First Mennonite Morton



  • Apr2Thu

    Lay It Down

    April 2, 2020 Aaron Yoder
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    Journey To The Cross - Day 9

    John 12:20-26 (ESV)
    20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 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. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

    Since his unforgettable arrival in Jerusalem, Jesus was spending significant time teaching publically. He did this even though he knew that the Sanhedrin, the ruling Jewish authority, were devising plans to silence him.  Jesus’ disciples were receiving more private instructions from the Rabbi – often gathering on the Mount of Olives for lessons and prayer.  But the rest of the time, Jesus lingered in and around the Temple and taught all who were willing to listen.

    With the Passover Feast coming soon, people were traveling from all over the Roman Empire to take part in the religious festivities.  Some who gathered around the Temple on this particular day were ethnically Greek.  It was this group of Gentiles who sought Jesus’ attention through Philip.  The request made it to Jesus, but interestingly, we don’t know if he gave them his attention.  What we do know is that this moment prompted the teacher to communicate an important truth which applies to all people.

    Jesus said that a kernel of wheat can only multiply if it first dies in the ground as a seed.  He was emphasizing the eternal significance of laying down one’s own independence and priorities for the will of the Father.  Of course, Jesus was making yet another reference to his own journey to the cross – a journey which would accomplish the Father’s plan of redemption.  But in a similar way, he was inviting his disciples to let go of their lives in order for Lord to accomplish something far greater in them and through them.  Self-sacrifice, through the Holy Spirit, is the only way to bear fruit which really lasts. 

    In case the disciples didn’t get it, Jesus had another illustration coming to them during their celebration of the Passover meal.  But for now…May we realize the joy of self-denial and servant-living in order that Jesus may be glorified through our daily lives and that we may produce fruit that lasts.  Amen.

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