jesus didn’t give them the time of day, or maybe he did.
He said that the hour had come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Do you remember all those instances where his time had not yet come? Now that time was upon him.
Jesus explained that if a single wheat seed tried to hold on to its life, that’s all that it would ever be. If it fell to the ground, it could produce many other seeds.
Whoever loves their life will lose it. That’s the stuff of self-mutilation and suicide and determinism and all sorts of fatalistic thinking, in the world’s perspective. The world must keep account of wins and losses. Who wronged you and how were you recompensed? Look out for number one. Get as much as you can.
Whoever loves their life will lose it. From God’s perspective, we are like the seed. We are only one see so long as our life is only about ourselves. Only when we give up so much of our life—I’m not talking shelter, food, water—but self-gratification, self-centeredness, self-righteousness.
Until we give up so much of our all about me thinking, we will never know more than what we are, just a simple seed that sits on the shelf never to be planted.
Jesus would talk more later on in a more private setting with his disciples. Do we satisfy ourselves alone or do we serve God?
It was time for Jesus to head to the cross. He will have a little more time with his closest followers but his hour had come. In that moment, we see Jesus wrestle with his human nature again.
“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!”
His Father in heaven said, “You’ve got it.” The people schooled only in Brontology thought it must be thunder.
Jesus told the people that the voice from heaven was for their benefit. What would come next would define human history for eternity. Judgment was upon the world. It was time for the light to condemn the darkness.
The bad news was that so many were still in darkness. Jesus would be lifted up on a cross. He would die a gruesome death and his blood would be spilled for the atonement of sins.
To which the people only comprehended that Jesus would die. Hey! The Messiah is supposed to live forever. What gives?
The people still didn’t get it. They obviously didn’t visit Lazarus to view the evidence of who Jesus was. And once again we return to light and darkness. Jesus is the light of the world and he is about to leave this world for a time.
The time had come to believe in Jesus.
This has always been our choice in our time. We didn’t have to wait for Jesus to go to the cross. We didn’t have to figure out what lifted up meant. When we were born, the atoning act that removed our sin had already taken place in our time.
Our choice has always been to believe. The work of salvation has already been accomplished. Our task is to believe.
Two millennia ago, everything was happening before the eyes of the people in and around Jerusalem. You might think that if you had been there, it would have been so easy to believe.
I say that knowing the whole story today, we are without excuse as to believe and we have been commissioned to take this story to the world so they might believe also.
If you haven’t looked around lately, the world needs a Savior now more than ever.
It’s time that we call upon everyone we love to believe.
It’s time that we call upon everyone that we know to believe.
It’s time to believe on the One and only Son of God, the only sacrifice that could and did save us from our sins.
It’s time for everyone to believe.