The Triumphant Entry is one of the most dramatic scenes in the gospels. Jesus rides into Jerusalem in an incredible way. Crowds shout “Hosanna!” and even the rocks would cry out if Jesus silenced his disciples. The Pharisees said with a hint of exasperation and exaggeration, “Look! The world has gone after him!” (John 12:19)
After all the tumult dies down, John’s gospel introduces us to some people. He doesn’t tell us their names, just their nationalities. They are Greeks who have come up to worship at Jerusalem. These are “outsiders” who are earnestly seeking God.
These Greeks have one request, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus!” (John 12:21).
Two things catch my attention. First is the simple beauty of that request. Lots of folks came to Jesus looking for something. Some wanted healed. Some wanted fed. Some even wanted a king. But these guys just wished to see Jesus. If we’re not careful, we can get caught up in the (good) things that surround Jesus, and seek after those things rather than Jesus himself. That’s a great mistake!
The second thing I notice is that these Greeks didn’t approach Jesus directly. They could have been afraid to—Jewish rabbis didn’t exactly hang out with Gentiles very often. They might not have known just how inviting Jesus really was. Their hesitancy might have been humility. They might have felt unworthy to ask him directly. Whatever the reason, the Greeks asked Philip, and Philip asked Andrew, and together they told Jesus.
There is a parallel for us here, too. While we can approach Jesus directly, most of us are introduced to him by a friend or family member who knows him a little better. One of the great privileges of my job is that I get to help people see Jesus, but that’s not a job for preachers alone. It is a great opportunity for all of his disciples!
I like to ask myself, “Who in my life is asking to see Jesus?”
Then I’ll ask, “Am I showing him?”