John 12:20-50 — Yeshua speaks to the people words that hint at the manner and portent of his death. They are so confused! They have been following this man as he challenges the religious authorities, performs miracles, and they are ready for him to overthrow the oppressive Romans. They had heard the prophetic words of Daniel, “his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:14). And Isaiah, who prophesied, “Of the increase of his government and of peace, there will be no end…” (Isaiah 9:7a)
But everything about this Messiah was different. He did not promise victory from tyranny, but he promised to conquer death by dying. His message all along had been that he was here to serve and that his followers should be servants also.
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. (John 12:24-26)
This was a new way, a message the people had not heard. Though this is contrary to human nature, God revealed this plan from the beginning of time in the life cycle of nature. For there to be new life, growth, rebirth, there must be death.
The call to follow Yeshua’s examples as disciples is to live a life of continual death – death to self, death to ambition, death to pride, death to our own desires and will. Our commitment to the death of self reaps the greatest fruit – life for others – and ultimately, for ourselves.
What part of you needs to die today? Are you willing to let it go to bear fruit for the kingdom?