And there were certain Greeks among them, that came to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Beth said a of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. John 12:20, 21

And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast. It indicated that they had embraced the Messianic hope, as had the Magi from the East, who had come, some years previous, to Christ’s cradle. As the Magi, so in all likelihood these visitors had been brought in contact with this hope by the Jews in the Dispersion. Having embraced this hope, they came up to worship at the feast. And they come, wanting to see Jesus. They make known their desire to Philip. It is not necessary to conjecture how they had come into the possession of the knowledge that Philip was Christ’s disciple. We may be satisfied with the bare report that they knew. Philip’s consultation with Andrew must doubtless be attributed to his reluctance to disturb Christ with these strangers, these uncircumcised proselytes. Andrew, it must be, thinks it best to yield to the request. This they do. Together they go to Jesus and tell Him.

Hearing, Christ is jubilant. And He has reason. The coming of these Greeks marks the beginning of the fulfillment of prophecy—of the prophecy to the effect that the gentiles “shall come to thy light, and the kings to the brightness of thy rising,” that they shall gather themselves together and come to Him, that they shall come from afar and be nursed at His side, that then He should see, and flow together, and that His heart should then fear and be enlarged; “because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee” (Isa. 60:35).

So, beholding these Greeks, and having learned their desire, he exclaims, “The hour is come that the Son of Man shall be glorified. Glorified He shall be as the head of His church, which is His body—His church upon which He shall pour His Spirit, that, as Spirit filled, it may everlastingly give Him glory.

But to this glory the Father leads Him through suffering and death. He understands. Even God’s way with the corn of wheat, tells Him, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” This seed is Christ. Except He die, He abideth alone, thus abideth without His people. But if He die, He bringeth forth much fruit. Thus He must die, that, as dead, He may be raised with His own unto justification and glory. It is only through His dying, through His bearing the burden of God’s wrath against the sin of His people, that He becomes the true vine with branches, the head with body, His church, the cornerstone with living stones, partaking of His life and built up a spiritual house.

He knows this. He will therefore not love His present earthy life and shun the cross. For then He would lose His life and perish with His people. He accepts His cross. He thus will save His life and be crowned with glory, He and His people, who with Him will suffer and die and be crucified that they may be raised up together and be made to sit together in heavenly places in Him.

Let His disciple be mindful of all this. Let them, too, deny themselves, take upon them their cross and follow Him. Let them be resolved to lose their life and fill up the measure of His suffering, that they may be honored by the Father and raised up by Him and be clothed with Christ’s glory.

But what is this that we now hear Him say? “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father save me from this hour.” This is a cry of anguish! And it is uttered by the Savior. His soul is troubled (not His spirit). His soul will again be troubled in the garden, when He will pray, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me….’’ So here, “Father save me from this hour.” How that cross terrifies His soul, now that His hour has finally come! Would He then repudiate His cross? He is the obedient servant. His meat and drink is also now to do the will of His Father. But it can be expected that the anticipation of what the immediate future holds in store for Him, fill His soul with dread. Has He not become like unto His brethren in all things, sin excepted? His aversion to His cross forms certainly the unmistakable evidence of His true humanity. And mark now the strength of His obedience. However troubled His soul may be, He prays for His cross, when He says, “But for this cause (the cause of suffering and dying for His people), I came into this hour. Father, glorify thy name.”

How the zeal of God’s house consumes Him. “Father, glorify thy name!’’ Lay the burden of Thy wrath upon me, that I may bear it. Exhibit through My cross, the glory of Thy love, Thy mercy, Thy wisdom, Thy power. Let the billows of Thy wrath pass over Me. Then will Thy name be glorified. And the Father answers, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The Father has glorified His name, through Christ’s labors in the past. And He will glorify it through the cross and its fruitage.

But let His disciples attend to this reply of God to the prayer of Christ. “This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of the world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And if I be lifted up from this earth, will draw all men unto Me.”

Now is the judgment of the world….’’ Of the world that lieth in darkness. Why is now its judgment? It is about to crucify God’s Son, thus very Righteousness, Holiness. For this, it now has opportunity. For God now places Him in man’s power, delivers Him up to Jew and Gentile. And the world chooses to crucify Him, the Holy One! So does it appear that sin is exceedingly sinful, that man is desperately wicked, that thus God’s appraisal of him is true, and that the doom of the wicked is highest justice, But whereas the cross is at once the instrument through which God saves His people from their sins and frees them from the dominion of Satan, it must needs follow that when the wicked have done venting their terrible spite upon the Holy One, the judgment of the world is at hand, as also the time for the casting out of the prince of this world. And their doom is certain. For Christ is about to be lifted up from the earth to the cross and from thence He will ascend into heaven and be exalted at the right hand of the Father. And through His Spirit and His Word He will draw all men (His people) to Himself. And He will reign in the midst of His enemies until God shall have put them all under His feet.