Have you noticed the power of the question, “Where are you?” On a basic level you can answer it geographically stating your location. In a work project you can answer with a progress report or update. On a deeper level you can respond revealing your state of mind or soul.
If you answer the question using the three words, “Where I am”, they may come at the beginning or end of your sentence, but however you answer it, you could give away quite a lot about yourself.
The great question askers in Jesus’ day were the Greeks. They looked at the world and asked, Why? How? Where? What? and a host of other questions, so it is not surprising that you see a group of them asking if they can see Jesus. They wanted to know in every sense, “Where is he?”
The Son of Man gives them a multidimensional answer revealing a huge amount about his inner life. You can read his answer in John’s twelfth chapter.
As he ends his reply he uses the words, “And where I am” to summarize his answer. So where is he? Where is the Son of Man?
He gives a seventy-word answer containing three or four huge insights into his own soul. First, he says that the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. So you can now know that his first answer to the where are you question involves glory.
Second, he describes his glory as involving falling into the ground, dying and multiplying life.
Third, he talks about choosing to “hate” your life in this world rather than loving it.
Fourth, he talks of serving and following.
The Son of Man describes his status in startling and surprising combinations. You have seen earlier in this series that Jesus combines the title Son of Man with suffering, in complete contrast to the superhero view of the title that was in his culture.
Now he combines death with life, saying that only through death can life multiply and become fruitful.
In addition, in a world where people wanted to love their lives he says that you need to hate it in order to get eternal life.
Then he combines serving and following with true honor from his Father.
“That” says the Son of Man, “is where I am”.
He carries within himself a permanent mindset of strange combinations which, even to this day go counter to what you will meet this week.
You are more likely to experience a world where glory is achieved through power, self-serving, loving life, leading, not dying, serving, following and hating your life.
But the full answer the Son of Man gives us is this, “Where I am, my servant also will be”.
He is not simply defining his mindset, but defining that of his servants or followers. This is where I am, this is where you will find my servants.
Jesus had chosen, grown into, become completely shaped in his deepest soul by these sets of characteristics. You could almost say it like this, “I am glorified, I am dead and risen, I am hating life in this world and focused on the eternal, I am servant. Are you with me”?
Now when you go to work this week how conscious are you of these inner characteristics? Presumably you define yourself as a servant of his? Then Jesus says, this is where I am – so this is where you are.
Can you see how it impacts ambition, goals, focus, attitudes and state of mind? Can you see how it impacts stress levels and approaches to pressure?
May I add one final thought? Hidden within the words “I am” is an ever present reality. It’s a daily, permanent, every moment lifestyle.
The Son of Man is the pioneer and we follow. Of course he died and rose once but he calls us to a dying and rising lifestyle. He took up his cross once and calls us to take it daily. He invites us to be so focused on eternal life that our attitude to this life seems like hatred in comparison. (It is not that we actively hate it is more that Jesus is using dramatic language to help us see the contrast).
So this week may you die and rise many times. May you see eternity a hundred times, may you serve and follow a thousand times in each task, for in this mindset lies glory, fruit, eternal life and honor.
Please don’t think that you have to manufacture this inside of yourself. It just goes with the territory.
The Son of Man says, “That is where I am”.
20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. 23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
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