We Wish to See Jesus

2021-03-21 – Year B – Lent 5 – The Rev. Canon Christopher M. Klukas
Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51:10-15; Hebrews 5:1-10; John 12:20-36

The Hour Has Come

  • If someone came to you and said that they wanted to see Jesus what would you do?
    • Jesus’ disciples had gotten pretty used to people wanting to see Jesus, but these men were Greeks! Gentiles! Philip didn’t know what to do.
  • While Jesus doesn’t seem to address these Greek men directly, the interaction seems to signal something significant to him.
    • “His words ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified’ are like an arrival at Waterloo or a crossing of the Rubicon. While the glorification event about which he spoke had not yet occurred (cf. 16:4), for Jesus the alarm clock had definitely sounded.”
  • The hour has come for what?
    • John 12:30-32 – “the ruler of this world cast out…draw all people to myself.”
      • Even Greeks, it seems!
    • So why hasn’t everyone turned to Jesus, and why does Satan still seem to be active in this world?
    • Whitacre – “Satan, the jailer, has been mortally wounded, and Jesus, the liberator, is standing in the cell, but many prisoners prefer to remain in bondage!”
    • There is a choice to be made.

Walk in the Light

  • John 12:35 – Walk in the light
    • The contrast between light and darkness is a major them of John’s writing.
    • Life without Jesus is spiritual darkness, but Jesus is the light of the world.
  • Backpacking – you must manage your hike well so that you end up at your campsite before night falls.
    • Jesus is indicating that the time is limited
    • v. 36 – “While you have the light, believe…” – There is a choice to be made.

Losing our Lives to Save Them

  • In order to become “sons of light” we need to become like Jesus.
    • This involves laying down our lives – John 12:25. Jesus calls this “following him” (v. 26).
    • John 12:27 “Now is my soul troubled…”
    • Chrysostom – ““Although My trouble urges Me to say this, yet I say the opposite, ‘Glorify Thy Name,’ that is, Lead Me henceforth to the Cross”; which greatly shows His humanity, and a nature unwilling to die, but clinging to the present life, proving that He was not exempt from human feelings.”
  • Whitacre – “We must detach from ‘all the vain things that charm me most.’ Many of these may even be good in themselves, but they are idols we worship. They are attachments and addictions that give us pleasure; they are centered in self and disruptive of relationship with God and our fellow human beings.”
  • Is this too high a price to pay? For the rich young ruler it was.
    • But what we gain in following Jesus is so much greater than what we lose.
    • Patricia St. John tells the story of a blind shepherd boy from Lebanon.
      • While tending sheep he stooped down to pick up an interesting object that turned out to be an unexploded bomb.
      • He lost his sight and one of his hands.
      • He went into a deep despair.
      • One day he was offered a place at a school for the blind in the city.
        • “It all sounded like nonsense to him. How could a blind boy read and work and be happy? Blind boys lay with their faces to the wall and waited for life to end.”
      • The more he thought about it, the more he wanted to go.
      • In addition to teaching skills like reading, basket weaving, and chair making, this was also a Christian school that taught about Jesus.
      • Many years later he remarked “I want to thank God for my blindness, because without it, I should never have known the Light of the world.”

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