Did some Greeks influence God’s ‘NOW’?

If you have read my blogs over the past weeks, you know that I believe the answer is ‘YES’. Before I explain why, I believe that everything John chose to include in his gospel, is there for a purpose: 

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John 20:30-31

Nothing is included by chance. Even something that may seem like insignificant information, can in the stringent edited narrative of John be of vital importance for the understanding of who Jesus is and what his salvation means. 

For John it was important to include that Philip and Andrew told Jesus that some Greeks had said: “We would like to see Jesus.” It seems as this was the clue Jesus was waiting for. His reply was: 

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified!”
John 12:23

The story does not tell anything about a personal meeting between Jesus and the Greeks, however, I assume that they were in the crowd of witnesses to Jesus’ exclamation and the events that followed. 

So why did the statement “We would like to see Jesus” influence God’s ‘Now’? 

John’s purpose was to communicate that the gospel is for the ‘whosoever’, not limited to God’s chosen people. Greeks were synonymous with Gentiles (1). 
When representatives from these folk-groups expressed a longing to see ‘Jesus’ – I believe Jesus received the clue “mission accomplished” = “God’s NOW” has come. This was confirmed by two Jews (= Philip and Andrew) telling Jesus about the desire of some Greeks. 
 

There is nothing that is a stronger hindrance to experiencing God’s ‘Now’ than racism. Today this ‘plague’ is influencing even communities carrying the name ‘Christians’. The combination Christian and racism is impossible, because ‘in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek’ (2) – we are all human beings. 

‘Manna’ for today: 

Unity in Christ influences God’s ‘NOW’!

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(1) Paul shared this belief: “the gospel of Christ … is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:16 
(2) Galatians 3:28a
NB – this reflection is linked to General Brian Peddle’s “Call to Mission – NOW”

Words by Colonel Jostein Nielsen

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