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21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

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Joh 12:20-36. Some Greeks Desire to See JesusThe Discourse and Scene Thereupon.

20-22. Greeks—Not Grecian Jews, but Greek proselytes to the Jewish faith, who were wont to attend the annual festivals, particularly this primary one, the Passover.

The same came therefore to Philip … of Bethsaida—possibly as being from the same quarter.

saying, Sir, we would see Jesus—certainly in a far better sense than Zaccheus (Lu 19:3). Perhaps He was then in that part of the temple court to which Gentile proselytes had no access. "These men from the west represent, at the end of Christ's life, what the wise men from the east represented at its beginning; but those come to the cross of the King, even as these to His manger" [Stier].

22. Philip … telleth Andrew—As follow townsmen of Bethsaida (Joh 1:44), these two seem to have drawn to each other.

Andrew and Philip tell Jesus—The minuteness of these details, while they add to the graphic force of the narrative, serves to prepare us for something important to come out of this introduction.

23-26. Jesus answered them, The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified—that is, They would see Jesus, would they? Yet a little moment, and they shall see Him so as now they dream not of. The middle wall of partition that keeps them out from the commonwealth of Israel is on the eve of breaking down, "and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, shall draw all men unto Me"; I see them "flying as a cloud, and as doves to their cotes"—a glorious event that will be for the Son of man, by which this is to be brought about. It is His death He thus sublimely and delicately alluded to. Lost in the scenes of triumph which this desire of the Greeks to see Him called up before His view, He gives no direct answer to their petition for an interview, but sees the cross which was to bring them gilded with glory.