November 29th – The Secret of Prolific Faith



During these last few days we’ve been looking at the most unremarkable events recorded in the New Testament which include Andrew, who was one of Jesus’s disciples. There are only three places where he is mentioned in his own right, and this is the third of them. Remember that Philip and Andrew were the closest of friends, so when in doubt, they conferred:
Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir” they said, “we would like to see Jesus”. Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.
Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. …” John 12: 20-24
Now hang on a minute. What’s going on here? Surely not something racial? The Greeks who wanted to see Jesus were Hellenists. They represented a culture foreign to the strict Hebrew faith of the Holy Land. Perhaps this Jesus had nothing to offer people like them. They were from another part of the world: perhaps they’d better tread gently. So they asked Philip – “Can we see Jesus?” Philip reflects the hesitancy. Such a lot would hang on it. “I’ll talk to Andrew, see what he says”.
After discussing it, Philip and Andrew go and tell Jesus about this request. You see, they may not have been Hellenistic Jews, but pagan Greeks up for the feast – like a curious Christian might want to experience the Islamic pilgrimages in Mecca, if he dare risk his life, or visit the Ganges holy places at a Hindu festival. Jerusalem was not supposed to be like that because the outer court was open to non-Jews. It was a place of refuge, when not cluttered with lean-to shacks of the market traders, and their stalls. So Andrew and Philip were merely links in a chain -that’s all! They took the problem to Jesus. But remember, that the strongest chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Andrew, for one, had the Christian sense to ‘take it to the Lord’. The response of Jesus was world-shaking. The glory day! “His hour” John calls it, was not one of a world-conquering warrior Messiah, smashing all pagan nations to pulp, but the glory was to be shown in a dying and rising Saviour of the world. Seed preserved remains seed – seed buried in the soil creates harvests. Andrew would not understand it, but he was already part of it. The Greek world, the Roman world, the whole world, would see Jesus – but this glory would only come from the cross and resurrection. All that had to come first.
A Prayer: Lord, I do not understand, but I know I am part of your wondrous story. Now read Luke 24: 13-35, and meditate on verses 25-27.

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Thought 4 The Day

Faith is not an achievement, it is a gift. Yet it comes only through the hearing and study of the Bible. (Martin Luther)

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