We can trace it back to even Jesus day as we read in the gospel today, among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
WE WISH TO SEE JESUS
We wish to see Jesus. Lets consider three different people looking for something.
The first picture
You have got to go somewhere so you look up the street directory or perhaps turn on the GPS. It gives you a picture and you memorise a map in your mind. You see a drawing in your mind. As long as you know your left from your right and can read names you are all right.
The second picture
Think of someone walking through the forest and following the track you have a vague idea of the general direction you want to proceed along. You take a camera and enjoy capturing pictorial memories of the magic of nature. You stand in awe of natures beauty. You might come to a fork in the track and you must make a decision. As best you can you make a decision based upon the things you can see.
A third picture
Imagine a third picture of something lost in the forest. You don’t know where it would be because it is a person on the move.You seek an expert tracker, expert in the skill of being able to recognize signs of something that has been moving through the forest.
Each of the three pictures describes something different. We see according to that for which we are looking.
When we talk about sight there are different ways we can see. Obviously there is the physical sight of our eyes. Then there is the sight of our mind. It consists of the understanding, the reasoning, the imagination that we might say enhances the picture of a world far more expansive than the physical world. The third eye is an expression often used to refer to the capacity to combine all forms of sight and see the spiritual nature of all reality. We see the divine in all things.
Jesus was known to make the statement, ‘He who has eyes to see, let him see.’
So let us come back to the beginning of our reading. It says some Greek people came to Philip and stated that ‘they wished to see.’ So we must ask, ‘what do you think they wanted to see?’ Was it the physical man? Was it to chat about something? Could it be more?
The ongoing conversation gives us a suggestion. It leads to the notion of Jesus glory. Jesus says, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. He proceeds with the illustration that a grain of seed must die that an abundance may come from it. He is linking his glory to his crucifixion.
GLORY IN THE CROSS
How can this be? It is not the cross that really matters. It is what people see in Jesus when he is faced with societal hostility and the suffering and indignity of the cross. It’s through that most darkest of life’s experience that people are able to see the truly authentic Jesus. And that authenticity of human life he exudes, it radiates with a glory, unlike any other that you might see.
So the arrival of the Greek people declaring that they wish to see Jesus raises a profound question. What is it that they wanted to see?
Yes the physical Jesus, but surely it was with the purpose of seeing beyond the physique of the man. Surely they wanted to see the fullness of who he was. I recall Jesus response, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” Jesus is the ultimate in human being-ness. When you see the glory that radiates from his being, then you know the ‘title Son of Man seems to fit so well.
Today we welcome the extended Blomfield family, descendents of William Howard Smith a significant shipper of early Australian history. Along with his wife Agnes Rosa they were the donors of the FAITH window here in our sanctuary in memory of their Clara Agnes Howard Smith who died at 27 years of age. The Howard Smiths were parishioners at Holy Trinity
Let me conclude by saying that the journey of faith depends on what it is that we really want to see in life. Surely it is more than the physical realm, surely it is more than common sense and knowledge. Surely it is the glory of the Lord. Like the first Greek people seeking Jesus, can we say. ‘We want to see Jesus and mean the glory of Jesus.