Day 23 (Monday, April 1, 2019)


John 12:20-26

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.


Christianity at its very heart is outward looking and outreaching. The Greeks who came to Philip were probably Greek-speaking Jews or Gentile god-fearers who only spoke Greek, not Aramaic. Coming from Bethsaida, a Greek-speaking region, Philip would have provided a natural connection for anyone wanting to meet Jesus. In drawing our attention to these Greeks, John wants us to see that people from outside of Jerusalem were keen to know Jesus whereas the Jerusalem leaders were keen to kill him. Jesus was going to draw proportionally many more followers from outside of Jerusalem than within. But first, a costly sacrifice had to be made.

With these words to his disciples, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified…” and the following metaphor, Jesus pointed to his coming death. Ironically through the horror of death by crucifixion he would be glorified. Through his sacrifice the extraordinary love within God – the glory of God – would be revealed for all to see. Furthermore, just as through the burial of one seed there is the harvest of many seeds, so would Jesus’ death and burial bring about a great harvest of new life.

There is something else we can notice. Unless Jesus’ followers were prepared to make sacrifices in the gospel cause, there would be no harvest. Jesus’ own death and resurrection laid the essential foundation for forgiveness and eternal life for all who believe in him. It will only be through the self-sacrifice of his followers that this good news will spread and bear much fruit. For many of us, this may mean moving to somewhere that is less than our ideal, rather than remaining in our comfort zone.


Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you; and grant that we may perceive and know what things we ought to do, and also have the grace and power faithfully to perform them; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, Epiphany 1)

Daily Reading Plan

Read John 12:1-26