20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.
23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
34 The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”
35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. 36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.
Dear God, it was the Greeks’ request that started this speech. I’m sitting here and trying to find the connection between their request to see Jesus and his response, which ended with him hiding himself from everyone there.
As I sit here and try to hear your voice on this, the thought that is occurring to me is the idea that he was getting exasperated by the hype and wanted to bring everyone back to reality a little. He even includes the words in verse 27 when he says, “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour…” The Greeks, as well as the others there, thought they were jumping on a fun bandwagon. Little did they know that a dark moon was rising.
Although it is nothing like the darkness that Jesus experienced, or even that others experience around me, I have felt like I have been under a dark moon over the last three years. It started with the end of my mother-in-law’s life and has brought difficult challenges at both work and home. I think the important thing for me to remember is the reason for these difficult times in our lives. Jesus says it at the end of verse 27 and in verse 28 when he says, “No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!”
Father, there is terrible suffering in the world—much worse than anything I have experienced. But I am convinced that one of the key outcomes of anyone’s suffering is that you would glorify your name through it. Whether it be through the saved marriage, the renewed life that goes through repentance, the damaged person who is healed, or the poverty that one survives. Of course, there are unspeakably horrible tragedies like human trafficking, sexual assault, and things of that ilk. I don’t know what to do with these awful things, but to hope that you are there too, trying to redeem the victims and glorify your name to all who are around. So help us to live in that joy, regardless of whether or not there is any joy in our situations.