Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”
The word “Greeks” here doesn’t mean people from Greece; it’s just how Jews referred to gentiles. Greek was the mother tongue of most non-Jews in that region, while Hebrew and Aramaic were familiar to Jews.
Jesus is in the news and some of the Greeks want to see what the hubbub is all about. No surprise there.
But Jesus’s reaction to hearing that they want to see Him is anything but. Their interest seems to be His cue. He acts like He has literally been waiting for them to show up. Now it’s His time.
So, He blurts out a blunt prophesy. “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.”
The rest of His quote is a chilling explanation of the spiritual importance of His death—and of total devotion to Him.
There is no clearer statement of the cost of being a Christian.
Saint Augustine gave a sermon on this passage, in which he had this to say (translation from the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture):
Only a human would ask, “How can someone who loves himself deny himself?” God … says to such a person, “Let him deny himself, if he loves himself.” By loving himself, you see, he loses himself; by denying himself, he finds himself. “Whoever loves his soul,” he says, “let him lose it.” …
It is a painful thing to lose the one you love, especially if that person is yourself.
The main problem with today’s church is partial commitment to Christ as Lord of the universe and Lord of our lives.
Christianity isn’t supposed to be a hobby; it’s a way of life.
As this passage shows, it isn’t just a way of life; it is life.
These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.