Summary: Friends if you die to your old nature you will hear the voice of God the Father crying out to you like a clap of thunder that lifts the hairs off the back of your neck and that shakes your bones.
Hearing the voice of God
Friends do you know people who are logical and methodical in their thinking?
Well on this occasion Jesus is met by such a group.
They are Greek. Now saying that today may not mean what it meant in Jesus time.
You see the Greeks believe that it is their culture that gave us the modern world. To a large degree that is true.
Much of our culture is built upon the gifts of the Greeks.
Those gifts are; the gift of reason and the gift of logic. T
he Greeks you see taught our modern world to think.
It is to these thinking Greeks and to the Disciples that Jesus responds with the illustration of a kernel of wheat.
The Master is holding class.
There are many kinds of people in our world.
But in reality it comes down to just two kinds of people.
Those who are thinkers and those who are believers.
The thinker uses their brain exercising reason and logic to come to a conclusion.
The believer uses their heart instead of their head and exercises love and emotion and to come to their conclusion.
For these Greeks, Jesus speaks to their head using this metaphor.
Jesus explains how a living kernel of wheat must die in order to produce many kernels of wheat.
Jesus quickly replaces the kernel of wheat with the life of a person.
By doing so Jesus explains the deep truths of the spiritual life.
First the natural man must die like a kernel of wheat dies.
Then the living essence of that man can be re-born giving eternal life to many.
But first death must occur.
Jesus goes on to exaggerate the point by letting His audience know that this new life cannot be any half measured thing.
So here Jesus is telling the Greeks and the Disciples to make a life changing decision.
Die to your present condition so that you might be fully born to an eternal condition that will affect many.
You cannot have it both ways.
Following Christ will cost you, your old life all of it.
To conclude Jesus explains that He is the kernel of wheat that He has been talking about.
If you want what Jesus is talking about you must be willing to allow your old nature to die in order to be reborn into a fruitful existence.
It was many years ago when I sat across from a Greek friend of mine.
He owned a pizza shop and I was a police officer at the time.
He knew I had made a decision for Christ just a year or so ago and he saw and heard the difference that coming to Christ had made in my life.
Now it was his turn.
His wife had left him, his gambling was getting the better of him and his business was suffering.
I prayed with him over the course of several weeks whenever we would meet.
I explained from my heart the new life that Jesus had given me and how it was also held out for him if he would only take it.
He came from a Greek Orthodox background and what I was suggesting to him was counter to everything he was taught.
He was in real spiritual conflict.
It really is something to see another grown man come to tears over the crisis in his life.
That day we were both in tears as he wrestled with giving his heart to Christ.
Even though God had provided the thunder of salvation my friend was not willing to hear God’s voice in it.
Instead he could only hear the thunder of his problems and not the voice of God calling him to repent.
It broke my heart that day to see him come so close to making a decision for Christ but the fears of this world kept him from knowing the peace of the divine world.
That may have been what it was like for some of these Greeks that day.
They may have understood with their minds what Jesus was talking about but their hearts were not willing to receive it.
Even when the invitation came from the Master himself.
We must not give up inviting others to Christ even when they reject our heartfelt efforts or sincere invitation.
The thunder of our Heavenly Father is still audible today if only people will open their ears and their hearts.
Jesus entire purpose for living and dying is to bring glory to God the Father.
Jesus is about to demonstrate that by His death as He explains it to those gathered.
Jesus admits that His soul is troubled by what He is about to experience.
Imagine for a moment the enormity of it all.
Jesus, innocent, perfect Jesus is about to willingly surrender His sinless life in the place of all of humanities sin.