Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gospel Text Sunday 25 March 2012

John 12:20-33
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 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. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

"Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say-- `Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

1 comment:

  1. What does it mean to serve Jesus? Well, according to Jesus, to serve him means to follow him and to follow him means to live in imitation of his life. Jesus, the soon to be crucified King of the Jews, came not to promote his own interests, not to accumulate wealth, or power, or prestige. On the contrary, Jesus came as a servant King, to love and to act for the welfare of all people. Jesus came to empty himself for the good of all, even if that meant (which we know it did) allowing himself to be killed rather than allowing the state and religious officials to exert their power over him.

    Truly the way of following Jesus is not easy. It certainly wasn’t for Jesus, as he said, “Now my soul is troubled.” In his words and in his actions Jesus spent (and by that I mean used up) his life speaking truth to power. From the beginning of his ministry he took a position antagonistic to those in power. (Who ever heard of serving the best wine last at a wedding? Healing on the Sabbath? Eating with sinners?) It is precisely this that distinguished him among teachers and prophets and ordinary Jews. Jesus understood that “It is for this reason that I have come;” to reveal God’s living presence on earth, to supplant the panoply of distant and demanding Romans gods and to expose the Emperor’s fallacious claim to diety. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar and to God what is God’s.” The thing is, everything is God’s.

    Jesus, the light of Christ, shone a spotlight on the dark places of humanity. I think that might be why it was always the demons that recognized him. They must have felt his penetrating light expose them and make them feel naked. Even as Jesus was a threat to the demons so too was he a threat to those in power – the Romans and the Jewish religious officials who received favor from the Romans for keeping the population of ordinary Jews from speaking truth and revolting against the Roman oppressors. Jesus’ life and Jesus’ death placed judgment on the world, and every one of us. The judgment is this, how will you spend your life? For what will you give it up?