Summary: Unless you “die” there will be no new life in you, or through you.
“Who ever said following Jesus was boring?
(“Themes” of John 12): Jesus basically said, “Unless you die, there will be no new life in you, or through you.” Unless you die to self, then _____________.” Who will miss out, who will suffer, who will physically, emotionally, relationally, die, because you didn’t die to you?
Jesus’ public ministry is ending//Expectation of him to be a political military leader/deliverer/hero—to fix their lives, make them healthy and wealthy and comfy, get revenge on their enemies, maybe increase their self-esteem. John 12:12-16, crowds are chanting, “Hail to the King of Israel!”
But those same crowds later turn on him when He doesn’t live up to their expectations and shout, “crucify him!” He’s now days away from the cross. And after he rides into Jerusalem on a donkey with the crowds cheering for him--in John 12:20, there are some Greeks who want to meet this deliverer/military conqueror/king who’s going to hook them up in the political revolution too. They go ask his disciple Phillip if they can meet him, who then tells Andrew, and they together go to ask Jesus.
And Jesus blows their minds: JOHN 12:23-28
• John 12:23: “Son of Man” (Messiah) and “glory.” The disciples: “Now we’re talking!”
Bombshell. Jesus just said, “glory will come through my death.” Messiah’s don’t die. But the right politics won’t save anyone from their depravity. Jesus’ perfect life would save no one from his or her sin. UNLESS He died, there would be no life. There had to be a cross, and resurrection. Only way people saved…
A seed goes into the ground (wheat seed, tomato seed, or whatever), the soil begins to penetrate and break down that seed’s hard outer-shell. And what happens? The life within the seed is released.
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, the LIFE…” But He will die. Like the seed, when He dies, Life will be released. Then, Jesus looks them, and me and you, all in the eye, and turns the table on us.
• John 12:25: “Despise” = speaks to preference over one thing for another.
• John 12:26: “MUST come and follow” not should.
• My “hard outer shell.”
o Every sermon//hardness of pride, self-righteousness, lack of compassion, entitlement, and spoiled-rottenness.
Oh that soil…
• Messy/dark/oppressing/blinding/restricting/pressure-filled/suffocating/overwhelming/no light/no relief/no where for seed to turn.
• But it’s in that place that hardness is penetrated, decayed, dispelled, and life comes forth. No soil. No life.
o Repentance for me even includes Biblical counseling//Lifting weights/Telling Christie.
• But the soil. Anybody in the soil right now? Rejoice! It takes the soil to decay your hardness of heart, mind, and spirit. UNLESS you enter the soil, then you will remain in your sin, denial, victim-mindset, chains of fear, selfishness, and entitlement. Unless you enter the soil, you’ll only care about your earthly life, not eternal life. It’s in the soil that you get eternal perspective, set free, and prepared to impact others with your life that’s budding forth.
• John 12:24b
No soil, No death. No death, No life in you, and no life (no compassion, no heart, no willingness to risk) through you to others who desperately need Jesus’ life through you.
• “Unless it dies it will be alone—a single seed.” What a waste if the seed just wants to play it safe, keep things comfy and secure, and just get through the week to party on the weekend, make a paycheck to get more toys and see more places, or just to get out of debt and be more financially secure and have a care-free retirement, and…. HOW BORING! A seed with so much potential of life having, and life giving, avoiding the soil at all costs.
o A wheat seed and a 14 karat-diamond. No, we don’t give a wheat seed a thought. But a 14k diamond? But a diamond is lifeless, and exists to be seen, and alone. How miserable. A wheat seed though is not sexy in the least, but is full of life, and will give life to countless of people, after it enters into the soil! And the legacy of a wheat seed could feed generations upon generations. I have to wonder, do you pursue more of the life of a diamond, or a wheat seed? Some of you might be so lonely though religious because you aren’t dying, you’re “diamonding.”
o When I read and re-read that passage about “Unless it dies, it will die alone.” Key: Don’t waste your life. Do not be “diamonds” but “seeds.” And a wheat seed that doesn’t play it safe by staying in the comfortable seed bag of a church building, bible studies, and so forth, but that you would fall to the soil and die to self, risk everything, so that through your sacrifice, your death to self, a harvest of new lives would come forth because of you (beginning with your family, and beyond). Unless you “die,” you will waste your life.