July 24th: John 12:1-36, Psalm 12
Before a seed can give birth to life, it must go away. Jesus wasn’t giving a scientific description of what happens to wheat seed, for in fact the seed does not technically die, but rather gives way to a grand plant that will birth many more seeds. Jesus’ image first refers to Himself, for He is the seed that will die and give life to millions and billions more seeds. Jesus then pivots to call all disciples to learn to walk in the cruciform pattern of their Master. Jesus wants all to understand that our lives, unless we embrace Jesus’ call to rule us, will ultimately be taken away. Why is this? Jesus’ Father honors those that serve the true King (John 12:26). We have adjusted as a Western culture through thousands of years of Christian influence to overlook the shocking nature of all these statements. God’s messiah and appointed King must die. Like Him, we must also give our lives up for God’s purposes by following Jesus. If we don’t give up our lives, we cannot inherit eternal life, no way, no how. Let Jesus’ words shock you afresh, that you may then insist on them with similar force in your thinking, talking, and living.