Today’s gospel of the Greeks seeking Jesus is one of three events that John records in the days prior to the Passover and Jesus’ death and resurrection. The other two are the anointing of Jesus by Mary, and the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. These are important events as they bring to an end the public ministry of Jesus.
When the Greeks are introduced to Jesus he says that his “hour has now come”. Jesus has spent three years preaching the kingdom of God to the Jews who are somewhat divided in their response. We have the crowds who welcome and receive him but many who also then turn away from him (6:66). Then there are the religious leaders who in general oppose him. All through this we see the unbelief of the Jews. Even though his opponents tried to do something about Jesus they could not because “his hour had not yet come”.
Now a group of Greeks arrive seeking Jesus. Here is the irony. It is the coming of these non-Jews that initiate Jesus saying that his hour had come. The Jews, who were his people, who ought to have known better, were the ones who rejected him. Yet it was those outside the Jewish faith that recognised Jesus and sought him out. As we go back to John 3:16 we see that all who believe in Jesus will have eternal life. That means the whole world, not just one race or culture.
For me, this begs the question about our own attitudes. How willing are we to go outside our “culture”, our comfort zone, to share the gospel with people who are not like us? Philip and Andrew brought the Greeks to see Jesus. They did not try to convert them. They knew it was Jesus who did this. We only have to bring others to meet Jesus. This encourages me no end.