“WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE JESUS” (John 12:20-36)
March 30, 2018 GOOD FRIDAY 2:30 PM
Rev. Jeremy B. Stopford, Pastor
INTRODUCTION: Years ago – a GOOD many years ago! – one of the most popular TV shows was “Bonanza”, and the fatherly figure was played by Lorne Greene. When I was almost 10 years old, that Easter vacation my parents and I took that week to go to Puerto Rico. The 3 of us went on a night time boat ride on what was billed then as “Phosphorescent Bay” – now called “bioluminaries” (and there is more than one today). And while it was neat to see all the sea creatures at night in their natural habitat, it was really neat to be sitting next to Lorne Greene who, with his new bride, was on his honeymoon! In today’s text, there are a number of non-Jews who asked to see Jesus. His response should mark our hearts today. PRAYER
#1 THE LIKE (v. 21)
A. Greeks (v. 20) – these are the non-Jews, but they are also in the category of the “non-religious”; if you will, today we might call them the “un-churched”, “unsaved”, or simply those who have nothing to do with Jesus. In your sphere of influence, you know who they are. Perhaps you have family members in this group. Perhaps you have friends or neighbors in this group. Perhaps you are one of them. Yet their desire was to do what? “We would LIKE to see Jesus.” Regardless of their motive, their eternal trust is at stake.
B. Hungry & Thirsty – these Greeks had an “hunger and thirst” often spoken of in Scripture. In His Beatitudes (Matt. 5:6), Jesus said, “blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled.” And in the OT book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon wrote (3:11), “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Scholars tell us that is the “God principle” – each one of us hungers and thirsts for absolutes, and we search for them in many ways. But like these Greeks, only those who come to Jesus find their hunger and thirst met.
C. Hope found in the church working together – did you catch that in v. 22? Jesus’ disciples worked together to get these Greeks to see Jesus! And while the pastor is often blessed to bring people to Jesus, what really blesses God’s heart is when the whole church works together to make a difference where God has wisely planted each one of us! Who is looking to you in his or her search for Jesus?
#2 THE HOUR (v. 23)
An interesting study – Jesus knew when His hour had NOT come, and He knew when it had come!
“Woman [His mother, Mary], why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” John 2:4
“At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.” John 7:30
“He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.” John 8:20
Yet look at our text – v. 23. Our Savior knew, He KNEW, that the course of events outlined in eternity past were now coming to fulfillment.
Let’s look ahead:
In His “high priestly prayer” (often thought of as what He actually prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane), Jesus prayed to His Father, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” (John 17:1)
And I’m always overwhelmed by Jesus’ conversation before Pilate, the governor who thought the governor surely was in charge here. But he was wrong:
“Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
“What is truth?” retorted Pilate. [John 18:36-38a]
“Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”
Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” (John 19:10-11)
The hour of the cross was Jesus’ hour. Yet there is one more thought:
#3 THE REASON (v. 27)
We have “the hour”; now we have the reason, the purpose for His coming: NOT the miracles, although they testified to His deity; NOT the interactions with people, although they testified to His humanity. BUT the cross! PURPOSE! Paul said, “glory in the cross” (Gal. 6:14).
CONCLUSION ALL! (v. 32) The eternity of all men – all peoples – is centered on the cross. No other way. Is the cross – the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for your sin – your trust?
Close in Prayer