John 20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.
23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
34 The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”
35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. 36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.
Big Idea: Following Jesus Will Mean Trouble, But The Outcome Is Worth It
A group of Greeks had apparently heard about or been at the triumphal entry. So they wanted to meet this Jesus that everyone was talking about. So they ask the disciples for an introduction and are treated to what must have been a very confusing spectacle. He begins by talking about the Son of Man. This is an Old Testament reference found in Ezekiel and Daniel and was Christ’s favorite title for himself. But even the Old Testament references are mostly vague and so for a Greek,
Jesus began with his preferred teaching style but speaking paradoxically. If you love your life you will lose it, but giving up your life now, means eternal life. All of this is confusing as it is, but then Jesus clearly shifts gears and tells the crowd that his soul is troubled, that something bad is coming, but going through that difficult challenge was his whole purpose and that it would glorify God.
Then God speaks from heaven! Some thought it was thunder, others thought it was angels, but the timing had to have made everyone a little jumpy. Then he says that the world is going to be judged, and he will be lifted up, prophesying his own death in less than a week.
The crowd finally starts to ask questions. That’s when the reader realizes that the crowd is still stuck on the first thing he said, when he was talking about the Son of Man. But rather than answer their question Jesus says that the light is only going to be around a little longer. Then he goes and hides.
Christ was talking about several things in this passage but what was really weighing on his mind was his upcoming death. It was clear to see how this stress affected him. Despite all of that, his main point was that if anyone is going to serve Jesus, they are going to have to follow him. And he was going to the cross. But, while his journey led through the grave, it wouldn’t end there. His resurrection would open the gates for anyone to follow through. But this isn’t a fun or easy weekend trip. Jesus knew exactly what was coming and exactly why he was doing it, but was still stressed out by it. Despite all of that it would be worth it.
Application: Serving Christ means being a light in the darkness and leading the way through the grave. Christ was killed but it didn’t stop him. We have the disadvantage of not being perfect. We will face many challenges that are of our own making and the result of our own faults. But if we are faithful, then the challenges that we face in the name of Jesus will bring glory to the Father and satisfaction to us in serving our Lord. It was the joy that was before Jesus that led him to endure the cross. Hopefully you won’t suffer persecution for the cause of Christ today, but doing so just brings you inline with him.