“Whoever serves me must follow me.” (John 12:26)
If you read John 12:20-33, you might begin to wonder if Jesus is giving the Greeks the cold shoulder by His answer to them. The Greeks seem very anxious to talk to Him, but they can’t ever seem to get a word in. When He hears that they want to see Him this is the kind of response He gives “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” (John 12:24) Makes you wonder what kind of an answer was that?
Well, truth be known, it was the absolute right answer! These Gentiles, the Greeks were converts to Judaism and they had come to worship during Passover, but what Jesus was saying to them was that their real Passover was not going to happen until after He was resurrected. This is because He was referring to Himself as that grain of wheat who would be sacrificed for all sin. He was trying to tell them that His death was something that was necessary so He could produce “much fruit” which comes in the form of salvation for all. No one was going to be excluded, not even Gentiles!
In today’s world, we too can celebrate the truth that we were once outsiders, just like the Greeks, but now have become part of the “in crowd.” Most of the people who read the words that were spoken are all Gentiles, not originally part of the chosen people that God made His first covenant with. We “once were far off” but have been made closer to God by the blood of Jesus Christ. What we are, are His adopted children and what better family could we all be part of?
A question we should all reflect upon should be “How welcoming are we to those we might consider outsiders?” We know that we all have some kind of idea of who belongs in church and who doesn’t: the old man who never seems to smile, no matter what. The parents who can never keep their kids quiet in church. The young man or woman who seem to be far too liberal or the old woman who seems to be far too conservative. However, it is not ours to judge who belongs and who doesn’t, because in the eyes of God, they are all part of His family, which is our family! Each and every one of them including ourselves all have been adopted by Christ. What we need to really try to do is to treasure each and every one of them just as much as Jesus treasures all of us!
“Thank You, Lord, for welcoming me into Your family. Teach me how to be just as welcoming. May I exclude no one from receiving my attention, consideration, and friendship.”
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-15
Sometimes Lord we forget who we really are.
Often we are far too judgmental of those around us and we think we know who belongs in Christ’s “inner circle”.
Remind Us Lord that we are Your children, once lost and far away but now adopted and brought into Your family through the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Remind us that only You have the right to allow us in and that we must remember that all people, no matter who they are, are Your children.
Help us to welcome everyone whom Your Son has claimed for Your family.