“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. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 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
Only by a seed “dying” or being buried in the ground – willing to transform – will it grow and bear fruit. Remaining just a seed, it sits alone and unproductive, not fulfilling the purpose of its creation.
Jesus is saying that unless we are willing to lose our life, we will never keep it for eternity. As long as we cling to ourselves as our own lord, we lose.
And think about it…we are terrible lords. On our own, we are just unplanted seeds being carried away by the latest gust of wind. Unfulfilled, stuck in a cycle of striving, comparison, envy, pride, dissatisfaction. Wondering why nothing is growing.
The answer to true life is in the dying. Being buried to take root in Jesus. Dying to us as lord of our lives and blooming with Jesus as Lord.
It seems terrifying and unknown and counter-cultural, so we cling to what we know, chasing the fake bright lights and bling that are the devil’s crafty distortion of the true light.
The upside-down kingdom of God is so different than the world we live in. The world that tells us to love and protect our life, even if it means stepping on everyone else to get there. The world tells us people should serve us…we deserve it. But God says, lose your life to gain it. Serve others. Love others more than yourself. And in this, we find a full life and fulfillment.
Questions: Think about the seed analogy…how it must die to transform and to bloom into what it was created to do. How can you relate this to your life? What things must die to bloom?