Summary: Jesus chose the way that cost the most and blessed the most. We are called to walk in his footsteps.
Dying to Give us Life
John 12:20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast.
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 I tell you the truth, 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 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his 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.
27 "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ’Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.
28 Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again."
29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
30 Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine.
31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.
32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
It’s the last week of Jesus ministry. Before him is the punishment for sins he never committed, betrayal, denial, mock trial by those who should be defending him, turned over to the Romans, being beaten, scourged, spit upon, having a crown of thorns pressed down on his head, carrying the crossbeam, being nailed hands and feet to the cross, hanging naked between two thieves Then worst of all, the lonely cry of a soul forsaken by God. "My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?
These are the final hours leading up to Jesus’ finest hour.
As we come near the end of this 12th chapter, John’s gospel tells us something new. Greeks have come seeking to see Jesus. He tells us this right on the heels of the statement by the Jewish leaders. "See the whole world has gone after him!" These Greeks seek out Philip, who finds Andrew, who in turn go together and tell Jesus. The Greeks seem to symbolize the fulfillment of the Jewish leaders great fears.
Jesus reply is not yes or no. Instead this is almost like a cue that signals the end. Jesus has several times said before this, "My hour is not yet come." But this time is different. Like a secret signal known only to Jesus, he responds with these words:
"The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
"He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.
"If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
"Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ’Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
"Father, glorify Thy name."
David Young said that his favorite tree is called the "Live Oak" tree. There are all kinds of Oak trees, but this one is actually an evergreen. Like the Magnolia, it stays green all year long. The Live Oak tree often lives 600 years. It’s wood used to be a favorite of ship builders because it is extremely strong and it resists rotting and can last for centuries in the water. These trees become huge at their trunk and even the limbs are massive and useful in building. But to get a great live oak tree you must start with a seed.
Isn’t it amazing how so many of the great things we know about today started out very small. Some of the most powerful things in the world begin in microscopic form. The flu virus is extremely tiny, but whole school systems have been closed because of them.
Jesus reflects on this principle in his words. 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.