Tuesday in Holy Week

John 12:20-36

Our Holy Week journey continues. The Gospel tells us that some Greeks, in Jerusalem for the festival, came to Philip and said, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” We are not told if Jesus responded to this request, but his comments to Philip and Andrew seem a bit odd. He said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified….I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit….Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also…..” It is almost as if Jesus is talking to himself, pondering.

Is Jesus wrestling with what he knows is about to happen? Is his struggle, once again, with the temptation—the shortcut—to use power instead of love to bring about his purposes. He is troubled, “….what should I say—`Father, save me from this hour’? NO, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.” Does Jesus question if he is hearing correctly? He turns to his Father and prays, “Father, glorify your name.”—for his Father’s will, not his own. A voice comes from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there thought it was thunder or an angel speaking. Whatever is taking place here is big – not Plan B – but planned before time began.

Jesus says, “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He is telling his followers how he will die. The crowd asks, “How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” I can almost see Jesus shake his head. They don’t understand. He tells them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you….” The scripture says that after Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them. Odd. Strange. In the darkness? In our darkness? This is not the Messiah the people were expecting.

What are our thoughts as we listen to Jesus today? “Who is this Son of Man?” Do we want to see Jesus? Do we see him? Is he somehow hidden from us in the darkness? Do we understand? Are we walking in that light? Is Jesus the Messiah we expected? Do we look for shortcuts?

“Open our eyes, Lord, we want to see Jesus.”

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