There are times of waiting (“Are we there, yet?”). There are a lot of times of waiting (“How much longer?”). There are way too many times of waiting (“I’m bored.”). Then comes the time to move.
Jesus’ journey to the cross is almost over. Almost like a long drawn-out movie, we’re getting there. Then a seemingly innocuous catalyst shows up, and the acceleration is almost like whiplash. Enter the Greeks.
It’s not that Jesus hadn’t interacted with non-Jews. Quite the contrary. There was something special about these Greeks who sought Jesus. How were these Greeks were the catalyst? Gentiles sought Jesus by name. They sought Jesus through the disciples. Something was happening.
Some commentators conclude that these Greeks were “the first” to seek Jesus as Lord and Savior (as Messiah). While the Greeks were in God’s plan, perhaps it was not quite the time.
Now, though, Jesus is being public about his purpose. When the people talk about the Christ, they imply that they know Jesus is implying that he is the Christ. Jesus tacitly confirms it. That is not a small thing to devout Jews.
We see in the passage of John the miracle-demanding Jews that Paul comments on. The Greeks that Paul was talking about? Probably not the kind that asked to see Jesus. The Greeks and Jews that Paul was referring to were not Christians. In Paul’s eyes, those that followed Christ were Christians who were cultural Jews and Greeks, they were no longer Jews and Greeks. They had a new identity that overrode—and yet was intertwined with—the old.
However, we (the church) are no longer the church of 1 Corinthians 1:25–31. At least in the West, we are not particularly poor. Many of us are more educated than the most educated person of Jesus’ day. Most of us are no low-class or low-life. While there are redemptive works happening in and through the church, and people are being redeemed and restored, the Western church is a stone growing moss.
We are fools to the world not because of Christ, but because many of our decisions, behaviors, and actions were not put at the feet of Christ. We are fools to the world because of everything in us that is not of Christ.
It is time to clear the moss off the stone and off of our souls. It is time to move.
O Lord our God, whose blessed Son gave his back to be whipped and did not hide his face from shame and spitting: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. [Holy Tuesday Collect, Book of Common Prayer 2019]