Summary: This messages uses the passage here in John with Luke 10:25-28 (Great Commandment, tying both together from the perspedtive that Jesus was leading us inthe area of sacrafice, and asks the same of us.
JESUS: MODELING LEADERSHIP AND ENCOURAGING SACRIFICE
INTRODUCTION: This Sunday is the Sunday that corresponds to The Triumphal Entry of Jesus. The entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is the visible actions of what had already taken place spiritually in the life of the Lord.
At the coronation of His ministry, we heard this proclamation:
John 1:29 (AMP) The next day John saw Jesus coming to him and said, Look! There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!
Throughout his ministry, Jesus spoke of a future time when he would go to Jerusalem, suffer, and be killed
Matthew 16:21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Mark 8:31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
Luke 9:22 And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."
Luke 17:25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
Luke 24:26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?"
Now, as we come to this passage in John 12:23-26, we see something different:
John 12:23-26 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.
1. We see that what Jesus has to do is not longer future, but present. The time is not coming, but HAS come!
2. Jesus understood that His death was necessary if there was to be a harvest in the future.
3. Christ understands the necessity of sacrifice!
a. Sacrifice alone produces growth and abundance
b. Sacrifice accepts my part in the plan
1 Chronicles 22:6-11 (NIV) Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the LORD, the God of Israel. 7 David said to Solomon: "My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God. 8 But this word of the LORD came to me: ’You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. 9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ 11 "Now, my son, the LORD be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the LORD your God, as he said you would.
David was God’s man to establish the kingdom
David was not God’s man to build the temple
Solomon was God’s man to build the temple
c. Sacrifice is not something I will do in the future, but something I will do today
Jesus then shares two additional thoughts with His disciples:
1. The first thought concerns our lives and whether we love it or hate it now
a. The word hate here means to have a disregard for one’s own life relative to the claims of Christ. In other words to put the claims of Christ ahead of our own. To have no self-centeredness or concern for ourselves in our actions.
b. What is interesting is that the primary meaning of the word is, “of malicious and unjustifiable feelings towards others, whether towards the innocent or by mutual animosity.”
c. So, loving my life in this world as a believer is akin to malicious and unjustifiable feelings towards others – whether they “deserve” those feelings or not!