And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
Note 1 at Joh 12:23: Philip and Andrew had just brought Jesus word that certain Greeks, or Gentiles (see note 45 at Mt 6:32), were seeking for Him at the feast (Joh 12:20-22). His following comments were made in response to these Gentiles.
The Scriptures prophesied that Christ would be given to the Gentiles also (see note 2 at Lu 2:32). However, Jesus said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Mt 10:5, 23, 15:24; Joh 1:11; and Ro 15:8). This revealed that Jesus' earthly ministry was to the Jews and that after His death and resurrection, faith would be opened up to the Gentiles also.
He had ministered to other Gentiles (the centurion and his servant, Mt 8:5-13 and Lu 7:1-10, and the Syrophenician woman and her daughter, Mt 15:21-28 and Mr 7:24-30), but this was the first time that Gentiles had come specifically seeking Him instead of what He could do. Apparently, this was an added signal to Jesus that His time had come and that He could no longer confine His ministry to the Jews only. Therefore, His statements about His death and glorification (Joh 12:24-28)--that would break down the middle wall of partition between the Jew and the Gentile (Eph 2:11-22)--were made.