The Greeks want to see Jesus (Jn 12:21-12:21)

“These Greeks

Came to Philip,

Who was from


In Galilee.

They said to him.


We wish

To see Jesus!’”

οὗτοι οὖν προσῆλθον Φιλίππῳ τῷ ἀπὸ Βηθσαϊδὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας, καὶ ἠρώτων αὐτὸν λέγοντες Κύριε, θέλομεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἰδεῖν.

Then John uniquely indicated that these Greek speaking people came to Philip (οὗτοι οὖν προσῆλθον Φιλίππῳ), who was from Bethsaida (τῷ ἀπὸ Βηθσαϊδὰ) in Galilee (τῆς Γαλιλαίας).  They called him Lord (αὐτὸν λέγοντες Κύριε).  They asked him (καὶ ἠρώτων) if they could see Jesus (θέλομεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἰδεῖν).  Who was Philip again?  Philip was an apostle of Jesus mentioned in chapter 1 about his call to be an apostle and in chapter 6 in his dialog role in the multiplication of bread loaves.  John uniquely indicated that Philip had this expanded role.  Jesus found Philip (καὶ εὑρίσκει Φίλιππον) in chapter 1:43.  He was always mentioned in every list of the twelve apostles in Mark, chapter 3:18, Matthew, chapter 10:3, Luke, chapter 6:14, and Acts, 1:13.  Philip was generally fifth on this list of the 12 apostles, after Simon, Andrew, James, and John.  In John, he was the third named apostle, since John and James came after him.  Jesus gave him this personal call (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) to follow him (Ἀκολούθει μοι).  Philip was (ἦν δὲ ὁ Φίλιππος) from Bethsaida (ἀπὸ Βηθσαϊδά), the same town (ἐκ τῆς πόλεως) as Andrew (Ἀνδρέου) and Peter (καὶ Πέτρου), so that they may have been friends.  Only John uniquely indicated that Philip set out to get other disciples.  Philip found Nathanael (εὑρίσκει Φίλιππος τὸν Ναθαναὴλ), who is a kind of a mystery man in chapter 1:45.  Philip responded to Nathanael in chapter 1:46-47 (λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Φίλιππος) with the famous Christian saying about “come! and see! (Ἔρχου καὶ ἴδε).”  Give it a try!  See what you think!  Then Philip played a major role in the multiplication of the loaves.  Jesus asked Philip (λέγει πρὸς Φίλιππον) how would they be able to buy bread (Πόθεν ἀγοράσωμεν ἄρτους) for these people to eat (ἵνα φάγωσιν οὗτοι)?  This was the only gospel story to mention Philip in this story in chapter 6:5-7.  This was some kind of test to see what kind of belief Philip had in Jesus.  This was not in the other synoptic gospels, since they never mentioned Philip, or any kind of test.  John uniquely indicated that Philip answered Jesus (ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ ὁ Φίλιππος) that 200 denarii (Διακοσίων δηναρίων) would not buy enough bread (ἄρτοι) or be sufficient enough (οὐκ ἀρκοῦσιν αὐτοῖς) for each of these people there to get even a little piece of bread (ἵνα ἕκαστος βραχύ τι λάβῃ).  Thus, John had this unique role for Philip in this gospel as here.  Why would you go to see an apostle or disciple of Jesus?

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