KEEP OUT! There is something about those words that gets to me. Those words communicate that I don’t have access to something or someone. They make me feel like I don’t have clearance and am second-class. At the Jewish temple, there were some areas that were restricted. The Greeks, who were not Jewish by birth, had restricted access in the temple. In our passage today, we see that they also felt they had restricted access to Jesus since they were not Jewish.
- When was a time in your life when you felt you didn’t have access to Jesus?
READ THE WORD: JOHN 12:20-36 (ESV)
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What request did the Greeks make?
- When you reflect on the life and death of Jesus, how did Jesus live out his own words in verses 24-26?
- What was Jesus feeling (vs. 27)? Despite his feelings, what concerned him most?
- What was the purpose of Jesus’ death (vss. 32-33)?
- Have you ever asked to see Jesus? What were the circumstances, and how was your request answered?
RESPOND TO GOD
Our passage begins with the Greeks seeking access to Jesus and moves to the point where Jesus proclaims that when he is lifted up (the cross), he will draw all people to himself. He declares that the cross will break down all barriers to the worship of God. That is why Jesus lived and died. God, because of his love and mercy, wants all people to be saved, and Jesus was lifted up to provide everyone access to God. If you believe in the light (Jesus), you have eternal life and full access to God as an adopted son or daughter.
- Take time and thank Jesus for granting you access as a son or daughter.
- Pray for friends and family who haven’t yet experienced God’s saving grace.