Sir, We Wish to See Jesus Pt. 2

We celebrated Resurrection Sunday yesterday. Aren’t you glad we serve a risen savior who has given us new birth, eternal life, and hope? Truly, hope springs eternal in Christ!

On Sunday I finished part two of a short series, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus” from John 12:21. Let’s continue today.

In John 12:12-33, Jesus had just come to Jerusalem riding on a colt to shouts of “Hosanna!”

People from all over Israel were gathering for Passover. By now, the rumors of Jesus had spread through the nation, and there was an attitude of expectancy among the people gathered.

“They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” John 12:13 NIV

The English word Hosanna is a transliteration of the Hebrew expression hôšî-ʿâ (-n)nāʾ, which can mean adoration, a cry for help, request to save, and an imperative to save I pray now. 1

God has a vision of a greater house of prayer where the nations, all people, are welcomed. During His most public hour, this was what was on the heart of God. Jesus came lowly on a donkey, not just trying to fulfill prophesy, but prophesying how He would, through His Church, enter cities with humility to expand His kingdom and make His house, one of prayer and authentic communion with Him!

But what does it mean to be “a house of prayer for all nations?” It means foremost to be a place where all nations, all ethnic groups, and people from all walks of life are welcome and included to pray and worship God in Spirit and in truth.

It means that those in the margins of society are welcome. Jesus went to the least, the lost, and the last and welcomed them. We should do the same. And by the way, all of us are in the margins! For we are all sinners in need of a savior (Eph. 2:8-9).

Culture tends to view the Church as narrow, unloving, and unwelcoming. We should endeavor to love people in nonjudgmental ways, welcoming them. This is the heart of Jesus. Each of us are sinners saved by His grace and mercy.

We should view people as people in need of a savior. Not as sinners deserving of judgment.

However, there was a whole different crowd that week yelling to crucify Him, but not the true worshippers. Day after day they wanted to get into the temple. The crowd was so large that the chief priests had to take him by night. The worshippers were hanging on every word, “Hosanna!” “Save us!”

The religious leaders and others were crying out for Jesus to shut it down! Jesus states, “If they are quiet, even the rocks will cry out!” Why?

It must happen; this temple made without hands must be established. Nothing you can do can stop this! Through two thousand years of Church history, nothing can stop the enlargement and advancement of God’s kingdom.

No evil ruler, leader, or government can stop the growth and advancement of God’s kingdom! Keep your eyes on Jesus—always!

The people were expecting a political messiah, one who would restore the Davidic kingdom to Israel. They were expecting an earthly Kingdom, He was pointing to one not made with human hands, where all people are welcome! Hope is powerful.

The people’s expectation for a political king to lift them above Roman oppression created a wrong expectation. The wrong expectation caused many in Jerusalem to lose hope that week. Why?

The people could not see prophetically that He must first come as the suffering Messiah. One who would carry the sin, sickness, and brokenness of humanity on the cross. Jesus wept over Jerusalem that week. His compassion was revealed, not a desire to bring judgment.

Some of the Greeks came to worship at the Feast (John 12:20)

Greeks were coming to worship, even though they were not of Jewish decent, they were drawn to God through ancient Judaism. They were probably Greek proselytes, much like what we read in Acts 17:1-4.

Notice that worship of Jesus trumps religious tradition. Jesus looks for heart connection, the authentic worshippers who desire Him. It is the longing of everyone, whether they realize this truth or not.

… the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in truth. John 4:23-24 NKJV

God places within us a desire for Him. A measure of grace and faith that draws us to Him. Can you remember when you were first drawn to Jesus?

The people heard of Jesus—the miracles—the raising of Lazarus from the dead—His ride into Jerusalem. The whole city is moved in anticipation and wonder!

It’s the cry of humanity, “We wish to see Jesus!” People long to know Truth and encounter Him. Our hearts long to be free from rejection. Our deepest desire is to be loved, accepted, and forgiven. God the Father has done this through Jesus’ death and resurrection. His love is unconditional!

The renowned Catholic sister Mother Theresa who labored extensively among the poor said,

“There is more hunger in the world for love and appreciation than for bread.”

Only Jesus, the bread of life, can meet the deepest need of humanity. Jesus came full of grace and truth! He is the light of the world and the One humanity longs to know!

All through the gospels, we see the cry of humanity:

Luke 17:12 The ten lepers, stood afar, “Jesus, Master have mercy on us!”

Matt. 15:22 The Canaanite woman, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”

Mark 10:47 Blind Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, sat begging, “Jesus, Son of David…” Someone’s son! Real people with real hurts and pains surround us!

Luke 8:43 Woman with the issue of blood, spent all she had with the doctors. Many today, very ill, only hope is a miracle from Jesus – must get to Him!

People need a gospel of hope. They don’t need to see us, but Jesus in us. People intrinsically desire an encounter with God’s love and to hear Him speak hope and destiny over their lives. Jesus is our hope, a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls (Heb. 6:19 NLT)

The Greeks knew that Philip could lead them to Jesus.

John records of Philip:

43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” John 1:43-46 NKJV

Philip says, “Come and see.” Philip had an encounter with the Lord that changed him. In a moment, God’s presence redirected him. An experience with Jesus brought Philip into relationship and destiny.

Humanity is looking for Jesus in us. Do our lives reflect Him? Are we full of mercy, grace, and love for others? Would others seek us out to find Jesus?

Sadly, the gospel many hear is one of judgment, rather than love and grace.

Several years ago, a visiting pastor and I encountered a street preacher. He had a large crowd around him, but he angered the people. He was shouting at them that they were sinners deserving of God’s wrath if they didn’t repent and accept Jesus. To an extent this is true. However, what people long to hear is that they are loved, accepted, and forgiven by God through Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection.

After a while the young preacher paused, and I began to preach. I told the people that God loved them and made a way for them to know Him through Jesus. I explained that God does not desire to judge them, but to extend them mercy and grace. They responded, “Ya, God loves us!”

Jesus died for all, not counting their sins against them, consider what Paul wrote:

For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 2 Cor. 5:19 NLT

Not only is God through Jesus reconciling the world to Himself, but He is no longer counting people’s sins against them! But are we?

As we mature in Christ, the expectation is that we sin less. To an extent, this is true. However, what Jesus is ultimately after is that we also grow in mercy, grace, and love toward others—not strive for perfection!

He has dealt with our sin, and humanities sin on the cross. He has forgiven our sin, and the sin of all humanity. But we will never be perfect, and we are still prone to sin. That’s why we need Jesus in our lives! He is the sinless One!

Consider what Jesus said in Luke 6:27-28:

27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. (NLT)

So, if we are forgiven, and all of humanity sins are forgiven, whether they have accepted Christ or not, do the teachings of Jesus become clearer that His gospel is one of love, acceptance, and forgiveness?

I’m not stating that what Jesus did is universal reconciliation, or salvation in Christ is automatic because He died and rose again. No, it is still free will and a choice each person makes to follow Jesus. But He calls us to a radical grace filled gospel toward others.

Jesus continues in Luke 6:35-37:

35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. 37 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. (NLT)

Instead of looking at others as sinners deserving of judgement, we are to view others, even our enemies, with eyes of love deserving God’s compassion. God is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked! Jesus tells us therefore to be compassionate as God is to others.

Think for a moment: Who is your enemy? Would you be willing to financially give to your enemy? Maybe giving them money is too hard. Instead imagine completely forgiving them. That is what we are called to do.

Jesus, while on the cross, asked God to forgive those who wronged Him and crucified Him, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:24 NKJV)

He forgave them and broke the power of judgments against them, “they do not know what they are doing.”

Final Thoughts

The religious leaders in Israel were looking for the Messiah to establish His government. But God knew that the greatest need man had was to come to Jesus to have their sins atoned for and to be filled with His Spirit and walk in truth with Him.

Only Jesus can fill the deepest need of humanity! Not the government or the United Nations. Jesus is the true bread everyone hungers for!

Your greatest need is to have Jesus completely fill your life with His presence. This will only happen as we die to ourselves, and completely surrender to Him.

As we fall completely in love with Him and allow Him to be at the center of our lives, then we will see the hurts and pains of life disappear!

Choose today to forgive those who have wronged and hurt you. Release them from judgments. People are people, we are all prone to mistakes and error, and we must live in forgiveness to experience true freedom. I teach in depth on this subject in my book Fulfill Your Dreams.

If you haven’t accepted Christ, pray this prayer, and get involved with a Bible believing church near you:

Dear Jesus, I believe in You, and I choose to follow You. I believe You died on the cross for my sins and that God the Father raised You from the dead. I openly declare that You are the Son of God. Jesus, I ask you to come into my heart and to be fully Lord and Savior of my life. I ask You to forgive me for every sin, for every time I have fallen short of Your standard. I receive your forgiveness, and I thank You for cleansing my heart and mind and making me a new creation in You. Thank You for Your salvation and all that comes with it: Your healing, deliverance, and for eternal life that You freely give to me. In your name, Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Bob Sawvelle

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