John 12:20-26 Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast; these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip came and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
It is Passover season and all of Jerusalem is preparing. Commerce is going strong.
Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast;
– They had probably come to make money themselves.
– They approach Philip, who has a Greek name, and he goes and asks his friend Andrew where Jesus is.
– They both come to Jesus.
Greeks and other foreigners had come before, and each time Jesus held them at arms length.
Matthew 15:24 “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But, this time, His response marks a milestone in history.
vs. 23 “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
We don’t know why these foreigners sought out Jesus, but they probably sought Him for the same reasons we do.
– There is just something about that name.
– There is something about that man.
– There is something about His promises to forgive.
– There is something about his peace, wisdom, and strength.
They sought Him for the same reason we seek Him today.
A simple question that had been asked hundreds of times, “Would Jesus meet with me, with us personally?”
Even Herod wanted an audience, but this time, the simple request evokes one of the most profound statements ever spoken by the Savior.
vs.23 “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
– The Father would raise the Son, and give Him glory.
– Then the Holy Spirit is given by revealing Him to whosoever would come.
– They in turn, glorify Him so that He is glorified in His church.
The Son is glorified. . .
– first by the Father
– second by the Holy Spirit
– third by His church
And Jesus sends all that glory back to His Father.
And His passion, to honor His Father, is realized!
All of this is subject to one great truth – Someone has to die.
vs. 24-26 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
The world is desperate to “stay alive,” to stay relevant, to extend life expectancy. Yet Jesus’ message for life always begins with death to self.
Read Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 4:22-24, Colossians 3:5, Luke 9:23, Romans 6:11, Galatians 5:24, Matthew 10:38, Romans 6:6-7.
Three Gains to Dying:
1. Death is the Cure for Loneliness
vs. 24 Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone;
Loneliness is chronic. (11% in 1970, 20% in 1980, 45% in 2010 said they were lonely)
Social media increases loneliness.
– It’s an illusion of companionship.
– It negatively affects self and other images.
– It’s an illusion of connectedness.
– It reduces intimacy.
The answer? Death to self – self serving, self love, self consumption.
2. Death is the Way to Fruitfulness
v.24 But if it dies, it bears much fruit.
The Greeks came seeking Him and His response is. . .
– “The hour has come.”
– “Death is now eminent.”
– “And the harvest is about to come in.”
Fruitlessness is scarce when death and pruning is not constant. But when a person has died to self, the Fruit of the Spirit is over abundant.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:24-26 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
3. Death is the Gate to Life.
John 12:25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.
The goal of life is to die in Christ.
Philippians 3:10 That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
To surrender all to Jesus is to gain the only thing worth owning in this world. Death to self allows us a place at His table in eternity!
Jesus call us. . . “Come and die!”
– Not the death of sacrifice
– But the death of self
The uncompromising surrender of our own will to His will, yielding to God those things that keep us from Him!
Jesus is calling us to come and die to our old life so that we can live again with new life!
When was a time in your life that you died to your self and the Fruit of the Spirit was allowed to grow?
What do you feel is keeping you from surrendering all to God today?