Fifth Week in Lent
Troubled Hearts
Scripture: John 12:20-33

Monday, March 12
Scripture: John 12:20-33

In all likelihood the Greeks in this story were Gentiles who had been attracted to Judaism but hadn’t quite gone all-in. They had traveled to Jerusalem to worship at festival time, but because of their status as outsiders, they were restricted to the Court of the Gentiles – close to the action, but not quite fully part of it.

These Greeks knew their place, showing enormous respect even in approaching Jesus. Rather than presuming to speak with him directly, they took advantage of intermediaries Philip and Andrew. In his response, Jesus tosses aside protocol and cuts directly to the chase. He leaps over their request to see him and invites them to go further and follow.

Be sure to read the fine print on this invitation. Jesus is calling these seekers to follow him into his “hour,” the time in which he is to be “lifted up” and offer his very life. Jesus is about to become that grain of wheat that must die in order to bear fruit. “Whoever serves me must follow me,” he tells us, calling us to follow him on the way of self-sacrificing love, to lose our life in order to “keep it for eternal life.”

We come each Sunday to the Lord’s Table, hoping like the Greeks to see Jesus. As we share the bread and cup and remember his love even unto death, we also accept once again our own call to follow him in embracing the cross.

Do you want to see Jesus? Be careful what you ask for!

God, Abba of Jesus,
we thank you for the self-sacrificing love of Jesus your Son,
who laid down his very life for others.
Help us to follow him faithfully,
to become like him persons for others,
grains of wheat that die
to bring forth rich fruit for the life of the world.

 – J. Michael McMahon

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