- How is life formed? It seems that life requires the ending or death of something. In marriage we are told that man leaves his household and is bound, united, fused together with his wife in such a way that the individuals no longer exist, but they become ONE flesh. (Matthew 19:5-6) A major purpose of this union is to produce new lives, children. So, individuals die and a new unity and new people come to life. Then Jesus adds this metaphor in vs. 24. He compares the necessity of the “seed” to be broken and die in order to create much life, to his own work. This is the Cross, death, to bring life!
- This is fine when looking at Jesus, but he pulls us into the mix. Verse 26 challenges those who say they want to serve Jesus to follow his example in this. And did his followers hear it this way? YES! All but one of the disciples were killed for following Jesus. And the one who was not was imprisoned and tortured. Beyond that, it was not uncommon for large numbers of followers of Jesus to live lives of radical sacrifice, often leading to violent deaths. They heard Jesus’ message, they saw his example, and the followed him.
- What about today? The current today, even for most professing Christians, is to protect, insulate, and avoid the very things that Jesus said produced “much fruit”, radical sacrifice! (Go read vs. 23-26 again) Can there be a more joyful and valuable thing than to be honored by the Father? Then why do we work so hard for trash?
- Holy Spirit, deep within me I want this life! But, just beside this is another “me” that craves temporal comfort. There are patterns and influences around me that push for security. Give me the wisdom to navigate those things in a way that reveals Your glory.
- VERSE 26 was key in showing me that there is a connection between serving Jesus and radical sacrifice.
Categories: Words of Life