In John 12:19 we are told that some Greeks who were in Jerusalem for the Feast approached Andrew and asked to "see" Jesus. This is an interesting term. They did not want to meet with Jesus, debate with him, ask him a question, be healed, etc. They just wanted to "see" him.

Christ's response is "Truly the hour has come for the son of man to be glorified." Jesus then follows this up with comments about the fact that a seed is alone unless it falls to the earth and dies, then it becomes something new, a plant that bears much fruit. Then he says those who love their life in this world, will loose it while those who hate their life in this would will find eternal life.

What kind of response is this? The Greeks have come to see Jesus and rather than taking advantage of the opportunity, Jesus response appears to be a total disconnect as he starts talking about himself and then finishes with what are actually some very negative comments – that you must hate your life, etc.

The answer to this is actually located in the first and last verses of this section — verses 19 and 26. The Greek term used to describe the Greek's request simply means "see" or "meet". This implies that while they were in town for the Feast they wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and see this famous person, Jesus they had heard so much about. Jesus, understanding this, cuts to the truth of the matter.

Jesus is making the point that our focus should not be all about this life. Rather our focus should be on eternal life. After all, we are eternal beings and yet we get distracted by events in this life that will not last. When you think about it, focusing on this life really makes no sense in the grand scheme of things because this part of our life in this world will one day perish. In light of that we should be focused on the eternal part of our life.

To get this point across Jesus uses a common teaching method where he pushes the pendulum to an extreme to break through the crowds comfortable thought process.

By saying, "You must hate your life in this world" Christ is not saying there is nothing good about one's life in this world. Rather he is saying that if you love your life in this world, when this world ends, so will your love and your life.

The proper approach is to love our eternal life more than this life so that we can bring our life in this world under the authority and control of our eternal life. That portion of our life in this world that matches our eternal life will continue, eternally.

After pushing the pendulum to an extreme by stating "he who hates his life in this world will keep it into eternal life" Jesus then says, "If anyone is to serve me he must follow me, and where I am, there also will be my servants. Thus, if anyone serves me the Father will honor him."

These final words in this section are Jesus' response to the Greeks who just want to "see" him because they were in town and have heard of him. Jesus wants them to understand that life is more than being connected to the popular. Life is found in true service to the eternal. We are more than the life we have in this world. To place this life above eternal life cuts us off from our true self and our true destiny, which is life eternal.

Since we should not be focused only on this life that will end, but eternal life, are we then to just sit around and hate this life and wait for the eternal life to come? No! We are to use this life in service to the eternal life. To the extent that we do this, we can love our life in this would without compromise.

Thus this life has value to the extent it serves eternal life.

And beyond this, not just our eternal life, but in our service to Christ, we give eternal life to others as well.

© 2010, VoiceWind. . .Greg Loveless. All rights reserved.


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