John 12:17-22 (NIV)
Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.
There were quite a few people who had been at Lazarus’ tomb when Jesus raised him from the dead. Many of those had gone to the dinner at Lazarus’ house the night before His triumphal entry and had accompanied Jesus as he rode into the city, waving palm branches, and shouting praises to God.
When people in Jerusalem asked them what the big deal was, they told them about Lazarus, and about all the other things that Jesus had done. These new people then flocked to Jesus to see and her Him.
All of this dismayed the Pharisees, who were watching Jesus’ entrance with a mixture of fear and disgust. They had hoped to have Jesus quietly arrested the moment He came into town for the feast, but that plan was absolutely out the window now. There was no way that they could arrest Jesus from out of the midst of this excited crowd without causing a riot. It was back to the drawing board.
Among those swept up in the excitement were some Greek-speaking Jews who had come from the western reaches of the empire to celebrate the Passover in Jerusalem. Embarrassed by their poor Aramaic skills, they wouldn’t just go to Jesus. Instead, they approached Philip and asked for an introduction. The draw to Philip was two-fold. First, his name, Philip, was a Greek name, not a Hebrew one. Second, coming from Galilee, a much more cosmopolitan part of the country, he spoke Greek quite well.
Jesus was surrounded by people, so getting to Him in this crush was no small feat. While the Greek-speakers waited on the edge of the crowd, Philip found Andrew, and together the two of them worked their way over to where Jesus was teaching and passed the request to Him.
Father, seeing and hearing about Jesus and the wonders He has done still inspires excitement and causes people to want to meet Him for themselves. Thus, the importance of our witness – not just of Jesus’ historical wonders, but of the wonders that He is doing in our own lives right now. And people still need someone who already knows Jesus to make the introduction, to bring them to Jesus so that they can establish their own relationship with Him. Help me, Lord, to always keep in mind these two vital roles that I am commanded to play as part of Your kingdom (Matthew 28:18-20). Amen.