In John 12 the Greeks approached Philip and said, "Sir, we would see Jesus." The Greeks were natural seekers. It was not unusual to find a Greek who had passed through philosophy after philosophy, religion after religion, teacher after teacher in search of truth. Like those described in Athens as "spending their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new" (Acts 17:21).
When Jesus hears about the request from the Greeks He says, "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 by itself 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 shall keep it to life eternal" (John 12:20-25). The public ministry of Jesus was about over. He now speaks of His final task of giving Himself on the cross for the sins of the world. But Jesus is quick to remind them that there is power in death. As it was for Jesus on the cross and the resurrection which followed, so it is for us when we deny self and live for Him.
It is a hard principal to grasp, so Jesus helps us out a little and speaks of a grain of wheat. Only when it dies is it's purpose fulfilled, for when it dies it bears much fruit. A little grain of wheat doesn't look like much. Put a diamond and a grain of wheat away for a thousand years and the diamond escalates in value while the grain of wheat remains as it was. But on the other hand put the grain into the warm, moist soil and through the centuries producing and reproducing it will produce a volume that the worlds barns could not contain and represent a money value that would make the diamond seem insignificant.
And of course if you were hungry enough you would give your diamond in exchange for some of that produce from the seed.
Jesus was saying, I'll die then you will understand. He is saying to us, when we die to self and follow Him then we will understand. The problem is that it's hard to give up, we don't want to surrender. We think in terms of self preservation, but the grain of wheat on a shelf never produced anything.
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Church News: Sunday morning Bible Study at 10:00 a.m. - Gospel of John (Class starts July 18). Wednesday Evening at 7:00 - Old Testament Survey. On July 18 the church will have a potluck after the morning service. Every Sunday morning at 10:00 we have Bible classes for all ages, cradle row to adult classes.