The Inquiring Greeks
John 12:20-33
And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:…

I. THE LONGING TO SEE JESUS IS A MATTER OF CONSTITUTION NOT EDUCATION (ver. 20). These were not Jews, and their visit grew up out of heart want. Man's need and God's supply must be contemplated together. Religious experience begins in the natural seekings of our constitution, and ends in the gratification of some higher ones which are supernatural. The natural desires demand direct communion with God; but the supernatural are created by the disclosure of a possible purity, and these demand to be led to Christ as a sacrifice.

II. SPIRITUAL INQUIRY AFTER CHRIST IS SOMETIMES LITTLE MORE THAN RESTLESS CURIOSITY (ver. 21). These men could not have known just what they wanted. The soul has vague but sincere wishes for something it does not possess — "an aching void." Partly from need and curiosity the Greeks came to ask. Fire ascending seeks the sun; we can imagine some flames so buffeted by winds as to render it consistent for them to say, "We would see the Day-God"; or some compass needles disturbed praying, "We would see the North Pole!" For these constitutional desires will not long tamely bear to be denied of their proper rest.

III. MANY MEN TAKE THE ROUNDABOUT WAY IN COMING TO JESUS (ver. 22). They prefer some intervening Philip, some mediating priesthood. But it is not the Greek name of Philip, nor the experience of Andrew, which is to be relied on for soul rest. Redemption as an individual acquisition is the only reply to the cravings within.

IV. THE MOMENT ONE SEES JESUS HE FINDS THAT HE HAS A WORD TO SAY DIRECTLY FOR HIMSELF (ver. 23). Hitherto one may have supposed his own soul to be the object of the atonement. Suddenly he perceives that the glory of God is lying behind the Cross, and it puts a new thought in his mind to learn that the work of the Son of Man was done that the Son of God might have supreme glory. But did not Christ suffer to save souls? Yes; but what was the special need that souls should be saved?

V. THE TERMS OF THE GOSPEL ARE IMPERATIVE AS TO AN ENTIRE SURRENDER OF SELF IN ORDER TO SEE JESUS (vers. 24-25). If one wants the grand hope of the gospel in conversion; to attain the full measure of consecration, to know the secret of unfailing success — it is life for life. Jesus means that we are to put our heart into our work, to deny our ease, give our time, money, etc., and sink our selfishness in devotion to Him.


(C. S. Robinson, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:

WEB: Now there were certain Greeks among those that went up to worship at the feast.

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