Our Gospel lesson this week is John 12:20-33, taken today from the Christian Standard Bible (CSB).
Now some Greeks were among those who went up to worship at the festival. So they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and requested of him, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus replied to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces much fruit. The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me. Where I am, there my servant also will be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. “Now my soul is troubled. What should I say—Father, save me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus responded, “This voice came, not for me, but for you. Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out. As for me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate what kind of death he was about to die.
Jesus tells us that like seeds that fall in the earth and die in order to produce fruit, we must die to our old lives and grow in the love of God. He wants us to see that if we are attached to the things of this world, we could miss the blessing God has for us. Then He repeats a command He has given us before: “If anyone serves me, he must follow me” (v. 26).
However, this command is paired with a promise as well, “If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him”, and that where He is, we may be also. Out of our obedience comes the joy of being part of His work. When we pattern our lives after Jesus, others may come to know His love as well.
Jesus calls each of us to join Him, using our God-given gifts to bring the world to His truth. Through our sharing of the Good News, others may be saved as we have been. Ours is a double blessing, receiving the love of Christ and passing it on to our brothers and sisters.
Gracious God, we are grateful to be part of Your saving work. Help us to give Your love and care to those around us that they too may become one with You. Amen.