Very truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
John 12:24-25 (NIV)
Read: John 12
Consider: We’ve been looking at the concept of sowing seed over the last three posts. The previous posts took the view that the seed was the Word of God (as indicated in Luke 8).
In this final post on the subject we take a different view of the seed. Instead of the seed being the Word of God (Scripture), the seed becomes a living person. The context of Jesus predicting his death would indicate that the seed in this instance is Jesus himself, as the living Word (see John 1). In Jesus’ view it is necessary for himself, as the seed that has come to earth, to die so that he may save many people. Only because he was willing to die, is he able to reap a harvest of souls.
While Jesus was principally talking about himself and his sacrifice, his use of the word ‘anyone’ in verse 25 gives us the meaning of each Christian being willing to die to self, so that they can become what God intends them to be. Another way to understand this is to think about a caterpillar ceasing to be a caterpillar, so that it can become a butterfly. So with us as Christians; it is necessary for us to die to self, so that we can become what God intends. As Christians we have a choice to make. Do we want to remain a single seed, or do we want to be productive?
Personalising this means that the seed in us can only be productive when we are prepared to let our desires and ambitions come second and allow God to have his way in our lives. Jesus also makes it clear that we can either love our life, or hate it. This isn’t referring to any kind of self-loathing, but rather to where we put our trust and where we get our identity. Ultimately you can get your identity from the job or task you fulfil on earth (how you might describe your occupation on a tax form), or you can become the person God has planned for you to become.
Pray: Father, we thank you that Jesus was willing to die to self and offer himself as a living sacrifice to achieve our forgiveness. Help us to put our desires and ambitions second, so that we offer ourselves to you so that we can be productive. Amen