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Lesson # John 12:20-22
Study Material - John 12:20-22
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
20 And [de] there were [en] certain [tis] Greeks [Hellen] among [ek] them that came up [anabaino] to [hina] worship [proskuneo] at [en] the feast [heorte] :
21 The same [houtos] came [proserchomai] therefore [oun] to Philip [Philippos] , which was of [apo] Bethsaida [Bethsaida] of Galilee [Galilaia] , and [kai] desired [erotao] him [autos] , saying [lego] , Sir [kurios] , we would [thelo] see [eido] Jesus [Iesous] .
22 Philip [Philippos] cometh [erchomai] and [kai] telleth [lego] Andrew [Andreas] : and [kai] again [palin] Andrew [Andreas] and [kai] Philip [Philippos] tell [lego] Jesus [Iesous] . KJV-Interlinear
20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast; 21 these therefore came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, 'Sir, we wish to see Jesus.' 22 Philip came and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip came, and they told Jesus. NASB
Many commentators spend their time speculating as to the identity of these Greeks, but if their identity was important, then it would have been disclosed. Were they Jews who had lived in Greece, and just traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, or were they gentiles? The text implies that they were gentiles and from a far away place and therein is the intent of the passage. What's that you ask? The intent?
We have seen the miracles of Jesus. We have seen the attitudes of various peoples close to Him and of those who stand at a distance from Him. Most don't seem to be able to figure out His identity. Most don't seem to be able to figure out His mission. Most don't seem to care one way or the other, just as long as their problems of life are solved.
The priests, if anyone, should have been able to interpret the scriptures and to identify the prophesies. The leadership was defiant toward Jesus because He represented an attack, or was perceived as a threat to their comfortable way of life.
But now here we have peoples from a far away place, from across the sea. People who have traveled for a long time, and over a great distance. They did not make this trip on an airplane in a matter of hours, but traveled for weeks, in order to get to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast which traditionally denied participation to gentiles. Yet they came anyway.
Since Eleazar's time (Moses time), participation in the feasts was denied to gentiles, lest they bring into the celebration their idol worship beliefs. The objective was to prevent the feast celebrations (the legitimate teaching of Gods Word) from being diluted with non-scriptural doctrine, or pagan beliefs. Of course this did not prevent the compromise of the scriptures by the Israelites themselves as the various regulations of Judaism began to replace the doctrines of scripture, which we have already studied.
But no matter. Here we have people, and this is not just a couple of folks, but the original language refers to a rather large traveling contingent of people from the region of Greece. They have come to worship in the feasts, and to see Jesus.
Now they approach Philip, requesting an audience with Jesus. This should be a simple request. 'Sure, you can see Jesus. He is right over there.' Or, if there was some sort of protocol or a line of folks to meet Jesus, then Philip could have simply directed them to the end of the line.
But, Philip hears a request from gentiles, a group of them. He goes to Andrew, to discuss it. What is to discuss? Both He and Andrew approach Jesus with the request. Most likely the Greeks were following along right behind them. How do I know this. I don't of course, but we just apply a little logic to the scene. The apostles have in the past already tried to prevent certain folks from seeing Jesus. They have demonstrated their ignorance to the true purpose of Christ's coming to humanity. Jesus has never refused an audience with anyone. So why the screening process? Well these folks were Greeks and we know that the Jewish people, out of tradition, were used to the exclusion of gentiles from their festivities.
It is not unreasonable to conclude that the attitude was that Jesus belonged to them and not to the gentiles. Jesus is in Bethany and lots of folks are coming there (a short walk from Jerusalem) to see Jesus and Lazarus. We know this from verse 9.
We can also conclude these things from the response which Jesus gives them all, and from the response which comes from heaven - the thunderous voice of God heard by all, verse 28 which is ahead of us still in our study.
People who live in Judea, and have grown up with all the advantages of the scriptures, the ritual celebrations and such, and who should have the knowledge of the scriptures, did not know much of anything. Folks who had fewer advantages of learning of God, those various poor folks who had leprosy and thus were rejected and prevented from participating in anything spiritual, knew more about the Messiah, than the more educated folks. People who came from far away, the Greeks, the Magi, and others had a better understanding of the scriptures than did those who held the franchise of Gods word.
To get the true picture you need to go back and review the last three chapters we have studied in Matthew (chapters 23 - 26) because this all paints a picture of the events of those final days before the crucifixion as well as the various levels of knowledge, and attitudes people had with regard to God, the Messiah, and doctrine.
Jesus has told the apostles on several occasions of His purpose. They all should of had a sense that this was the Passover of His crucifixion. Anyone who seeks the Lord should never be hindered in anyway. God is able to deal with everyone, and will never tire of the requests that He is inundated with on an ongoing basis.
God always has time for you, and He will give you that time and hearing, if you approach Him in the proper way - from the sphere of fellowship.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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