Excerpt from John 12: 20 – 33
“Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. They came to Philip . . . with a request, ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we would like to see Jesus.’”
Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson
At Jesus’ birth, magi, who were Gentiles, came seeking him. Now, as a kind of bookend, Greeks—also Gentiles—came once more just before Jesus’ death, also seeking him. “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” What powerful words!
Their words have more than one meaning. On a literal level, they request an audience, an appointment, a little time with Jesus. On another level, “We would like to see Jesus,” is to say they want to become disciples of Jesus. We want to see and follow him. And at an even deeper level, they are saying we want to have a spiritual blindness healed and truly to see.
Perhaps not in so grand a way as this, but many of our words and conversations, too, have layers and levels of meaning. There’s a literal level. But often there’s more, much more. Do you listen for “the song beneath the words” in the words or requests of others? Do you listen to the longing that our own words, as well as the words of others to us, both hide and reveal? Have you experienced being heard, deeply and truly, by another human being? It’s an incredible experience. When it happens, it feels holy. We feel that we have been in God’s presence, that in some way we have seen and been seen by Jesus himself.
Okay, Lord, two ears, one mouth. Now I get it, listen twice as much as you speak. Help me hear, really hear, someone today. Amen.
About the Author
Anthony B. Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher and writer. His newest book is Stewardship for Vital Congregations, published by The Pilgrim Press. Read his weekly reflections on the current lectionary texts at www.anthonybrobinson.com/ by clicking on Weekly Reading.
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