Holy Week gives us pause.
We reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made,
the devotion of his followers,
and the grief they suffer in his death.
How will you walk through Holy Week? Where do you find yourself in the cast of characters surrounding Jesus during this Lenten season?next >
Some Greeks were among those who had come up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and made a request: “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” Philip told Andrew, and Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
Jesus replied, “The time has come for the Human One to be glorified. I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their lives will lose them, and those who hate their lives in this world will keep them forever. Whoever serves me must follow me. Wherever I am, there my servant will also be. My Father will honor whoever serves me.”
John 12:20-26next >
The Greeks had a simple request, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” Perhaps Jesus’ response was as perfect then as today. Rather than just say hello to the visitors, we have Jesus teaching. He tells of the single seed that, when planted, dies yet springs to life in the fruit it bears. As Jesus makes this point about the value of the seed, we as readers know he is speaking of himself as the seed and of his followers as the fruit born from his death.
The point Jesus makes is that we are to follow him. Why then is this teaching a response to “Sir, we want to see Jesus?” Perhaps seeing Jesus in our world today comes down to the fruit born from his death, passed on to generation after generation, resting with us today as we follow him.
Those asking today for help in trouble, a friend in loneliness, and a refuge in a storm are essentially saying to us, “Sir (ma’am), we want to see Jesus.” Be the life that shows Jesus to others.
Brian Foremannext >
Jesus, may others see you when they see me. Amen.next >
The Kingdom is here, but not yet in its fullness.
Jesus taught his followers to be about Kingdom-building through service and love. He never promised them it would be easy.
Go and do likewise.
Brian Foreman is the director of the Campbell Youth Theological Institute (CYTI) at Campbell University, where rising high school Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors are invited to explore their faith, vocational leanings, and how each translates into social action through lives of service and leadership. For more information about CYTI, visit www.campbellyti.com.
Brian is also professor in the Divinity School and the Department of Christian Studies, teaching courses in youth and education ministry, as well as Introduction to Christianity classes.
Brian lives in Raleigh with his wife Denise and two teenagers, Brock, 17, and Adria, 13, who are his own personal youth group.
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