Humble Hero


When the Greeks Wished to “See Jesus”

This chapter is based on John 12:20-43.

“Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. Then they came to Philip ... and asked him, saying, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ ... Andrew and Philip told Jesus.” HH 289.1

At this time Christ’s work looked as though it had suffered cruel defeat. He had been the victor in the controversy with the priests and Pharisees, but it was clear that they would never accept Him as the Messiah. The final separation had come. The case seemed hopeless. But the great event that concerned the whole world was about to take place. When Christ heard the eager request, “We wish to see Jesus,” echoing the hungering cry of the world, His face lit up, and He said, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.” HH 289.2

These men came from the West to find the Savior at the close of His life. The wise men had come from the East at the beginning. These Greeks represented the nations, tribes, and peoples of the world. People of all lands and all ages would be drawn by the Savior’s cross. HH 289.3

The Greeks longed to know the truth about Christ’s mission. When they said, “We wish to see Jesus,” He was in that part of the temple that excluded everyone except Jews, but He went out to the Greeks in the outer court and had a personal interview with them. HH 289.4

The inquiry of the Greeks showed Christ that the sacrifice He was about to make would bring many sons and daughters to God. He knew that the Greeks would soon see Him in a position they did not dream of then. They would see Him placed beside Barabbas, a robber and a murderer. To the question, “What ... shall I do with Jesus?” the people would answer, “Let Him be crucified!” Matthew 27:22. By making this sacrifice for sin Christ knew that His kingdom would be perfected and would extend throughout the world. He would work as the Restorer, and His Spirit would prevail. HH 289.5

For a moment He heard voices proclaiming in all parts of the earth, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29. In these strangers He saw the pledge of a great harvest. He expressed His anticipation of this, the fulfillment of His hopes, in His words, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.” But He never forgot the way in which this glorification must take place. The world could be saved only by His death. Like a grain of wheat, the Son of man must be put into the ground and die, and be buried out of sight; but He was to live again. HH 289.6

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” When the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it springs up and bears fruit. Likewise the death of Christ would result in fruit for the kingdom of God. In accordance with the law of the vegetable kingdom, life was to be the result of His death. HH 290.1

Year by year, the farmer preserves his supply of grain by apparently throwing away the best part. For a time it must be hidden under the furrow, to be watched over by the Lord. Then appears the blade, then the ear, and then the grain in the ear. HH 290.2

The seed buried in the ground produces fruit, and in turn this is planted. In this way the harvest is multiplied. So the death of Christ on the cross will bear fruit for eternal life. Contemplating this sacrifice will be the glory of those who live through eternal ages as the fruit of it. HH 290.3

Christ could save Himself from death if He chose. But if He were to do this, He must “remain alone.” Only by falling into the ground to die could He become the seed for that huge harvest—the great multitude redeemed to God. HH 290.4

Everyone should learn this lesson of self-sacrifice: “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” The life must be thrown into the furrow of the world’s need. Self-love, self-interest, must die. And the law of self-sacrifice is the law of self-preservation. To give is to live. The life that will be preserved is the life that is freely given in service to God and others. HH 290.5

The life spent on self is like the grain that is eaten. There is no increase. We may gather all we can; we may live, think, and plan for self; but our life passes away, and we have nothing. The law of self-serving is the law of self-destruction. HH 290.6

“If anyone serves Me,” said Jesus, “let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” All who have carried the cross of sacrifice with Jesus will share with Him in His glory. They are workers together with Christ, and the Father will honor them as He honors His Son. HH 290.7

The message of the Greeks brought to Jesus’ mind the work of redemption from the time when the plan was formed in heaven to His death that was now so close. A mysterious cloud seemed to enclose the Son of God. He sat, deep in thought. At last His mournful voice broke the silence: “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’?” Christ’s humanity recoiled from the hour of abandonment, when everyone would see Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. He shrank from being treated as the worst of criminals, from a shameful, dishonored death. A sense of the awful burden of human sin and the Father’s wrath because of sin made the spirit of Jesus faint and the paleness of death come over His face. HH 290.8