John 12:20-13:20 #eebc2018

John leaves out some details in John 12. It may seem that Philip acted swiftly in trying to introduce the Greeks to Jesus. After all, that is why they came.

What got left out is that first, Philip told the Greeks that they weren’t dressed quite right and sent them for different clothing. Then, Philip pointed out that they weren’t quite the target demographic for evangelism. After that, Andrew came alongside and made sure that the Greeks were ready to come up with some seed money to demonstrate their faith. Finally, Andrew and Philip realized that they also had to get the Greeks on-board with the long-term political agenda of the disciples. After all, there was no sense letting strange folks like Greeks come to Jesus until they were ready to be just like those already there.

Or, perhaps, John has all the details right. The Greeks come and say they want to see Jesus, and Philip (with Andrew’s help) makes it happen. He gets out of the way, sets aside his own (possible) prejudices, and puts people in the presence of Jesus.

If the earlier paragraph sounds like anything you might think is a good idea–or like what you think we ought to do as a church–may I politely suggest that you re-read the Word of God and repent from that sinful approach to people?

Then we have the voice from heaven, speaking of the glory of the Father. Why do we have this again? We had a voice at the baptism of Jesus, we had a voice on the Mount of Transfiguration, why again?

It goes back to the Greeks. And remember, for the typical Jewish view of the era, anybody “not-Jew” and “not-Samaritan” was Greek. The glory of God is not restricted to one nation…it is for all people.

The references back to Isaiah are a good reminder for those who wonder what’s gone wrong with the world even today–who listens? Not all, sometimes not very many at all!

The washing of the disciples’ feet is an important part of the Last Supper narrative. Why does it matter? It’s the work of a servant, and it’s taken on by the One who does not have to serve any one else. Yet He chooses to do so.

Who do you serve that, in your mind, does not deserve it? And with what attitude? Anyone can be condescending in their hearts to “serve” others–it happens frequently as we serve for the sake of smoothing our guilt–but are you serving with an open heart?

Now, don’t stop serving until your attitude is right–serve others until your attitude gets right! If we are going to be like Jesus, then our actions and hearts should be right. Don’t abandon the one for the other!

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