John 12: 20-26
One day, we’re told, a group of Greeks came asking to see Jesus. They went and found the disciples they were must comfortable with, the ones most like them - Philip and Andrew, who both have Greek names. And together, these two Greek disciples passed on the request: "Sir, we want to see Jesus.”
How many of us have asked, quietly or loudly, for the same thing that this group of Greeks are asking for? “We want to see Jesus.” But interestingly, Jesus’s response doesn’t seem to be “yes, of course.” It also isn't "No." At first, it doesn’t seem like an answer at all. He begins to talk about what it means to be a disciple. It’s risky. It means giving up control over your own life. It means putting Jesus’s priorities over your own. It means following him on the way of weakness, on the way to the cross.
Jesus, as it turns out, isn’t interested in being seen. It’s not enough to look at Jesus and talk about him among the friends and circumstances that are comfortable to you. Jesus doesn’t want casual admirers. He wants disciples. He calls us to give up those comfortable things and follow him, even when he's going someplace difficult. And when we do, he has a promise for us: “Where I am, there my servant will be also. Whoever serves me, my Father will honor.” His answer to the Greeks boils down to, “If you want to really see me, you have to follow me.” A real encounter with Jesus will change your life.
This Holy Tuesday, let’s strive to break out of the ways we just watch Jesus from the comfort of what’s familiar to us. Let’s find small, simple ways to love and serve him, in imitation of Jesus’s own humility. When we do that, Jesus promises that we really will find him, and see him for who he is. Thanks be to God!