Dying To See Jesus

Those who follow Jesus will be where He is. This is the heart of the message to the Greeks. Jesus responds, “Do you want to see Me? Do you want to be where I am? Then follow Me. Serve Me. And if you are My servant, you will be in my presence.” Men and women who have this fellowship with Jesus will be honored by the Father, who will reward the servants of His Son. This promise also strengthens Jesus’ call to self-denial and following Him down the Calvary Road. It is not those striving after honor in this world who receive honor from God, but it is those seeking humility, obedience, and fellowship with Jesus in His sufferings and death and resurrection, who are honored by the Father. 

In this world, there are different types of people who believe they have a relationship with Jesus.

There are those who have had some “encounter” with Jesus, and they wrongly feel there is a connection because they are deceived.

There are other people who genuinely do have a relationship with Jesus, but they have been taught that authentic relationship with Jesus consists of a certain experience or emotion, so they doubt the reality of their salvation.

Then there are Christians who have authentic fellowship with Jesus and are certain of it, but they know they can excel still more.

And then there are people who simply do not know Jesus at all.

Every person is in one of these four groups. But how does one know for certain if he or she has a genuine relationship with the Lord and Savior?

In , some Gentiles make a request – “We wish to see Jesus” – that prompts Jesus to address the question all people should ask: How can someone have real, authentic fellowship with Him?

Jesus’ response is puzzling at first glance. Most commentators admit difficulty with understanding how Jesus’ answer relates to the request. The link, while on the surface enigmatic, is very powerful. Jesus knows these Gentiles desire fellowship with Him, but His response goes beyond their inquiry. He wants to know them personally.

John includes this episode because he wants to assure his readers that though we have not seen Jesus in person, much like the Greeks at the time they made this request, Jesus wants authentic fellowship with everyone who will come to Him in faith.

In the rest of the text, verses 23-26, Jesus highlights three keys to authentic fellowship with Him.

First, we experience authentic fellowship with Jesus through His saving work.

The Lord begins his response to the Greeks by referring to His saving work: His death on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection from the dead.

Jesus calls His saving work, His glorification. He does this for two reasons. First, because the cross is where God’s attributes in Christ are most clearly put on display. At the cross, we most clearly see God’s love, wrath, grace, mercy, justice, and Law – in all its demands and its penalty on transgressors. The cross instantly brings together all these glorious and perfect attributes, that always seem opposed: law and grace, mercy and justice, love and wrath.

Jesus is also glorified at the cross because of the results of His work. Through Christ’s death, He would bear much fruit. The Greeks coming to see Him were a precursor to that. They were the first installment, as it were, of the multitude of fruit to come.

The only way the Greeks can have any meaningful fellowship with Jesus is if He first dies on the cross. Yes, they could interview Him. However, if they really want to know Jesus, it can only happen by means of His death.

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