It came at a pivotal time—just when the disciples realized that the religious authorities would not accept Jesus as the Messiah, and the throngs who had recently praised Jesus as king were starting to question the nature of his kingdom—something happened that lifted Jesus’ spirit and countenance.
“Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, ‘Sir, we want to meet Jesus'” (John 12:20, 21).
These men came from the West to find the Savior at the close of His life, as the wise men had come from the East at the beginning.”1
I find it interesting that at the very moment when the “chosen people” were rejecting Christ, the outsiders (who were considered heathen) were asking to meet Him. As those who were specially blessed missed their cue, those who were “least favored” quietly moved in to take their place. Evidently there are liabilities to being privileged, and there is hope for those who find themselves among the “disadvantaged.”
Belonging to a select nation, tribe, or church is no guarantee that we belong to Jesus. It takes more than baptism or a profession of faith to be connected with God’s heart. Too often the privileged see themselves as entitled to their special status and end up missing the point of it all. Israel was chosen to be a light and a witness to the Gentiles. Instead they acted like elitists and didn’t want anything to do with the uncircumcised rabble who were outside their family circle.
Seeing and following Jesus requires that we be willing to move outside of our comfort zones—to reach beyond our familial ties, and share ourselves with those who are not of our tribe. It requires that we stop hiding behind our privileged status and deliberately enter into the stories of those who feel abandoned, bewildered and tired—of those who are aliens to grace and forgiveness.