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John 12:21

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The same came therefore to Philip - Some suppose that these Gentiles were of Phoenicia or Syria, or perhaps inhabitants of Decapolis, near to the lake of Gennesareth and Bethsaida; and therefore they addressed themselves to Philip, who was of the latter city, and probably known to them. The later Syriac calls them Arameans or Syrians. The Vulgate, and several copies of the Itala, call them Gentiles.

Sir, we would see Jesus - We have heard much concerning him, and we wish to see the person of whom we have heard such strange things. The final salvation of the soul often originates, under God, in a principle of simple curiosity. Many have only wished to se or hear a man who speaks much of Jesus, his miracles, and his mercies; and in hearing have felt the powers of the world to come, and have become genuine converts to the truths of the Gospel.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Bethsaida of Galilee - See the notes at John 1:44.

Would see Jesus - It is probable that the word “see,” here, implies also a desire to converse with him, or to hear his doctrine about the nature of his kingdom. They had seen or heard of his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and, either by curiosity or a desire to be instructed, they came and interceded with his disciples that they might be permitted to see him. In this there was nothing wrong. Christ made the curiosity of Zacchaeus the means of his conversion, Luke 19:1-9. If we wish to find the Saviour, we must seek for him and take the proper means.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
In attendance upon holy ordinances, particularly the gospel passover, the great desire of our souls should be to see Jesus; to see him as ours, to keep up communion with him, and derive grace from him. The calling of the Gentiles magnified the Redeemer. A corn of wheat yields no increase unless it is cast into the ground. Thus Christ might have possessed his heavenly glory alone, without becoming man. Or, after he had taken man's nature, he might have entered heaven alone, by his own perfect righteousness, without suffering or death; but then no sinner of the human race could have been saved. The salvation of souls hitherto, and henceforward to the end of time, is owing to the dying of this Corn of wheat. Let us search whether Christ be in us the hope of glory; let us beg him to make us indifferent to the trifling concerns of this life, that we may serve the Lord Jesus with a willing mind, and follow his holy example.
Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 101.3

Satan is watching that he may find the mind in an unguarded moment and so get possession of it. We do not want to be ignorant of his devices, neither do we want to be overpowered by his devices. He is pleased with the pictures that represent him as having horns and hoofs, for he has intelligence; he was once an angel of light. Those who trust in their intelligence he will make believe that they can correct the Scriptures. You are going to meet this infidelity in high places. You need the Holy Spirit of God, the divine power to cooperate with you to discern the trap that the devil is preparing, and escape it. He is going to lead the religious world captive (see 2 Thessalonians 2:11). How dare they to lay their sacrilegious hands upon the Scriptures! We must bring the Sabbath of the Lord to the front. It is so plain, and so decided. It is a sign between the children of God and the children of the world.... UL 101.3

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 110

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. John 12:24. UL 110.1

In this age we can see the necessity of drawing men to Christ. This draws them to one another in that confidence, that love, that unity, for which Christ prayed in His last prayer with and for His disciples. This unity was essential for their spiritual growth. This world is a battlefield, upon which the powers of good and evil are in ceaseless warfare. UL 110.2

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 293

In happy contrast to Philip's unbelief was the childlike trust of Nathanael. He was a man of intensely earnest nature, one whose faith took hold upon unseen realities. Yet Philip was a student in the school of Christ, and the divine Teacher bore patiently with his unbelief and dullness. When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples, Philip became a teacher after the divine order. He knew whereof he spoke, and he taught with an assurance that carried conviction to the hearers. DA 293.1

While Jesus was preparing the disciples for their ordination, one who had not been summoned urged his presence among them. It was Judas Iscariot, a man who professed to be a follower of Christ. He now came forward, soliciting a place in this inner circle of disciples. With great earnestness and apparent sincerity he declared, “Master, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest.” Jesus neither repulsed nor welcomed him, but uttered only the mournful words: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” Matthew 8:19, 20. Judas believed Jesus to be the Messiah; and by joining the apostles, he hoped to secure a high position in the new kingdom. This hope Jesus designed to cut off by the statement of His poverty. DA 293.2

The disciples were anxious that Judas should become one of their number. He was of commanding appearance, a man of keen discernment and executive ability, and they commended him to Jesus as one who would greatly assist Him in His work. They were surprised that Jesus received him so coolly. DA 294.1

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 621-6

This chapter is based on John 12:20-42.

“And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: the same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.” DA 621.1

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