Our scripture this morning is John 12:23-26.

Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

Jesus spoke many times about His death, hoping to prepare His disciples for what was to come. (They weren’t prepared.) Sometimes He revealed this openly as in Matthew 16:21, Matthew 17:9, Matthew 17:22-23 and Matthew 20:17-19. In today’s scripture He speaks somewhat more cryptically, using the example of a grain of wheat.

The disciples did not accept this prophecy of His death well. Witness Peter’s reaction in Matthew 16:22 where he exclaims “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus has to explain to Peter (and us) that this is part of God’s plan, and while we may not always understand, we must always obey.

In John’s account, Jesus says that if the grain of wheat “dies” it bears much fruit, a reference to His death and resurrection bringing people to faith in God. He reminds us that earth is not our forever home in verse 25, and that those who accept Him as savior and Lord will be with Him at the end and honored by God. We must always remember that easy was not promised but eternal life is assured for those who take up their cross and follow.

Loving Lord, we are amazed at Your sacrifice for us. Help us to be the servants we are called to be, using our gifts to share Your love with all the world. Amen.

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