Read John 12:20-32. How is the universality of the gospel message revealed in these verses?
Jerusalem was buzzing with rumors. Christ’s triumphal entry had just occurred. Hosannas, though, were quickly replaced by questions. What was going to happen next? Would Jesus be crowned king?
Among the crowd assembling for Passover were Greek worshipers. Notice their words to Philip,
Sir, we would see Jesus. In other words, they wanted to see Jesus. They wanted to be with Him. They wanted to learn from Him. What a testimony to the universal character of Christ and His message! How sad, too, that those who should have said the same thing were the very ones who wanted to be rid of Him.
The Greeks probably approached Philip because he carried a Greek name. Coming from Bethsaida, a commercial fishing center-hence, a cultural melting pot-he probably spoke their language too. The text suggests that Jesus was not immediately present. Perhaps He worshiped nearby in places reserved for Jews.
Then, however, joining His disciples and the Greek interviewers within the outer court, Jesus granted these men their wish. Notice what He said to them:
If any man, meaning any man, woman, Jew, Greek, wanted to follow Him, they could, but it would come at a cost.
What was that cost? How do we understand the meaning of this? See John 12:25.
Then, with these foreigners still present, heaven thundered a confirming message of judgment and conquest. That voice was heard, Jesus said, not for Him but for them, Jew and Greek, that their faith could be strengthened. Christ’s words immediately affirmed that His death was to be for all the world.