by Maria Rudolph
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They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we would like to see Jesus’ (John 12:21).
The palms to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem lay where they fell. The Passover Festival is in full swing in the city; pilgrims arrive from all over the place. Hustling and bustling, people staying with rellies for the occasion, and some making the trip for the first time.
And there was an added kind of excitement in the air. Many people had come especially because they heard that Jesus would be there. He had not only wowed the crowds with proclamations about the kingdom of God, but he also performed many miracles. Jesus had healed people with leprosy, brought sight to the blind, made the lame walk and even the mute speak again. Jesus had even performed a resurrection after Lazarus lay in a tomb for four days. Some in Jerusalem had been among the crowd when he had stepped out of the tomb, alive. Now they were trying to get a glimpse of Jesus, waiting to see if he would perform another miracle. Among them were Greek people from far away who approached Jesus’ followers with a request. ‘We would like to see Jesus.’
Come and see Jesus. It is the title of a well-known Sunday school curriculum in the LCANZ. Some of you may have taught from it, and many more would have been students of its lessons through your own Sunday school teachers. But whether you know this book series or not, the concept is obvious: Teaching about Jesus, so children can come and see him for themselves, get to know the Son of God, and receive love, grace and forgiveness in his name. Isn’t that the desire of our heart – to invite everyone, without reservation, to come and see Jesus?
These Greek people in the story had come from far away. This is only the beginning of many people being drawn to Christ, and for whatever reason they are first drawn, Christ’s love and grace transforms each of them, each of us, as we see who Jesus really is. As we read through the Book of Acts, we can see the beginning of the church from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. Even us at the ends of the earth in Australia and New Zealand have come to see Jesus and believe that the teacher from Nazareth who performed so many miracles is the Son of God. We share in the hope that because of his death and resurrection, we are redeemed and forgiven and will one day be resurrected with all believers on the last day.
How did you come to see Jesus? Who can you help to come and see Jesus this Easter?
Loving God, work in and through our LCANZ so that all who come to see Jesus this Easter can see and hear him proclaimed by the men and women serving you in our church. In Jesus’ name. Amen.