In John 12:20-22 some Greeks come up to Philip and ask him if they can see Jesus. The disciples pass along this request to Jesus in v22 and all the sudden in v23 he replies that the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified and then he continues seemingly to predict his death.

John 12:20 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.

How is this reply connected to the request Jesus receives and why does Jesus all the sudden know that "the hour has come"? These men don't necessarily seem like they mean to harm him.


3 Answers 3


The answer to this comes in v32: "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

Tom Wright says "... if the Greeks want to see him, want to benefit fully from what he's been sent into the world to do, his proper response is to carry on and complete the work his father has given him."

Jesus' death and resurrection is the work that allows all people to come to him - presumably a theme that was brought to his mind when some Greeks turned up to see him at this late stage in his earthly ministry.

  • Are you saying that his death was his glorification or his death, resurrection and ascension?
    – user10231
    Commented Aug 6, 2016 at 19:36

Could Jesus be referring to the events in previous verses as

  1. Once Lazarus was raised from the grave a lot of people started following Jesus and he knew this will lead to Romans recognizing him as a threat to their power
  2. Rasing a person from death was a direct opposition to the Sadducees who did not believe in resurrection
  3. The Sadducees being the power (Sanhedrin and High priest) would join hands with the Romand and execute Jesus

John12:17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”


It would help to understand how the word glorified is being used.

Glory is essentially something that someone or something is most well known for. If I mention a famous person’s name, even if they did other things in their life, you will immediately think of the one thing that they are most renowned for.

  • George Washington - first president of the USA
  • Michael Jordan - world famous basketball player And so on.

In saying these words

“And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” ‭‭John‬ ‭12:23‬ ‭

Jesus is saying the time has come for the son of man to become renowned/“famous”/glorified

“When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,” ‭‭John‬ ‭17:1‬ ‭

But notice Jesus had in mind a specific glory, not just any glory.


I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” ‭‭John‬ ‭17:4‬ ‭

Jesus had made known the Father to men, that He is God and now Jesus is asking that the Father make known the Son with the glory He had BEFORE Creation.

“AND NOW, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” ‭‭John‬ ‭17:5‬ ‭

In return Jesus is asking the Father to let Him have the glory He possessed before Creation. And it’s specifically in The Father’s presence, it’s what He was renown for from before Creation. (And we can infer that nothing existed outside Creation, for ALL things were made through Him and for Him, meaning not even heaven existed, much less heavenly hosts, only God existed).

Jesus was asking to be known as God like He had been prior to creation. This would explain why Jesus while incarnate NEVER pointed to Himself as God, even though He was God, no, rather He glorified, or made known the Father. The Apostles however no longer make this distinction. Where Jesus used monos in John 5:44, 17:3 from then on God is referred to by the rest of the NT authors as hen which is intended to include Jesus as God. If monos were used then Jesus could not be included. It speaks to the humility of Jesus, refusing to grasp equality with God while learning obedience as a human, a servant human

“who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:6‬ ‭

The hour, reference you inquire about is the same as saying in modern English the time has come. How did He know? From the scrolls and also He prayed a lot, so He received revelation too.

Why did the hour come? Because Jesus had made the Father known as God. Now it was time for the Father to make the Son known as God.

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