Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 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. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 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.
“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. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show by what kind of death He was going to die (John 12:20-33 ESV).
“Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Which Jesus do you wish to see? Jesus the miraculous healer? Jesus the raiser of the dead? Jesus the man on the donkey coming triumphantly into the city? Jesus who was anointed at Bethany? The Jesus that some said was Elijah or another of the prophets? The Jesus that some said was one with Beelzebul. Which Jesus do you wish to see?
We sometimes like to have our pick of which Jesus we’d like to see, too. We’d like to see triumphant Jesus razing all those “other” sinners and gathering us “good people” up. We’d like to see a nice Jesus who tolerates everyone and is permissive of all their favorite sins and foibles. We’d like to see a cute cuddly baby Jesus, safe, and easy to love. A Jesus of our own making, who pats us on the back and says that our yelling was justified when we fought with our spouse. A Jesus who tells us it’s okay when we check out that questionable page on the internet. It was only once, after all. A Jesus who says that all that matters is “love,” whatever kind of “love” it may be. A Jesus standing tall and whole, perfectly perfect in every way, smiling, and bidding us to just “be happy.”
Oh, but the Greeks, and we, receive a different answer to our request. “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” You will see Him. You will see Him lifted up from the earth. You will see Him with every ugly sin ever committed pinned to His broken, bleeding body. A Jesus who is dripping blood from His head, with deep scars in His hands and feet. A Jesus with a gaping wound in His side. A Jesus with His blood poured out. A Jesus upon a cross taking on all of our sinful delusions about who He is, should be, or what He should do. A Jesus whose death on the cross brings about the judgment of this world and casts out its ruler. A Jesus put to death to put to death our sinful actions, words and imaginings. A Jesus who in His being lifted up draws all eyes to Him — and not to another personal “Jesus” — in order to save and sanctify and deliver and make right. We look on Him, and our request is granted, and we are saved.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus Christ, You are the Son of Man who was lifted up upon the cross; we give thanks for Your bitter sufferings and death upon the cross for our sake, and ask that You would draw our eyes ever and again to You so that we may look on You and live; we pray this in Your name, for You love and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
- You can still read last week’s devotion if you missed it.
- Pray for all people’s eyes throughout the world to be drawn to the crucified Lord Jesus Christ, that they may also be saved.