Did Jesus even hear the request that Philip and Andrew bring him? The two disciples must be wondering that. But perhaps Jesus’ seemingly unrelated speech about hating and losing one’s life was his response. Maybe understanding this is what it means to see Jesus.
In the Gospel of John, the word “see” has a double meaning. To see Jesus as the Messiah he really is, you must see him lower himself to the ground to wash feet and see him approach his hour of death on the cross saying, “Father, glorify your name.” To “see” Jesus also means to follow him. Philip and Andrew become his followers in response to the invitation, “Come and see.”
How we see Jesus has a direct impact on how we live. If we view Jesus as one who deserves to be exalted but we overlook how he humbles himself, then we will adopt a lopsided approach to our lives. If we embrace Jesus’ resurrection but not his experience of suffering and death, then we will have a harder time experiencing God’s presence when we go through our own hardship. We will resist making sacrifices for others.
But if we have the courage to look upon the man of sorrows walking toward the cross, if we have the courage to walk along behind him, his divine self-giving love might take root and grow and blossom and throw out seed in our lives too.
Did those Greeks walk away, disappointed by what they heard, to look for the next spectacle? Or did they come along? We don’t know their answer but we must risk our own.
How much of Jesus will you choose to see today?
Open my eyes, Lord, I want to see Jesus as he really is, One who beckons me to follow right here and right now. Amen.