Fifth Sunday of Lent:
Jesus reveals that His Hour is coming
The Gospel has Greeks coming to see Jesus at the Passover time. Jesus response in meeting the Greek visitors is to begin talking why he came to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. He comes to be glorified—his suffering and death on the cross would be the means to his glory. And so he uses the familiar agricultural image of seed being buried in the ground in order to bring forth new life. The image is obvious for those of us who are believers today. But it seems to be a teaching for the disciples that might given them some perspective for the events of the days to follow. Then Jesus reveals more about his impending death. He is deeply troubled by the ominous signs that point to what was a head of him. Then the voice of His Father was again heard by Jesus as it was at the baptism and transfiguration. This voice gave him courage to go on. His being lifted up will be the source of people being drawn to him for who he is—the Son of God.
Jesus teaching about His being glorified by his death-- John 12. 20-33
Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast came to Philip who was from Bethsaida in Galilee and asked him: "Sir, we would like 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. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this would will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me."
"I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'?
But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it and will glorify it again." The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder, but others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered and said, "This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself." He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.
Questions for reflection:
- Philip and Andrew were taking their discipleship seriously by introducing others to Jesus. How can we, as disciples, introduce others to the Lord Jesus today? Do we take advantage of the opportunities to speak to others about our faith when they ask?
- The parable of Jesus about the grain of wheat dying and producing new life refers to his dying and rising, but it also has implications for the cycle of nature and human experience. In our own lives have we noticed when there has been dying to some of our hopes and dreams, new life has come from these times? When we have experienced moments or times of darkness, has light eventually dawned?
- The voice that Jesus heard from his Father he says is for us rather than for him. The promise of new life coming from his dying, death and resurrection, is the voice that we can hear from his word. Are we listening?
- Jesus’ statement that when he is lifted up, he will draw everyone to himself. When we see crosses or crucifixes, do they remind us of Jesus’s love of us?