“Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus. Jesus replied, “Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.” John 12:20-26
In this passage we have some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the high festival of Passover, so I assume they are Jews, and they have heard about Jesus. How do I know this? Because they want to meet him.
So they find Philip and ask him, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” Philip tells Andrew who together go to Jesus to ask him about this. Yet Jesus’ response isn’t what you think it might be. It’s not welcoming to the men or necessarily off-putting. Jesus responds with what sounds like an out-of-body experience.
He begins to talk about the time for the “son of man” to enter his “glory.” And, how a kernel of wheat that’s planted in the soil must die. However, he continues, the kernel’s death produces many others — “a plentiful harvest of new lives.”
Then Jesus says something that I am trying to wrap my head and life around— “Those who love their life will lose it…those who care nothing for their life will keep it for eternity.” (What the heck? How do we do this Jesus? And why do you have to die for us to keep our lives for eternity?) Lastly, Jesus says, “Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.”
This is chalked full of meaning and truth but for me, wanting to meet with Jesus requires more than a quiet little visit. To meet with him means we see him and to see him means we must die with him, serve others, die to our selves.
Jesus was beginning to enter his last days on earth. His mind was on heavenly things and we know ultimately that it cost him his life. He calls us to do the same. To lay down our lives. To submit to the Lord and to consider our lives worth nothing.
As I continue to walk with the Lord, thirty-three years and counting, I do so as his servant. Seeking to meet with him, to become like him and to listen to his voice calling out in the wilderness, “Make straight the paths of the Lord.”
“O Lord God, I thank you for loving me. For your grace and goodness are beyond compare. The riches of your love is beautiful and boundless. Come now, Holy Spirit, help me walk in step with your Spirit. Help me surrender to your loving care. Use my life to echo your praises and proclaim your good news to the world. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen