Summary: Choices are made each day to follow Jesus and to live by faith. We choose to allow God to be glorified in our lives.
John 12:20-33 “Following His Footsteps”
Jodi Kantor, in her book, The Obamas portrays Michelle Obama as struggling with the cost of being “The First Lady.” Kantor writes that Mrs. Obama shied away from the spotlight and fought against the loss of freedom and privacy. Michelle wanted the Presidency for her husband, but she did not like the personal cost that its reality required of her.
Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta Mellark, in the film “The Hunger Games,” longed for the part. But, he was not prepared for the hype and super-stardom that was suddenly his. He is now struggling with the demands that success and fame have placed upon him.
The disciples were excited about being members of Jesus’ inner circle of followers. They envisioned lives of power, and position. The early Christians, to whom John was writing, basked in the knowledge of God’s love and the experience of God’s grace. The words of Jesus that John records were sobering reminders of the price for love that Jesus paid, and the cost of being a disciple of Jesus.
The scene of today’s gospel lesson takes place early during Holy Week. Scholars aren’t sure when Jesus realized what the cost of being the Son of God, the Messiah, would be. Certainly, by the time he entered into Jerusalem he realized that the cross was in his future.
In verse thirty-three, Jesus says that “When [he] is lifted up from the earth, [he] will draw all people to himself.” He made reference to the type of death he was to die. He also made reference to an Old Testament Story.
The Israelites had sinned against God and once again had rebelled against his Lordship. As punishment, God sent poisonous snakes that bit many people. Moses was instructed to craft the image of a snake and place it on a pole. If anyone looked at that snake, they would be healed from the snake bite. Like the snake, Jesus would be lifted up on the cross. If anyone looked to him for deliverance, they would be saved. Jesus’ death and resurrection provided salvation, established a new relationship between God and humankind, and defeated the forces of sin, death and the devil.
The kingdom of God was established at a great price. This fact was something that the disciples and the early Christians slowly came to realize.
THE FACTS OF LIFE
We often imagine that Jesus’ resurrection is the only resurrection ever recorded in the history of the world. In reality, life, death, and resurrection are common realities in our world.
Jesus points out this fact in his discussion with his disciples. He points out that unless a seed falls to the ground and dies it can never come back to life, sprout and produce an abundance of fruit. Death and resurrection happen every day; they are facts of life.
We know that this is true in our lives. We all know of people who have gone through the traumatic experience of losing their job only to find a better job. Some of us have experienced the pain of leaving family and friends, the trauma of moving, and the joy of making new friends. The promise of a resurrection empowers us to go through the death.