Jeremiah has an important covenant made by God. The last line of today’s reading is “ . . . for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.“ More than six hundred years before Jesus, God makes the promise to forgive our sins and once forgiven God does not keep track of our past sins nor does God remember them. That is exceptional forgiveness, because as humans we can forgive many sins but it is difficult to forget when someone has hurt us. But as Jeremiah indicated God takes us by the hand to lead us to eternal life with Him.
With this thought, we take a new look at the gospel. Notice some Greeks came to Philip. They wanted to see Jesus. Philip went to Andrew the brother of Simon. When Philip and Andrew bring the Greeks to Jesus he says something strange. He says, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” What just happened? Notice it said Greeks. This story takes place on the North side of the Sea of Galilee. The Greeks had conquered that area earlier and many people spoke Greek. Perhaps the reason the Greeks went to Philip and Andrew is the names, ‘Philip and Andrew’, which are of Greek origin. Simon is Jewish so even in Jewish families there was a mixture of Jewish and Greek traditions. The Greeks would be comfortable talking to other Greeks.
Now what does Jesus mean “the hour has come”? All through the Gospel of John Jesus has been saying it is not my hour or my hour has not come. Now Jesus knows it is His hour because there is a Jewish prophecy that states when the Gentiles come seeking God then it is the time for fulfillment. Jesus knows he is about to suffer and die. This will fulfill the prophecy.
One other point to consider in the readings, in Hebrews it states when Jesus is made perfect. That is a strange statement. Is not Jesus already perfect? He is God, you would think Jesus is perfect. We need to consider what being made perfect is referencing. We are also supposed to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. How do we become perfect? It is when we conform our will to the Father’s Will. For Jesus to be made perfect He must conform His Will to the Father’s Will. Remember in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus asks the Father to take away the cup. But then Jesus adds not my will, but Your Will be done. When Jesus dies on the cross is the moment He completes the Father’s Will. Jesus has been made perfect as He accepts death.
We complete our journey to perfection when we complete our journey to the cross. It is when we die to self and our raised with our Lord. It is when we take that final step into eternal life. Let us then today begin to die to self so that we may be made perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen