What Jesus Did! 'Planted for the Harvest' — John 12:24-26

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

[Jesus said,] "I tell you the truth. A grain of wheat must fall to the ground and die. Then it grows and makes many seeds. But if it never dies, then it will always be only a single seed. The person that loves his own life will lose it. But the person that hates his life in this world will keep it. He will have life forever. The person that serves me must follow me. Then my servant will be with me everywhere I am. My Father will give honor to people that serve me."
— John 12:24-26
Illustration of John 12:24-26 — "I tell you the truth."

Key Thought

So much of what we want to do for God we try to do by ourselves. Our motives are right. Our heart is right. Our plans are made with prayer. The problem is that we end up doing everything except the crucial thing: we are not willing to die. Our identity gets involved in pulling off our plans. Our hopes and our feelings about Christian service get tangled up in our success in the plan. Jesus reminds us that there is no harvest without death—the seed has to be planted and die before it can germinate and grow. Jesus submitted everything, including his fears and his friends, to the will of God. It cost him his life. It won him the harvest. What have you not surrendered to God? Why?

Today's Prayer

Forgive me, Father. I confess that I have wanted my discipleship and my ministry to be done my way. I want to die to my will and have yours come to life in me. Please show me how to do that because I want to be an agent of your great harvest. In the name of your submissive and triumphant Son, Jesus. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

There were some Greek people there too. These were some of the people that went to Jerusalem to worship at the Passover festival. These Greek people went to Philip. (Philip was from Bethsaida, in Galilee.) The Greek people said, "Sir, we want to meet Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew. Then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Now is the time for the Son of Man to receive his glory. I tell you the truth. A grain of wheat must fall to the ground and die. Then it grows and makes many seeds. But if it never dies, then it will always be only a single seed. The person that loves his own life will lose it. But the person that hates his life in this world will keep it. He will have life forever. The person that serves me must follow me. Then my servant will be with me everywhere I am. My Father will give honor to people that serve me. "Now I am very troubled. What should I say? Should I say, 'Father save me from this time {of suffering}'? No, I came to this time so that I could suffer. Father, do what will bring you glory!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have already brought glory to myself. I will do it again." The people standing there heard the voice. Those people said it was thunder. But other people said, "An angel spoke to Jesus!" Jesus said to the people, "That voice was for you and not for me. Now is the time for the world to be judged. Now the ruler of this world (the devil) will be thrown out. I will be lifted up from the earth. And when this happens, I will bring all people to me." Jesus said this to show how he would die. The people said, "But our law says that the Christ will live forever. So why do you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this 'Son of Man'?" Then Jesus said, "The light will be with you for only a short time more. So walk while you have the light. Then the darkness (sin) will not catch you. The person that walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. So put your trust in the light while you stillhave it. Then you will become sons of light." When Jesus finished saying these things, he left. Jesus went to a place where the people could not find him.

John 12:20-36

Related Scripture Readings

Jesus continued to say to all of them, "If any person wants to follow me, he must say 'No' to the things he wants. That person must accept the cross (suffering) that is given to him every day, and he must follow me. The person that wants to save his life will lose it. And every person that gives his life for me will save it. It is worth nothing for a person to have the whole world, if he himself is destroyed or lost. If any person is ashamed of me and my teaching, then I will be ashamed of that person. I will be ashamed of that person at the time I come with my glory and with the glory of the Father and the holy angels.

Luke 9:23-26

Jesus said to them, "There are many, many people to harvest (save). But there are only a few workers to help harvest them. God owns the harvest (people). Pray to God that he will send more workers to help gather his harvest.

Luke 10:2

Jesus said, "My food is to do what the One (God) who sent me wants me to do. My food is to finish the work that he gave me to do. {When you plant} you always say, 'Four more months to wait before we gather the grain.' But I tell you, open your eyes. Look at the {people. They are like} fields ready for harvesting now. Even now, the person that harvests the crop is being paid. He is gathering crops for eternal life. So now the person that plants can be happy together with the person that harvests. It is true when we say, 'One person plants, but another person harvests the crop.' I sent you to harvest a crop that you did not work for. Other people did the work, and you get the profit from their work."

John 4:34-38

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.