Tim Dresselhaus | King & Kingdom
Jesus had healed Lazarus, and that healing yielded two responses: unified His followers and resolved His enemies to kill Jesus. After Jesus’ triumphal entry, the question of what kind of leader He was occurred-military, economic, political? From John 12:23-26, Dr. Tim explained that
1) He was to be glorified
2) He used the kernel of wheat metaphor
3) He explained the importance of attitude towards life
4) His Father will honor His servant.
In John 12:23 “Jesus replied,’The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” (NIV)
Jesus confronted a serious problem. A group of people were hostile towards Jesus and His
Father, but He loved them. Jesus was the ambassador of heaven who balanced the justice of God and sinners. An easy solution would have been for the LORD to send His angel army to conquer the sinners. However, His loving solution was Jesus.
In John 12:24 Jesus used the illustration of wheat.
“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.” (NIV)
He came as king, died and burst from the grave, and the cross marked the hour of fulfillment. Eve’s offspring defeated satan as previewed in the Passover, Abraham’s substituted sacrifice, and the prophecies of Isaiah. Jesus, the humble, obedient Son died on the cross. With His death, He was glorified as stated in Philippians 2:8-9,
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death-even death on a cross! Therefore
God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name
above every other name…” (NIV)
Jesus’ glory was directly related to His death and resurrection. Because He died and rose from the dead, we have hope.
John 12:25 directly applies to us. “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who
hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” Responses to Jesus are not “middle of the road.” One option is to love your life. That is a natural tendency; no one has to teach little children how to be selfish or self-centered. We are naturally inclined to focus on ourselves and our desires and were born with an inclination to sin. If you let a child go her/his own way, the child will self destruct. Admittedly, it feels good to have your own way and do what you want to do. However, the long term outcome is death.
The other option is to “hate their life in this world.” The definition of hate is to abhor or detest, which are strong words. To hate your life goes against our natural inclination. To try to die to oneself or separate yourself from your natural ways is challenging. According to Dr. Tim, our sinful nature will not improve through reading a self-help book, working out, or taking medications. The only way to take ourselves off the thrones of our hearts is to die to ourselves or “crucify our carnal person.” If you do not kill the old self, it kills you. The old nature tries to reassert itself daily.
The conflict between the LORD’s will and a person’s was clearly illustrated when the young, rich ruler asked Jesus about eternal life. Jesus answered the ruler with selling his possessions and following Jesus. This answer saddened the young man because he loved his things. His will was not aligned with Jesus’ will.
In Gethsemane, Jesus asked the Father if He could be exempt from the upcoming events, but He conceded “not my will but thine.” His Father’s will and Jesus’ will were in alignment since Jesus surrendered to His Father.
In John 12:26a Jesus stated,”Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.” (NIV) When we choose to live like a servant of Jesus, we get to listen to Him, understand and comprehend His Word, and obey it. How can we do that? Be in His Word individually and corporately. Fellowshipping around His Word brings depth of relationship with God and with others.
Since daily we are bombarded with lies, we need to arm ourselves with the truth.
Ephesians 6:14-17 reminds us how.
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet
fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In
addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can
extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of
salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (NIV)
In John 12:26b Jesus emphasized the Lord’s honoring of His servant. Dr. Tim reminded us that the only real honor would be to have the Father say, ”Well done, good and faithful servant.”
When you make a decision about Jesus in your life, it has eternal consequences. May our daily choice be to grow deeper and more fully in relationship with Jesus so that we can be light and salt in this troubled world.
Written by Larry & Annette Linthicum