We Want to See Jesus

Seeing Jesus
Wanting Jesus.

20 “Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.”

John 12:20-22, ESV

Chapter 12 is a critical point in the ministry of Jesus. Sometimes great doors turn on small hinges. So much is said and done here, and we can speculate on these significant moments. The Bible invites this curiosity.

The Greek’s arrival cues up a turning point for Jesus. His growing reputation and full ministry have become well-known. There is a “rock star” presence that draws in even the Greeks. Jesus has now become renown; a celebrity of some stature in their minds. Jesus doesn’t really respond directly to them; but He is alerted by their remarkable request.

Things have changed now. The Greeks have signaled to Him that time is running out. Jesus is now looking directly at the cross. Crucifixion is now ‘center stage.’ He is now energized as He must prepare for His death and resurrection. This is not a defeat, rather a glorious victory over our awful darkness. Knowing what season you are in is a tremendous blessing. Jesus knew.

But the Greeks still want to “see Jesus.” They have made a long journey. To see Him would be the pinnacle of this trip. Their combined passion, deflected as it was by Philip and Andrew, was quite real. Curious commentaries have wondered whether these Greeks ever connected with Jesus. None of us really know.

“Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”  This hunger, and thirst is a deep emotion. I believe that there exists a profound passion that we could emulate. There is a real appetite that will only be staved by His presence. The Greeks had a vibrant spiritual inventory full of gods and philosophy galore. They could have tapped into any of them. But they didn’t and won’t. They travelled far to meet Jesus.

“Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Nothing can satisfy, or move a man or a woman like Jesus. He is to be our passion and focus. The Greeks didn’t ask for teachings, miracles or rituals. They would not be appeased with a surrogate or a second-in-command. Nothing but Jesus will really satisfy a truly seeking soul.

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kyrie elesion.

Catching Hearts Like Fish

Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 

–Matthew 4:19

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The invitation to these fishermen was a ‘call’ to Himself. 

This is critical for us to note.  Jesus is not directing them to a broad set of religious ethics.  He is calling them to follow Him.  He is the exclusive Savior of everyone who needs a Savior.  We follow a man, not an idea.

There is also the intertwining of two distinct issues: That of evangelism, and that of discipleship.  The church for centuries has split these two, allowing them to be seen separately, and it hasn’t been healthy. These two distinct callings are to be welded together as one.

Typically we are focused on one or the other. People will gravitate to their giftings or temperament. But there is a potent strength when discipleship is paired with evangelism. We need disciples who can evangelize; and evangelists who are also disciples.

Jesus seeks people who will connect with Him.  He was looking through the throngs of those on the lake shore.  He probably watched several people before making His decision to extend His call.  He needs followers, like a steam engine needs coal.  I’m sure there was other possibilities.  What a joy though, to be asked to follow Him, by Him!  How empty life would be to decline on His offer and go back to the fishing nets.  I guess you can know too much, and it “ruins” you forever.

There is a sense of the comedic here in His call.  Jesus is suggesting that He will be teaching these veteran fisherman how to fish.  It’s apparent that these wizened men of the sea, had been fishing since they were mere boys.  Jesus essentially orders that Peter and Andrew stop what they were doing and follow, now.  Jesus would teach them “human fishing”– catching men!

By following, their old way would be forfeited.  They could not do both, (but they did try and once even followed Peter back to the old life).  But a separation happens as hearts and minds become set apart on the invitation, and then jump out of the boat on to the beach.

Jesus would teach these men.  They would learn the most critical and vital truths ever communicated on this planet.  Their classroom would follow them, and their instructor was eminently qualified and supremely gifted.  These new followers will ‘rock’ their world.  They would truly become, ‘Fishers of Men’.

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