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"but if it dies, it bears much fruit"
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.
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 12:20] 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.
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