John 12: 20-26
20. Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast;
21. these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
22. Philip came and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus.
23. And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
24. 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.
25. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.
26. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”
What is our priority in life?
What comes first in your life?
What is left undone so that we fulfill that purpose?
What personal desire is left void so that the most important purpose is complete?
Jesus states here: “…unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone…”
Wheat grain is useful. Wheat grain is the leading source of vegetable protein in human food. Wheat is used for fuel, flour for breads, contains vitamins and minerals, and used in a variety of other applications. So wheat is not bad; in fact it’s second to rice in consumption.
But if an entire wheat harvest is consumed… then it can only bring out the potential that the one harvest of wheat has to offer… which is extremely limited! If it remains alone… that’s all you have. This is not proper management of resources.
Let’s say it’s the beginning of spring and a farmer has barely survived the winter with his rations of crops. He has remaining 100 vegetable seeds; he’s hungry now. He could focus on the present and boil the seeds and eat them, but the seeds only serve todays need… what about tomorrow? What about the summer or fall? If the farmer is smart, though he’s hungry now, he can plant the seeds and bring out the potential of the seeds. Each seed has an entire plant inside of it… with more seeds; and more plants. He has 100 of them! That’s a lot of potential. However that potential will not come to fruition just because it’s possible; it takes a commitment to work and delaying the ‘now’ for the ‘later’.
Back to the wheat, Jesus said unless a grain of wheat dies it remains alone. Wheat is good, it’s a need, but it must die to bring forth abundance. We have a lot of “wheat” in our lives. There are some things… yeah you can maintain and build up and ultimately have but is it the best use of your time? Is Kingdom purpose lacking because of this other thing? I know you like that television show, but turn it off and read the King’s word and discover something He wants you to know for His purpose. I know you like to sleep on Sunday morning, but let that wheat die and assemble yourself with believers and contribute your gift to others.
You get $1,000 dollars. $100 dollars by Kingdom law is automatically God’s. But if you decide… “I could do a lot with this wheat… I’m going to get a new outfit.” You have just chose that the maintaining of the wheat, what is in your possession right now, is more important than the Kingdom. The consequence of this decision is that what you have now, is the only thing you’ll have because you’ve excluded yourself from the Kingdom, from its rights, benefits and responsibility by claiming independence. What a tragedy… to trade the entire government of heaven for $100 dollars. That wheat doesn’t look so good now, does it?
Let’s look at the rest of the verse… “but if it dies, it bears much fruit.“ When the wheat falls to the ground and gets into the soil and dies it’s multiplying itself many times! This is amazing! God put every fruit bearing tree with it’s seed in itself, so it can multiply into many more. Man cannot recreate such an idea! If they could there would be petroleum farms everywhere reproducing an infinite amount of oil to burn for centuries to come… but they can’t. If I could I would be burying $1 dollar bills around my yard and waiting for the crop to come up and bring in a harvest of plenty; but I can’t. Everything God makes, He gives it the ability and the commandment to multiply. He gives it the ability to fulfill its purpose by serving its gift to the world… even you!
Let’s continue to the next verse… “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.”
You may love that wheat, it might be nice to have, to show off. But that wheat may be holding you back from a greater abundance. If you allow something to die, to lose priority, to go to 2nd or 3rd place in your life- it might be hard initially- but you will realize it wasn’t the sustainer of everything else in your life.
I like this next part “…and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” Now most religious people will say “You have to hate your life on earth in order to go to heaven.” This is completely incorrect and well… religious thinking. The word “world” here is translated from the Greek word “kosmos“. The “world” is not earth. Kosmos is not earth. Kosmos is the government body that is in place, the authority to which others are under subjection to, for constituting their affairs. So let’s break this down…
This world, kosmos, says its priorities are land, a big house, an expensive car, a tailored outfit and a big bank account. But God’s world, kosmos, says your priority is the Kingdom. (Matthew 6:33)
ATTENTION! Notice I did not say that it’s wrong to have land, a big house, an expensive car, a tailored outfit or a big bank account… it just cannot be your priority. In fact Jesus is telling us in Matthew 6:33 that it should not be. Jesus was not even leaving it to us to decide what our priority list should be… he clearly states (paraphrase) “Your number one priority, the most important thing in your life should be, do not put anything ahead of, this should not come second to, you must seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.”
That’s pretty straight forward, yes? We spend our time preoccupied with the wheat… Trying to get wheat, trying to gain more wheat, trying to add to the wheat we have, trying to maintain our current stock of wheat, trying to secure available wheat… And God is saying ‘Why are they working so hard for wheat? I know they need wheat- just seek my Kingdom first!’ Why? Read on… “…and all these things shall be added unto you.” We’ve got it backwards. We’re so busy trying to maintain scraps… if we’ll die to what this world, kosmos, says is important and has as a priority- “…will keep it to life eternal.” WOW! This is stating we’ll have it AND the other! In His kingdom is no lack, just quit trying to maintain “the wheat” in your life, use that time focusing on the Kingdom first and then all that other stuff it chases you!
Jesus loved life on earth. He loved it so much that in the garden He prayed “…if it’s possible for this cup to pass from Me then let it pass.” But first the Kingdom, His purpose. Jesus, God in the flesh, was doing what was a desire of His heart since Eden… fellowshipping with Man. However, Jesus knew that it would be temporary if He didn’t fulfill His purpose and pave the way for Man to be reconciled with the Kingdom of Heaven. So He, being the wheat, laid down His own desire, His own will and died… so that fruit could bear, His Children could be reconciled to life eternal with Him. Do you see this? I pray your eyes and heart be opened to this revelation. Wheat is good- Jesus desired to stay with the disciples, desired to live. But to maintain this wheat, He would only have them a little while and then they would be gone… then He would remain alone… just like the wheat that didn’t die. But He chose against the immediate gratification, the temporary desire and died, beared much fruit and re-birthed a citizenry blessed of His Father to inherit the Kingdom of God! (Matthew 25:34) The desire He had still will be and IS… but will now be eternal… forever- without end… because He allowed the wheat to die.
Is there something in your life that has been put ahead of the Kingdom? You might not have put it there on purpose… but just because we say the Kingdom is first doesn’t make it first. We must examine our lives, our actions, our attitudes and our motives and line them up with the Kingdom FIRST. Let the wheat fall and the Kingdom be exalted.
-For The Kingdom