The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
In John 12:20-33 some Greeks who have come to Jerusalem for Passover come looking for Jesus. His disciples seem uneasy. Granted, these people are Jews, or they wouldn’t be in Jerusalem. But there was a common bias against Jews from the Greek world. These may have been people from Israel who were fairly Hellenized. They may have been converts to Judaism who were ethnically Greek. We don’t know. Whatever the situation, the disciples passed them around from one person to another before even asking Jesus if he would visit with them.
What is Jesus’ response? Like many of his responses it seems cryptic at first. He starts talking about a seed needing to die in order to bring a plant to life. As we consider what Jesus says, he is speaking about the way God’s kingdom spreads. It has spread through a variety of means. It has gone to people all over the world. It is not a problem that Greeks would seek the Messiah. It is a good thing.
It is an odd thing, and a sad thing, that Christians in some times and places have earned a reputation of exclusivity. The call of Christ is exclusive. He is unabashedly the only one who is presented as the one to bring people to God. He is the only redeemer of the world. But he is exactly that. The redeemer of the world calls people from every walk of life, from every nation, every language, every cultural group to himself.
There are all sorts of people in this world. Thousands of distinctive people groups. the Church needs to guard against the tribalism which the secular world has. Christianity is a place of unity. Christians are unified not by their education, not by economic power, not by color of skin, not by national origin, or any other measure. Christians are unified by trusting in Jesus, the savior of the world.
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