Text: John 12:20-36
Jesus, along with everyone else, has gone up to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. The city is full of people, not only the devout but also those who want to be in a happening place. Jerusalem is a happening place during Passover. So happening that the Romans are a little nervous about the whole thing.
Some Greeks are there, and they find Philip. "Sir," they say to him, "we want to see Jesus."
Who knows who these Greeks were. Greeks were not Jews; they were outsiders, not part of the tribe. They may have been gawkers, people looking for the latest fad or celebrity. They may have been curious about the guy who has been causing a scandal, making waves. They may have been curious about his message. Who knows? But they wanted to see Jesus.
And so Philip told Andrew and Andrew went to Jesus. They didn't get in the way. The text doesn't tell us anything else, other than that Jesus took this to be the sign that his hour has come, now that Gentiles have come to him.
But it occurs to me that when outsiders show up, we might not know what to do. We might immediately brand them as outsiders and look at them with suspicion until we know what their motives are, where their curiosity lies, whether or not they are safe. We even do this at church. Outsiders come, and we might first say, "Why are they here?" before we say, "Welcome!"