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"but if it dies, it bears much fruit"
(John 12:24)

Fifth Sunday in Lent

The Fruitful Grain of Wheat

John 12:20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks.
John 12:21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
John 12:22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
John 12:23 Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
John 12:24 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.
John 12:25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
John 12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

Jesus Predicts His Death on the Cross

John 12:27 "Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say--' Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.
John 12:28 Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
John 12:29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
John 12:30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.
John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.
John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

John 12:33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

[John 12:20] Only John mentions these Greeks. They may have been Hellenes, even proselytes or God-fearers like Cornelius (cf. Acts 10). Doubtless they had heard of Jesus' great miracle of raising Lazarus and were anxious to know more. The Pharisees' words about the world going after Jesus have a "prophetic" significance like those of Caiaphas. Jesus sees in their coming a signal that the hour of His death has drawn near. By His death on the cross He will provide eternal life for both Jew and Gentile (see v. 32).

[John 12:25] As an application of the grain-of-wheat analogy (v. 24), Jesus employs the paradox of the man who, for the love of his temporal, physical life, becomes a loser of eternal life. The man whose priorities are right, who makes the things of God primary, will keep his life eternally (cf. Matt. 6:33; Luke 12:15, 22). Following the Master (v. 26) means we share in both His suffering and His glory.

[John 12:32] Jesus' reference to Himself is emphatic. In John, to be "lifted up" always refers to the cross (3:14; 8:28). As in 6:44, it is the Father who "draws" men unto the Savior. With God initiating the drawing at the cross, a person may come to Christ for salvation, for He shines as a beacon (v. 46). "All peoples" is universal in its application. God's sacrificial love appeals not only to the Jews, but also to the Gentiles. Jesus' death for the lost breaks down all barriers.

NSRV & Believer's Study Bible (BSB) Notes

 

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St James Lutheran Church, Sumter SC ELCA Pastor Keith Getz

 

Sunday Worship Services at 10:00am
Sunday School at 9:00am

Wednesday Bible Study (Library) 10:30 am
Holy Communion Service (Sanctuary) Noon

 
1137 Alice Drive • Sumter, South Carolina 29150 • Tel: (803) 773-2260
 
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