Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Follow the Leader

I love the Scriptures.  I love when you come to a passage that you have read a thousand times and never "gotten it."  This happens a lot for me, I will humbly...and honestly...admit.  I love the moment when some clarification comes along and the passage opens up and a nugget of truth is revealed.  One of these passages for me was:

Joh 12:20-26  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.

This passage always had me scratching my head because it seems like horrible storytelling or Jesus just missed the opportunity in a big way.  What I mean is that thee Greeks come to Jerusalem to worship and they go to Philip, he sounds approachable.  they tell him they want to see Jesus.  Phillip takes their request to Andrew who takes it to the Lord.  Jesus answer then apparently shoots out some other direction like hew never heard the request that was made of him.  He starts talking about his own death and the fruit it will bear, he challenges his followers to do just that...follow him.  I can picture Andrew thinking "so...what should I tell Phillip to tell the Greeks?"  "Is that a yes or no?"

I know that the story is told just as it needs to be told and I know Jesus is not missing anything, so I was praying and asking God to show me how Jesus response is answering the question the Greeks brought to him.  Then, there it was.  Jesus came for the Jews.  Sure, he shared some crumbs that fell from the table to gentiles like these Greeks, but his ministry was to the Jew first.  The gospel has always been  God's promise for all the families of the earth and gives hope to all peoples and nations, but Jesus personal earthly ministry was primarily among the Jewish people.  

His answer then goes something like this.  "It is time for me to be glorified.  That is, to be seen and worshiped by everyone, just like these Greeks.  My glory will be seen amazingly in my suffering and death.  This is the most magnificent display of my glory.  But my death won't be alone, it will like a seed grow up and bear more fruit.  That fruit will also be willing to follow me in suffering and death. IT is those disciples who will be showing Jesus to the Greeks."  The Greeks will be killing Jesus "body" just like the Jews killed Jesus.  In both cases Jesus would be magnified.  

Are you a follower of Jesus Christ?  Really?  You realize that to follow Jesus is to chooses a road of suffering.  He did say "If anyone would come after me he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me."  You can't follow Jesus and seek a life of comfort and ease.  "You can't serve God and Mammon."  I think as modern Christians we hear words like that from Jesus and we wouldn't say it out loud but we think "oh yeah, watch me."  We think we can follow Jesus and serve our own desires.  

Here is the call, ringing from the keyboard of a convicted hypocrite...let us follow! Choose the road that requires self denial and crosses.  Let these things seem light and momentary as we 

No comments:

Post a Comment