February 16th, 2015 | By admin
by Paul Holland
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him” (John 12:24-26).
JESUS CAME TO GLORIFY HIS FATHER:
The context of this statement is Jesus moving toward the cross. Non-Jews have stepped into the picture (verses 20-22) and asked if they could see Jesus.
The brief sermon – we might call it a devotional – in verses 23-28 – are a call to Christ’s followers to deny themselves and follow Him, just as He is about to deny Himself in His effort to follow the Father.
Observe verse 23 – ““The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” Jesus, in fact, came to earth to bring glory and honor to His Father in Heaven. And He did that by serving Him.
We are to glorify the Father and we do that by bearing fruit. Observe verse 24 where Jesus uses an illustration of the wheat. If the grain falls to the earth and dies, it is able to produce more wheat.
The Swartz Creek church of Christ exists to glorify Jesus Christ by serving Him as He directs us.
GLORIFYING THE FATHER INVOLVES SELF-SACRIFICE:
This idea of glorifying the Father involved self-sacrifice on the part of Jesus. Notice in verse 27: “Now is my soul troubled.” No doubt Jesus meditated on the sacrifice He was about to endure. Would Jesus ask the Father to keep Him from sacrificing Himself? No. Not if that’s what serving the Father involved. Jesus goes on to say: “But for this purpose I have come to this hour.”
Now that He was at the cross, is He going to somehow stop the whole forward momentum of God’s eternal plan just because His soul was troubled? Certainly not. That’s when you learn if you are really in the business of serving God.
We glorify God by sacrificing ourselves on the altar of service to Him. Notice verse 25: “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” This leads us to the last point…
SELF-SACRIFICE MEANS DYING TO SELF:
Jesus interprets the message from the Father to the audience (vs 30). The coming crucifixion was not going to be judgment on the Son, Jesus Christ, for His sins. The subsequent resurrection would be a glorification of the Son for His willingness to die for our sins!
We must die to self if we are to glorify Jesus Christ. This self-sacrifice carries with it a more intense picture ofdying to self. The picture of the grain of wheat in verse 24 suggests dying to self. The idea of losing our life in verse 25 suggests dying to self. The ideas of serving Christ and following Him in verse 26 suggests the idea of dying to self.
We will bear fruit and the Swartz Creek church of Christ will continue to grow, to touch the lives of other people through our works and ministries, and lead the lost to Christ, to understand and obey the Gospel, if we will sacrifice ourselves on the altar of service to God.