In our Gospel passage for today, the 5th Sunday of Lent, the last Sunday before Palm Sunday (can you believe it?), we hear a story that is presented only by John.  It is the story of some Greek Jews who were in Jerusalem for the Passover who expressed their desire to see Jesus to Phillip.  Now by this point, folks, we should know that we are in for some kind of very special teaching.  We are coming up against the mystery of the Passion and Jesus now has the opportunity to speak to these, probably very well educated, visitors from Greece, who are always interested in wisdom and learning.  So, what is he going to serve them and us?  Well, here is some of what He says:  "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 world will preserve it for eternal life.  Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.  The Father will honor whoever serves me.”  That certainly is a mouthful, is it not?  Some of the most profound teachings that Jesus ever gave us were first served up to these Greek visitors.  Jesus is saying nothing less than, that He is about to be glorified-on the cross; that if we want to live our lives to the fullest, we must first lay them down; that if we endure all kind of suffering in this life for Him, we will enjoy eternal life with Him; and that the Father will honor whoever serves Him.  I know how I feel as I try to fully comprehend all that Jesus is saying in these few lines even though I have heard them so many times before; can you imagine how His Greek guests must have reacted upon hearing it for the first time?  I wonder if Jesus advised them to allow themselves a little extra time to digest what He had just served them.  Actually, that’s still some pretty good for us today. We are, after all, only a week away from Palm Sunday.

AuthorCathy Remick