So the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify about Him. For this reason also the people went and met Him, because they heard that He had performed this sign. So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.” Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast; these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip came and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, “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 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 will keep it to life eternal. 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.”
– John 12:17-26
Today’s passage picks up where yesterday’s left off.
Many people, convinced by what they saw happen with the four-day-old corpse of Lazarus, were willing to tell others about Jesus. The Pharisees were miffed that all their theological arguments against Jesus were falling on deaf ears. The Jews from far away (“the Greeks”) had become keenly interested in meeting this prophet and miracle worker they’d been hearing about since arriving for the Passover.
(Would that the whole world would right now say, “We wish to see Jesus!”)
All this was a sign to Jesus that the time for His rejection by man (crucifixion) and exaltation by God (resurrection) had come. Jesus sees His death as a seed going into the ground in order that it might become the new life of a tree that bears fruit. He saw life on this earth as merely a preliminary to the infinitely longer and more important one in heaven – and thus encourages His disciples, like you and me, to do the same.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, help me think through the day facing me in light of the eternity facing me…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)