A second look
For reading & meditation: John 12:20-36
"Jesus replied, The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.' " (v.23)
Having experienced the principle that life is always preceded by death, we return now to focus again on the incident which launched us into this study the coming of the Greeks to Jesus. I firmly believe that this incident has been greatly overlooked by Bible expositors and commentators. We usually take the text, "Sir, we would like to see Jesus" (v.21), and leave it at that. But this is one of the most momentous events in the life of our Lord - an event that is next in importance, in my judgement, to His temptation in the wilderness. In many ways, it was more subtle than the wilderness experience, for the wilderness represents the temptation that comes at the beginning of one's ministry, while the coming of the Greeks represents the temptation that comes as one gets close to the end. It is often as one gets close to one's goal that the temptation to compromise, or to take an easier way becomes more acute. Just as, in the desert, there was a pull to get Jesus to take another way, so here we see a similar situation. As I said at the beginning of our study, we cannot be at all sure that the Greeks arrived with the intention of enticing Christ to come to Athens, but it is significant that their arrival threw Him into a spiritual crisis. Assuming that to be so, the issue before Him was acceptance in Athens or rejection in Jerusalem. A philosopher's chair, or a grisly cross. A similar issue confronts those of us who are His followers. Do we go the way of the cross, or do we go the way of the crowds?
Father, my mind is made up - I want to go Your way. Help me to come out clearly on Your side - for You and against everything that is against You. This I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.
For further study:
1. What was Satan's aim in tempting Jesus?
2. What did Christ accomplish through overcoming him?