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Daily Devotional • May 1
Feast of St. Philip and St. James

Ben Hankinson
Truly Seeing Jesus
A Reading from the Gospel of John 12:20-26

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew, then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 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. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.”

I wonder if the Greeks fully understand what they are asking for when they say to Philip, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 

In The Imitation of Christ, Thomas á Kempis says, 

Jesus has many who love his kingdom in heaven, but few who bear his cross. He has many who desire comfort, but few who desire suffering. He finds many to share his feast, but few his fasting. All desire to rejoice with him, but few are willing to suffer for his sake. Many follow Jesus to the breaking of bread, but few to the drinking of the cup of his passion. Many admire his miracles, but few follow him in the humiliation of the cross.

When we hear others say, “We wish to see Jesus,” what do we show them? We who are in Christ are also charged with being ambassadors, following in the line of Philip and James as we engage with the world. We are to live so that the world may see Jesus in us. When we speak of Easter, we do not fail to recount Good Friday. When we point to the Resurrection, we include his Passion, death, and tomb. When we seek by the lives we live and words we speak to show them Christ, we show them his cross.

For in laying down our lives, we take them up anew through that once offered perfect obedience of our Lord willingly giving up his life so that he can take it up again for eternity. For in the Passion, the instrument of death becomes the instrument of salvation by which Jesus draws all people to himself: the glory of the cross revealed in the resurrected Christ and all those who live in him.  

The Rev. Benjamin Hankinson is the Director of Admissions for Nashotah House Theological Seminary and Priest in Charge of St. James in West Bend, Wisconsin. Originally from South Carolina, he has also served parishes in the Diocese of Springfield.

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

The Diocese of Sokoto – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Venice, Florida
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