20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. 23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
These Greeks wanted to see the man who raised Lazarus back to life. So did everyone else. But Jesus had gone way beyond that.
Raising one man from death to life is a wonderful thing. But Jesus didn’t come to bring life to just one man, or even to just bring physical life. He came to bring eternal life to everyone. But for that to happen, he had to do the reverse of Lazarus: he had to go from life to death.
And this swap is for Philip and Andrew too: if they love their life they’ll lose it; if they lose their life they’ll gain it. And for me too.
I don’t think this was the conversation they were expecting. I don’t think they understood what he was saying … yet.
I know how they felt. My expectations rarely keep up with where God is going. He’s always one step (at least) ahead. I think that’s a very healthy thing. I have to trust him. Definitely not easy, but better than me (foolishly) thinking I can do it myself.
Giving up my life – also not easy – until I really understand that I’m giving it someone who knows me better than I know myself, who loves me more than I could possibly deserve, and who’ll bring me through to a much better place than I get ever do myself.
Like Philip and Andrew, I’m still on a journey growing into that understanding. Sometimes I get it, but often not. And by the time I get there, God will be taking me on to something else more wonderful and more challenging.
Written by David Cornell