Some Greeks Seek Jesus

General William Booth was once asked to reveal the secret of his success. After some hesitation, tears came to his eyes and he said, “I will tell you the secret. God has had all there was of me. There have been men with greater brains than I have, men with greater opportunit … More


The attention is now turned from the Jews to the Greeks  as a group of them approach Philip and ask for an interview with Christ (vv. 20-21). It is thought that these Greeks were wanderers of the ancient world that came to the Jewish feast seeking truth. Philip went to Andrew and they both approached Jesus (v.22). Since crowds of people probably wanted to speak with Jesus, the disciples may have tried to do some screening. There is no record that Jesus even talked with these men, but the message that He gave in response contains truth that all of us need.

Jesus used a seed to illustrate the great spiritual truth that there can be no glory without suffering, no fruitful life without death, and no victory without surrender (vv. 23-24). A seed is weak and useless, but when it is planted, it “dies” and becomes fruitful. If a seed could talk, perhaps it would complain about being put into the cold, dark earth, but the only way it can produce fruit is by being planted. As God’s children we are also like seeds that have life. However, that life can never produce fruit unless we surrender ourselves to Him and  allow Him to “plant us” (vv. 25-26). We must die to self so that we may live unto God (Galatians 2:20). Some Greeks appear and enquire of Philip if they might ‘see Jesus’. We have already seen how important the theme of seeking Jesus is in this Gospel. Jesus responds by declaring that his long-awaited ‘hour’ has at last come (v. 23). The coming of the Greeks is the signal that in order for Jesus to achieve his purposes of making God known he, like a grain of wheat, must fall to the ground and die (v. 24). This is the only way his work can bear fruit.


What does it mean when it says we need to lose our life? What area of life is God calling me to surrender? What is hardest about giving up this area of my life? If I am going to live for Christ, I must die to my selfish desires.

John 12:20-26 (English Standard Version)

Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him."

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