Last Sunday evening I heard a good sermon based on John 12:24-26.
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. (John 12:24 ESV)
This simple statement by Jesus is followed by a difficult lesson.
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 12:25-26 ESV)
A grain of wheat must fall into the earth and die before it can produce fruit. Depending on the circumstances the grain can produce thirty-, sixty-, or a hundredfold (Matthew 13:8).
A single grain of wheat must die in order to produce much fruit. Jesus spoke of the necessity of His own death, and taught the tough lesson of giving up one’s life to serve Him.
Note the comment by William Hendriksen.
The illustration was very clear, especially at the moment when it was spoken, not more than a few days before the (religious and) harvest feast of Passover. The kernels or seeds had been entrusted to the soil. As seeds they had died. But by means of this very process of dissolution they had brought forth an abundant harvest. If a seed is not sown, it remains alone, producing no fruit. So also if Jesus does not die, he will remain alone, without spiritual fruit (souls saved for eternity). His death, however, will result in a rich, spiritual harvest. (New Testament Commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to John).
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