Day 42: seeing Jesus

19 04 2011

seeing Jesus

“We want to see Jesus.”

This is what some Greeks said to Philip, in today’s scripture passage. (John 12:20-26) These “Greeks” weren’t necessarily from Greece—the word Greek was sometimes used to refer to non-Jews. Gentiles. Whoever they were, “Greeks” approach Philip and say, “We want to see Jesus.” Philip, not finding his copy of “How to talk to ‘Greeks’ about Jesus”, turns to Philip. And they both turn to Jesus.

Instead of giving simple advice, Jesus talks about his hour of glorification. In other words, it’s time for Jesus to die, and to rise, and to be exalted and return to God. It’s time for the cross. It’s Holy Week. Only they didn’t know it as that, yet.

Fast forward many centuries—it’s Holy Week 2011. And this afternoon, I saw Jesus. I was actually invited to church for Easter–a different church.  A friend and I, and our kids, were at a coffee shop housed in this local church. We were packing up to go, and a little boy—maybe six or seven years old—approached us. He had played a bit with the kids, so I didn’t think anything of it. Then he showed me a post card, and said, “you can come back here on Sunday.” I looked at the card, and saw the worship service times listed for Easter Sunday, and smiled. Thank you, I said.. that’s so nice of you to invite me. I already have a church that I’ll be going to on Sunday.

“But you can see this service…” he said, pointing to the card again. Thank you, I said again. I’m a pastor at a different church, so I’ll be going to that one on Easter Sunday. But thanks again for the invitation. He moved on to my friend.

Who knows what this kid was really thinking. Maybe he was being coached by adults, maybe he just picked up the postcard and thought we seemed like nice people. Or maybe he loves his church and loves his Jesus. He seemed quite earnest and excited to invite us to church on Sunday.

Are we this bold, earnest, and excited to share the faith and worship that we participate in? And, if non-Christians were to approach us and say “I want to see Jesus”, how would we respond? How would we explain and show the meaning of Jesus’ glorification on the cross, as we walk through this Holy Week?

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