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 opportunities, but from the ... 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. We have already seen how important the theme of seeking Jesus is in this Gospel. 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 before it gets planted. But once 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).


Jesus declared that his long-awaited ‘hour’ had at last come (v. 23). The coming of the Greeks was the signal that 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)

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