24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.– John 12
After His triumphant entry into Jerusalem Jesus continued to teach His disciples and those around Him. In verse 23 He stated for the fourth of a total of nine times that He was about to be delivered up for crucifixion. He paralleled a reason for His impending death. Jesus turned it into an illustration and lesson for our lives; Like Him we must die also.
Our goal in life is spiritual death, specifically death to ourselves in this world. Jesus demonstrates the lesson as the parallel of spectacular outcomes from planting wheat. One grain of wheat planted in the ground produces a crop of 320 wheat kernels per plant. His analogy is that death was necessary for Him literally, and us spiritually, to produce exponential volumes of fruit. In dying to itself, the original grain produced over 300-fold. When Jesus died, He delivered us. When we die to the world, we demonstrate our obedience to serve Him, and are honored by the Father forever in eternity.
Jesus’ death showed us the pattern for our lives. When we give our thoughts, our cares, our priority to Him, and our coming eternity in Him, we lose our current worldly lives. We are to hate our lives in this world, which yields our eternal forever lives in Him.
Jesus goes on to say that we are to be in lockstep with Him. We should always be trailing His coattails, stepping in the indentations of where His feet just walked. Wherever He takes us, we go. That means throwing away anything in this world that gets even one millimeter between us and Him.
As Christians this feels natural. We love following Him. We hear His voice. His rod and staff comfort us. Something just feels wrong about the world and the cares of it. As we follow Him, the evil one will try to get in the way. The world will try to get in the way. Don’t let it. Fight the cares of the world and rest in our Lord, now and forever.