Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sir, we want to see Jesus

"Sir, we want to see Jesus John 12:20"
The Bible is full of incidences where "certain men" show up at opportune time. A "certain man" drew a bow at a venture and killed Ahab. A "certain man" told Joseph’s brother which road Joseph had taken. A "certain man" put the poisonous gourd into the pot of stew. Sometimes the names of the "certain men" are probably known to the Bible authors, sometimes not. Sometimes the "certain man" seems to be helping God’s will, sometimes he seems to be helping Satan. Sometimes we even see a "certain woman." But always, whether man or woman, God’s messenger or Satan’s, the certain person comes at a most important time in the life of the Bible character, and thus an important time in the life of Israel and/or Christ’s church.
On Palm Sunday, certain men from Greece told the disciples, "We want to see Jesus." What timing!
Jesus had recently brought Lazarus from the dead and Jesus had entered into Jerusalem where the people were in expectation and intended to make Jesus their king. Remember Satan’s temptation in the wilderness: "I’ll make you king of all the world"? Here was another temptation. Would Jesus allow the people to make him king?
Some have said the men from Greece probably wanted answer to the deepest questions of meaning, philosophical questions that they sure Jesus could answer. Others have said these men probably wanted to take Jesus to their cities where Jesus would be honored and free from the danger of death. Some don’t consider the men from Greece at all, because it seems –at first glance– that Jesus didn’t consider these men either.
But what does Jesus do when he hears that the men from Greece want to see him? He says, "My hour has come. Time for a grain of wheat to fall to the ground and die so that there will be a great harvest."
Like the call Paul received in a dream, "Come to Macedonia and help us" so Jesus is reminded by "certain men" that the rest of the world need to see Him. These men from Greece came at the exact time Jesus needed them to come. Jesus was Perfect God and Perfect Man, but Temptation is a tough thing. Whether or not Jesus actually needed to be reminded of his primary reason for living – to bring many sons to God– God sent him a reminder anyway. The Bible tells us that "because of the glory He saw ahead of Him" Jesus endured the shame of the cross. If Jesus was in danger of forgetting what his purpose was, here was the moment. The crowds were calling to him, they even seemed ready to believe in his gospel. But when the men from Greece arrived, Jesus remembered: He didn’t come on earth only to make Israel believe the gospel. He didn’t come to live one perfect human life and then die and be forgotten. He came to die, that he might live forever and might cause others –including those not in the fold of Israel– to also live forever. He had come for the salvation of the certain men from Greece.
All of us are born with a life’s purpose. As is evident from the amount of people in prisons, and the wrong jobs, many people simply miss their purposes. All our purposes have one simple goal: to bring many people to Christ, to bring many children to God.
Whether we are called to be artists, firemen, teachers, pastors, nurses, lawyers – whatever we do, we are doing for God’s glory and to help people see Jesus. A Christian artist must remember that those outside the family of God must be given an opportunity "to see Jesus." A Christian teacher must remember that she is teaching young minds to think so that they will not be deceived by the world’s views. A math teacher can show the beauty and order of nature, a health teacher can teach the beauty and order of the human body. A Christian nurse shows God’s love but also keeps the unsaved alive, giving them more time for them to live and "see Jesus."
Many times people lose sight of their original purpose in a particular job? When was the last time you realized that the world needed to see Jesus?
Prayer: Lord, help me to understand how my work helps me to show Jesus to others.

Carole McDonnell’s fiction, devotionals, poetry and essays have appeared in many publishing venues, in print and online. She is the author of a How to Write and Teach Bible Studies which is available for free download from ebooks-and-authors (dot) com She lives with her husband, their two sons, and their ferocious tabby Ralphina in upstate New York

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