In the timeline of Passion week, it is a little unclear where to place the story of the Greeks seeking Jesus. Some place it on Monday, so here it is. It is my desire to see Jesus. That is the huge point of this week. It seems to me, I have missed the importance of this story about the Greeks request.
Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast; these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip came and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. | John 12:20-26
Jesus is clear in responding to the request what it takes to “see Jesus”. Jesus says“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”
Self-denial means not living for myself – This is the main thing about the main thing. It is about establishing the Kingdom of God and doing the will of Jesus.
- For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself. Romans 14:7 (NASB)
- Jesus died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 2 Corinthians 5:15 (NASB)
- I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20 (NASB)
- So as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 1 Peter 4:2 (NASB)
The goal of the whole week is that it leads me to die, be buried and rise again with Jesus into a new life. That is symbolized with my baptism. The end game is service to Jesus, my Master and the Messiah. Jesus is clear about that. That is why Jesus came.
Holy Monday sees much happening this week of the crucifiction and resurrection of our Master Jesus, the Messiah. Here is a good summary of the whole week.
On Monday, Jesus:
- Leaves Bethany
- Curses the fig tree on the way into the city
- Weeps over Jerusalem
- Cleanses the temple for the second time in His ministry
- Late in day, looks into the Temple, then leaves the city
- Spends the night in Bethany
On Monday morning, Jesus returned with his disciples to Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus cursed a fig tree because it had failed to bear fruit. Some scholars believe this cursing of the fig tree represented God’s judgment on the spiritually dead religious leaders of Israel. Others believe the symbolism extended to all believers, demonstrating that genuine faith is more than just outward religiosity. True, living faith must bear spiritual fruit in a person’s life.
When Jesus arrived at the Temple he found the courts full of corrupt money changers. He began overturning their tables and clearing the Temple, saying, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” (Luke 19:46)
On Monday evening Jesus stayed in Bethany again, probably in the home of his friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.
The cleansing of the Temple events are recorded in Matthew 21:12–22, Mark 11:15–19, Luke 19:45-48, and John 2:13-17.