Musings From the Gospel of John – Number 28

The Scriptures covered in this post are from John 12:20-26 NASB.

John 12:20-22 tells us that there were some Greeks (Gentiles) among those who were going up to worship at the feast (in Jerusalem) and some of them came to Philip and told Philip that they wished to see Jesus. Philip tells Andrew and then Philip and Andrew tell Jesus.

You will note that the Scriptures do not indicate that Jesus give them (the Greeks) a personal audience but He will address their concerns later on in this chapter. What Jesus does do (John 12:23) is draw attention to the fact of what is now about to take place, when Jesus says “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified and exalted.” Many times throughout the Gospels prior to this specific time, you hear Jesus saying that His hour has not yet come but now we hear that “the hour has come”.

Jesus follows this statement with the declaration of John 12:24 NASB, which reads: “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.” You recall that anytime Jesus wants to alert us to a critical spiritual truth, He frequently preambles it with “truly, truly” or “verily, verily” or “I assure you and most solemnly say to you”, depending on which translation you are using. This spiritual truth that Jesus is declaring applies to us individually and it also applies to Jesus Himself, because Jesus is Himself, the first grain of wheat (firstborn) who dies and produces much fruit and we, in faith, follow in His footsteps.

John 12:25-26 NASB reads: “The one who loves his life loses it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life. 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.”

I could go into what physical baptism spiritually represents in that we are baptized into our own death and Jesus’ death and His resurrection and our own hope for resurrection, but I am going to leave that for now. I know this is a bit of a detour, but I think it is important to focus on the reality of what it really means to “follow Jesus”.

Following Jesus is NOT about superficial lip service, we are NOT talking about an intellectual concurrence in our minds to the reality of Jesus as the Son of God, where we acknowledge His reality and sacrifice on our behalf but continue to go ahead throughout this life that we have been given, focusing solely on our worldly existence.

Following Jesus is about a day to day dependency, on the sufficiency of our union with Jesus, in all that we say and all that we do. Make no mistake about this, this is not easy. Not because it can’t be, but primarily because we, in and of ourselves, resist against God’s sovereignty, His thoughts and His ways. We keep thinking that it’s all about us and the truth is, it’s not. What it is about, all about, is Jesus, God’s Son, the Christ. Jesus continually stressed that God’s Kingdom is eternal and NOT of this world. Consequently this physical life that we have been given is not to be our primary or sole focus. Our daily union with Jesus, which includes obedience to His commandments, is what Jesus means when He says that we are to look beyond this physical life and also focus on the eternal. And when we earnestly do this, we increasingly become aware of the discord and sinfulness of this world, which includes our own humanistic nature, and our longing for God’s righteousness, shifts our focus from ourselves towards following the will of God, in the here and now, in preparation for, our eternity with God in the hereafter.

And this union, that God through His Son, asks us to enter into, is similar to the union of a husband and wife, where through time, the two almost become a single unity. And this progressive realization of God’s thoughts and ways, through studying His Word and daily prayer and service, changes our hearts and mindset, to the realities of more than just the physical.

Explaining this progressive realization can be a difficult thing to do, but I sometimes liken it to an analogy, in some ways, of learning to swim across a wide river with a strong current, so that one can get to the other side and be with the one that we trust and love.

A superficial understanding of learning how to swim is not going to accomplish the goal. Saying you believe in learning how to swim (trust) but not actually learning how to swim (trust) are not one and the same thing. Saying you want to get to the other side and not taking the necessary steps to prepare oneself to get to the other side is basically lying to oneself. If you mean it, you will earnestly do what you can to get there. And when we honestly make that decision and we earnestly embark on this desired goal, we learn from experience that the current in the wide river is a lot stronger than we thought it would be and we have more deficiencies that we thought we had and we come to the realization that we cannot complete this goal solely on our own, not even close. But the one that we trust and love already knows this and they supply what we lack, to bring us to where they are. Such is the love of God.

John 12:25-26 NASB reads: “The one who loves his life loses it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life. 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.”

So holding onto control of one’s physical life means in the end that we lose it and conversely, trusting in God who supplies all our needs through His Son, gives us eternal life. And when we earnestly do this, follow Jesus, Jesus tells us that where He is, there we are also and because we honour the Son, the Father will honour us.

More to follow.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

8 comments

  1. Thanks for writing the truth. Love this: “So holding onto control of one’s physical life means in the end that we lose it and conversely, trusting in God who supplies all our needs through His Son, gives us eternal life.”

    I need to rely on the Holy Spirit to depend more on Jesus. He does indeed supply all our needs.

    Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “… the current in the wide river is a lot stronger than we thought it would be and we have more deficiencies that we thought we had and we come to the realization that we cannot complete this goal solely on our own, not even close.” With all the power struggles (“control issues”) lately, we have to keep reminding ourselves that we do not have control. We will either be controlled by the Holy Spirit or by the flesh (Doing what we don’t want to do – Romans 7.) Ironically, to surrender to the Lord is true freedom.

    Like

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