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We Would See Jesus

John 12:20-22



What a motto!  I trust that you didn't come to hear me today, but to hear from Jesus, and to see Him in His Word!  Do you see Him?  Some do and some don’t.


Do you go to a Christian concert in order to 'see' that quartet, or to see Jesus?  You know that person in the church you love so very much, and you overflow with respect for them...it's because you see Jesus in them.  And you want to emulate them, because you want to be like that, and for others to see those qualities in you.  Jesus:  Is He in you? “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”


These in our text make this request because they want to meet Jesus, face to face.  I think we should all be making this request, every day.  I pray that someone will meet Jesus today for the first time!


These guys were Greeks.  Gentiles, not Jews.  And yet they came to Jerusalem to the Jewish feast of Passover in order to worship the Jewish God.  Why?


3 reasons they wanted to see Him:

1.     Dissatisfaction.

There was a group in the 60s called the Rolling Stones [you haven't heard of them because you've lived such a clean life!]  They did a song called 'Satisfaction.'  [I can't get no...]  In 2004 Rolling Stone magazine placed "Satisfaction" in the second spot on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  Seriously?  How could that be?  It can't be because of Mick Jaggar's voice.  If he were on one of these talent shows today he would be the one they make fun of.  Still today, he comes on the TV and you wonder if you got the cat's tail with your rocker.  His lips look like they’ve had an overdose of botox.  It's not because of some genius guitar riff...it's 3 notes.  Why does that song resonate so?  Because it touches a major nerve...it's the heart cry of our world that is unfulfilled and dissatisfied.  They try everything they can to fill the void, and nothing does. 


Yes, there's a hole in each of our hearts, and it is God-shaped, and nothing else will fit!  Pleasure won't do it, nor popularity, possessions, nor pills [just ask Mick].  And so, man gets to the end of his efforts and if he wises up he says, “I would see Jesus!”


The Greeks were known for their superior intellectualism and philosophical prowess.  Men like Plato and Socrates and Aristotle had already given their full teachings.  But philosophy is just a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't really there.  And just because he has a beard to stroke doesn't mean I'm buying it!


They pride themselves in answering questions that no one is asking.  Who cares if the falling tree in the forest makes a sound?  Let's answer real, practical questions, like, if a man gives his opinion in the forest and his wife isn't there to hear it, is he still wrong?


ill.--a world renowned philosopher was earning $30k per speech.  He didn't like to fly so he hired a chauffeur to drive him all over the country.  He would stand in the back of the room and by now knew it by heart.  One day he was driving the philosopher and he had to speak up.  "It's just not right.  You'll earn 30 grand for this same old talk and I now have it memorized and could give it myself...but I'm working for peanuts." 

The philosopher said, "Oh yeah, you think so?  Let's trade clothes.  They've never seen me.  You give the speech and I'll stand in the back.  And if you get it right, word for word, with no gaffes, I'll give you the money!"  The chauffeur replied, "Deal." 

He gave the speech perfectly.  It was almost over, and then a lady in the back raised her hand.  "Uh oh," he thought.  She asked, "Do you feel that an episcomological universe is still valid in the existential world?" The philosopher was grinning ear to ear in the back of the room.

The chauffeur thought for a second and replied, "I'm shocked that you would ask such a simple question.  This one's so easy, I'm gonna let my driver answer it!"


Philosophy can only take you so far, and it will never satisfy.  Philosophy is designed to elevate man to be his own God.  There's no absolutes.  All truth is relative, and man is the one who decides for himself what is real.

        No wonder we're in such a mess.  God gave us absolutes for our own benefit.  We need to know what is right and what is wrong.  Standards are like walls which protect us and give us security.

ill.--ever been at a stop light and you look at the car next to you and you can tell, one of you is moving.  What's the first thing you do?  Step on your brake.  What if the other car is moving?  You are a little disoriented, so you look for a fixed object:  a telephone pole or a building, perhaps.  You want to get your bearing so your world stops spinning. 

Now, what if the buildings and poles were also moving?  You see, that's the problem today with philosophy and relativism and no absolutes...it's no wonder no one can find security and satisfaction!  It's no wonder at Thanksgiving we're only grateful for one day and then it is ruined at 5 AM the next day, Black Friday!

1 Corinthians 1:20-25
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

The wisdom of the simple gospel message far supersedes any wisdom man could ever put forth.  So go ahead and give some university fifty thousand dollars if you want.  Or, better yet, you could say, "I would see Jesus!"


Today the world reaches for the philosophy of materialism..."The one with the most toys wins."  The problem:  it leaves you as empty as those dead philosophers who never found God.  Because those toys don't satisfy, and sometimes they kill, and even if not, just the pursuit of them kills...and worse yet, deep in the heart of man is the knowledge that even if you have it all, you can't take it with you.


How about the philosophy of pleasure?  "You only go around once, so go for the gusto."  And it only takes a few hours for that feeling to wear off and you are lower than when you started! 


Celebrities are a sad illustration, for they are so much in the public eye, so popular, so wealthy, and most are just these slow motion train wrecks, moving from one thing to another, because it's never enough, and then they look into the mirror and see their image is fading, their power is waning, and up and comers are taking over, and they grow all the more desperate!  So they need a cause to add meaning to their life, so they start trying to save the plantet: forests or baby seals with those sad little faces or worse yet, they think, “I’ve got it!  I’m gonna save the world by getting involved in politics!”


“Only Jesus will satisfy your soul!  Only He can fill your heart, and make you whole!”


So, I believe these Greeks have come to Jerusalem seeking true fulfillment. 


They had:

1.     Dissatisfaction.


2.     Disillusionment.

v. 20        'to worship'

They were probably converts to the Jewish faith. [proselytes]  They are looking for truth and God and reality...but in the Jewish religion, which was far off base.  They were like the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts, who had studied the OT and been confused, and even went to Jerusalem seeking, but went home disillusioned.  He was still empty and searching, and then the evangelist Philip was used of God to show this man that only Jesus can satisfy.  And now God is going to use another Philip to do the same thing with these Greeks. 


v. 21        ‘They came’

What did they find when they got there?  They found great crowds of people.  Maybe they thought, "This many folks can't be wrong."  They saw the beautifully ornate buildings, and were wowed by it all.  Then they see these elaborate ceremonies and rituals going on. 

        But the effect of it all wears off in just minutes, and they rub their eyes and look again at the mirage of it all, and realize it's just as dry and dusty as the pyramids of Egypt. 


Ah, being religious is not the same as knowing God!  Religion is as dead and empty as all other worldly philosophy!  It leaves you disillusioned.  It is man's attempt to reach God in a logical way we think most fitting.  It's the opposite of Biblical salvation, which isn't man reaching up to God, but God reaching down to man!  Religion always involves human effort in order to be saved.  Religion says I must 'do.'  Salvation says It is already 'done.' 


Man feels better doing something on his own, for it seems reasonable and appeals to his sense of pride and self worth, as well as impacting how others think of him.  Meanwhile, God in heaven looks down in sadness, waiting for man to look up His way and take Him up on His free offer of salvation.


Man will die trying to deserve heaven, and sadly, then he will get what he actually deserves. 

        I deserve hell, but Jesus has given me what I don't deserve, and so, I would see Jesus!

Hebrews 4:9-10
9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

The Lord only saves those who quit trying to save themselves!


ill.--the lifeguard can't save the person who tries to help in getting to shore.  They actually work against their rescuer.  It only works if they go limp...otherwise, they struggle against their savior.


Our world is caught up in religion.  Oh, they will tell you they believe Jesus died on the cross, and they are glad for His grand gesture, but they keep flapping their arms and kicking their feet, trying to help God save them.

        The Bible says we must just throw ourselves on the mercy of the Lord.  "Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to thy cross I cling."


Maybe you've been saved for real, but you are trying to 'stay saved.'  I serve notice that our Lord not only makes the down payment, He keeps up the monthly payments, and the way you get it is the way you keep it!  Salvation is too priceless for God to sell it to us. 


1.     Dissatisfaction.

2.     Disillusionment.


3.     Desperation.

They've tried everything from philosophy to religion, and yet their guilt remains as well as the hole in their heart. 

        They heard about Christ.  His fame had spread abroad.  They heard about the miracles and the claims that He was the long awaited Messiah.  And so, they said, sir, we would see Jesus!


We live today in a very desperate world.  People are searching for answers to the real questions. 

“Where is real fulfillment and satisfaction?

Who am I?  Why am I here?  Where did I come from?  Where am I going?”

“In the meanwhile, how can my marriage and finances work?  How can I raise these kids to count and not to fail.  What should we really be living for?  How can I make a difference?  What about my addiction?  What can God do with these broken pieces called my life?”


We have the answers! 

2 Peter 1:3
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness...

It’s not in a creed or a code or even in a church...the answers are in Christ...He ALONE is the answer!  We would see Jesus.

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