Encountering God in the Wilderness – Tuesday 30th March 2021

When Your Soul is Troubled

John 12.20-36 (NRSV)

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.

“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”

Reflection

We see from this reading that Jesus is entering the last few days of his ministry on earth. He has taken the sins of the world upon his shoulders, he is troubled, about the human thoughts he is thinking, evident from when he mentions asking his Father to save him from this hour. Jesus knew that his life on earth would result in betrayal, an horrific death at the hands of the authorities and now his soul is troubled, he is leaving friends, those whom he has cared for, behind. He does accept that the hour for the Son of man has arrived. Gives descriptions of grains of wheat being put into the ground and reminding us that those ‘Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life’.

There is a lot going on in Jesus’ life at that time, his preaching, talking with his disciples, and all the time in the background, there is unrest within himself, because of knowing what is to come.

How many of us have had major events before us, which we look forward to with trepidation, where all life carries on whilst you are going through internal turmoil?  How many times have we wished for important dates to be changed or pass us by, these are exactly the same thoughts which Jesus was thinking? Whether now or in the future we will face similar circumstances to Jesus, were we are restless and troubled, but must follow through with what God has planned for us. As Jesus trusted in the Father regardless of his troubles, we must also trust in Jesus and the Father ourselves.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Give us the strength to face all adversities
and all that troubles us along the path, as your son Jesus did,
 and remain steadfast in our faith.
This we ask through our risen Lord.
Amen.

Garry Stott
(Central Hub)