From Heaven With Love


Chapter 68—When the Greeks Wished to “See Jesus”

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

“Among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, ... and said to him, Sir, we wish to see Jesus... . Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus.” RSV. HLv 416.1

At this time Christ's work bore the appearance of cruel defeat. He had been victor in the controversy with the priests and Pharisees, but it was evident that He would never be received by them as the Messiah. The final separation had come. The case seemed hopeless. But the great event which 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 countenance lighted up, and He said, “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.” HLv 416.2

These men came from the West to find the Saviour 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 Saviour's cross. HLv 416.3

The Greeks longed to know the truth in regard to Christ's mission. When they said, “We wish to see Jesus,” He was in that part of the temple from which all except Jews were excluded, but He went out to the Greeks in the outer court and had a personal interview with them. HLv 416.4

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 then dream of. They would see Him placed beside Barabbas, a robber and a murderer. To the question, “What shall I do ... with Jesus?” the answer would be given, “Let Him be crucified.” Matthew 27:22. By making this propitiation 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. HLv 416.5

For a moment He heard voices proclaiming in all parts of the earth, “Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. In these strangers He saw the pledge of a great harvest. The anticipation of this, the consummation of His hopes, was expressed in His words, “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.” But the way in which this glorification must take place was never absent from Christ's mind. Only by His death could the world be saved. Like a grain of wheat, the Son of man must be cast into the ground and die, and be buried out of sight; but He was to live again. HLv 417.1

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” When the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it springs up, and bears fruit. So 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. HLv 417.2

Year by year man preserves his supply of grain by apparently throwing away the choicest 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 corn in the ear. HLv 417.3

The seed buried in the ground produces fruit, and in turn this is planted. Thus the harvest is multiplied. So the death of Christ on the cross will bear fruit unto eternal life. Contemplation of this sacrifice will be the glory of those who, as the fruit of it, live through eternal ages. HLv 417.4

Christ could, if He chose, save Himself from death. But should He do this, He must “abide alone.” Only by falling into the ground to die could He become the seed of that vast harvest—the great multitude redeemed to God. HLv 418.1

This lesson of self-sacrifice all should learn: “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal:” The life must be cast into the furrow of the world's need. Self-love, self-interest, must perish. 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 freely given in service to God and man. HLv 418.2

The life spent on self is like the grain that is eaten. There is no increase. A man may gather all he can; he may live, think, and plan for self; but his life passes away, and he has nothing. The law of self-serving is the law of self-destruction. HLv 418.3

“If any man serve Me,” said Jesus, “let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honor.” All who have borne with Jesus the cross of sacrifice will be sharers with Him of His glory. They are workers together with Christ, and the Father will honor them as He honors His Son. HLv 418.4

The message of the Greeks brought to the mind of Jesus the work of redemption from the time when in heaven the plan was laid, to the death now so near at hand. A mysterious cloud seemed to enshroud the Son of God. He sat rapt in thought. At last the silence was broken by His mournful voice, “Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour.” Christ's humanity shrank from the hour of abandonment, when all would see Him stricken, smitten of 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 transgression and the Father's wrath because of sin caused the spirit of Jesus to faint, and the pallor of death to overspread His countenance. HLv 418.5