seeking to honor their good friend, Tina.
That moment when everything seems to change. Of course, everything has been building up to it, but it seems that one action is what put everyone on a different path. Like when a young man gins up the courage to invite a treasured woman to become his life partner. Everything seems to change in that one moment when she says, "yes." Suddenly he is on the path to becoming a bridegroom.
Today's passage marks such a moment.
But first, some background. John has recorded seven miraculous signs that point to Jesus as the Messiah. The Pharisees have become increasingly antagonistic to this Nazarene upstart who is intruding on their turf. The raising of Lazarus has escalated the conflict, and intensified speculation about Jesus.
Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, "See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!" —John 12:18-19
And then it happens. It is as if the "whole world" HAS gone out to Jesus when a simple query, a request to see the Master, precipitates a change:
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 kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. —John 12:20-26
The arrival of these god-fearing Gentiles mark the moment when Jesus announces that His "hour has come." The gospels make it clear that Jesus did not come eagerly to this climactic point. But He determines to face it head on and say, "yes," to His Heavenly Father's will.
"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" —John 12:27-28
And suddenly, we see clearly that Jesus is the bridegroom, and on a seemingly irrevocable path.
Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again."
Jesus makes it clear to the crowd that things had changed:
"Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. —John 12:31-33
And nothing would ever be the same.