Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
Some people seem to walk through life with a “how can I help?” sticker on their forehead, and others with a “stay away” sticker. I’m not sure how these stickers get there, but I find myself wearing a “how can I help?” sticker. I can identify with Philip in this scripture – approached by strangers asking for something. Maybe he looks familiar, or maybe he looks like them. For whatever reason, this group of Greeks approaches him. They want to see Jesus – and they think Philip can make that happen.
I have learned to lean into this identity, of being someone who strangers approach, hoping to find kindness, hoping to see Jesus. It isn’t always easy, but I try to see it as an opportunity to do as Jesus does – share the love of God. Because this is how the good news of Christ works - it’s a chain reaction. One person experiences God’s love, and shares that love with someone else. And when those people experience the same life-changing love of God, they share it with family and friends and strangers. And those people’s lives are changed, and they tell more people…
As we approach Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, what does it mean for us to have someone come to us and say “we wish to see Jesus”? Maybe it sounds like “I need my next meal” or “how do I get to the bus station?” or even “can I pet your dog?” May we shake off the dust that covers us – maybe that dust is there from a year of limited interactions, maybe it covers us from being hurt before when we tried to help. Whatever has held us silent before, may we shake it off.
This Easter I pray we take these opportunities to respond with the love that we have been shown. May we show them Jesus.