WHOEVER SERVES ME, MUST FOLLOW ME
20Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
23And Jesus answered them,
“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
24Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
25Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
26If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
A group of gentiles converts to Judaism came to see the famous Messiah everyone was testifying about. It seems that the fame of our Lord Jesus had expanded so much, not only in Juda and Samaria, but also to the border lands of the gentiles, Arabs, Assyrians and European Latins and Hellenics.
Even though they were converted and circumcised to Judaism, their mother tongue was not Hebrew but Greek, and they read the Greek version of the Tanak in their devotional practices, but not liturgical, where Hebrew was used. So it seems they approached Phillip, who was born and raised in the northern part of land occupied by the Jews, Bethsaida, in close contact with Syrophoenicians from the north west, todays Turkey and Lebanon. Most probably they felt more affinity to Phillip, or he spoke Greek with them.
They have heard of Lord Jesus back where they came from, and had taken the opportunity to visit Him, not that they were in the land where He lived.
Since they were admitted in the Temple for worship, it is assumed their presence was liturgically permissible into Jewish houses, so this must not be the reason why Phillip himself did not go to speak to Jesus about them and went to Peter’s brother instead. It must have been a surprise and a natural mistrust on Phillip’s part. But together they went to see our Lord and He admitted the visit, but bot before declaring the meaning of this.
Jesus compared his earthly life like a seed of wheat, and how only through dying it fructifies and multiplies.
Jesus’s life was the same. He needed to sacrifice his humanity on the atoning sacrifice of the Cross, in order to be able to save many, whoever desired to come to Him for forgiveness and salvation. It could not be done any other way.
But He also demanded the same from his followers.
People who wanted to follow Jesus, must live like He lived, and unite themselves to Him, in the sacrifice of their lives, by denying themselves for Jesus’s Glory.
Lord Jesus stated clearly, that ‘Whoever wants to serve Him, must follow Him”; meaning, to live according to his will and command. And whoever follows Him that way, he or she will be rewarded by ending up within the Glory of their Master.
This was said that day, for everyone, Jews, and the Gentiles that came to see Him.