You can see all the lectionary readings for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B by clicking here. I have chosen to discuss the passage from the Gospel of John.
In today’s passage, some Greeks come to Philip (Bible commentaries note that Philip is a Greek name so that might be why they came to him) and asked to see Jesus.
Jesus’s response seems a bit odd. He says, “The time has come for the Son of Man to receive his glory.” It is perhaps related–his message is spreading beyond the Jewish people to Greeks and others, so his time has come in that.
He also says that those who are willing to give up their life will keep it and have eternal life. He says that he is troubled and that he come to this time so that he could suffer. Then suddenly there was a voice from heaven saying, “I have already brought glory to myself. I will do it again.”
Some who are there think the voice is just thunder but others believe it is an angel. Jesus tells them the voice is not for them and not for him. He says, “I will be lifted up from the earth. When that happens, I will draw all people to myself.”
He will be lifted up onto the cross and therefore people will be drawn to him ever after–not because of the cross but because of the resurrection and his message of love and reconciliation.
So again, this story starts with some people wanting to see Jesus. And Jesus basically responds that he will draw people to him in his death. His response is also that they need to be ready to give up their life. To really see Jesus, to know Jesus, is to know his suffering–to give up their life. It’s a radical message. It’s one maybe we still aren’t usually ready to hear. Do you want to see Jesus?
I am late getting this online, because of some traveling and some sick kids.
You can see all the lectionary readings for the Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday by clicking here. I have chosen to take a different tack this week and discuss the Epistle of the Liturgy of the Word, which is Philippians 2:5-11.
This is a lovely passage from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. He begins with a call to unity and to being like Christ Jesus—“In your life together, think the way Christ Jesus thought.” He explains that Jesus gave up everything, even being with God, to come to us in human form. He was humble and obedient to god, making himself like a servant (common theme in the New Testament—the last shall be first and the first shall be last). And then God raised him up and “gave him the name that is greater than any other name” so that all would bow down to honor him.
They will all confess, “Jesus Christ is Lord,”
and this will bring glory to God the Father.
I like this exhortation to be like Jesus—to think like Jesus. It reminds me of the “What Would Jesus Do?” movement of years ago. It was corny and overused, I think particularly in evangelical churches, but it had a good point to it. Of course, we all fail and no one can be completely Christ-like, but it’s a good way to stop and evaluate how we’re living and whether we are following God’s will. Sometimes it’s obvious when we are not in God’s will or doing as Jesus would do—when we are doing something that would hurt someone else, whether physically or otherwise. Other times it can be a gray area. For instance, I had guilt about not getting this Palm Sunday post in before Palm Sunday—and it is one of the most important holy days of the Christian year. However, I recognize that I also must take care of my own children and I don’t think it is right to skip valuable family together-time to catch up on a blog. I had to make that choice and for me it was the right choice. If I asked, “What Would Jesus Do?” in that instance, I would remember how he wanted the little children to come to him, when the disciples thought he had better things to do, or how he praised Mary for stopping to listen to him while her sister Martha fussed that Mary should be helping her with her housework.
What will you do today to be in God’s will and do what Jesus would do? How will you confess, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” and bring glory to God the Father?