Tuesday, August 25, 2015

John 12:21-26 comments: him will my Father honour

21  The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. 22  Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. 23  And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25  He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26  If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

These Gentiles from the Greek culture come to Philip and ask for an introduction to Jesus. Philip went to Andrew who went with him to speak to Jesus. Jesus speaks of His impending death and of the resurrection. He likens resurrection from the dead to a seed being planted that produces fruit.

Notice how the word corn is used in the Bible. A corn of wheat or just corn is the seed or the head of the wheat depending on the context. The word corn was not used for the Native American maize plant until later than the King James Bible was translated. Around the time of the translation the phrase for the American plant was Indian corn but the Indian was later dropped.

While there is some argument about whether what we know as New World (the Americas) maize existed in the Old World (see Ohio State article http://www.econ.ohio-state.edu/jhm/arch/maize.html) the statement corn of wheat makes clear what is referred to here . For those who argue that Leviticus 2:14 saying green ears of corn cannot refer to wheat I refer you to the Arab dish called greenwheat freekeh and an old commentary that says, “Green or half-ripe ears of wheat parched with fire is a species of food in use among the poor people of Palestine and Egypt to the present day.” (18)

Jesus has to die so that the resurrection will take place. The resurrection must take place so that Christianity is more than a mere philosophy but is a death-conquering fact. Jesus Christ, like a seed of a plant, must be buried so that He can rise again, like the plant, to feed many. To be of any use we must die, as well. We must die to Self and be brought alive again to God. Unfortunately, much of Christianity in America is simply a self-serving, self-congratulating political philosophy and has little relationship to serving a risen Saviour and more of a relationship to serving the power structure, the economic system, or our own personal bigotry, paranoia, and fear.

Verse 25 shows us that loving your present life in this world is the surest way to lose it but holding it in contempt, disdain, or hating it is the way to eternal life.  In America Christians have become so fond of their lifestyles and have invested so much time and money so that they can enjoy their stuff  and the families they have formed in the flesh that they will do almost anything to stay alive just one more minute. Christians will spend their last months or even years in agony just for the privilege of staying alive one more day and letting the medical community experiment on them. You will be hard-pressed to find an American being given the news from his or her doctor that they have a life-threatening illness and openly rejoicing at the prospect of going into eternity. One would easily think either that they don’t really believe what God has promised or that they love this life so much that they cannot bear to leave it to be with the One who created them. Christians call an improvement in their condition, for instance, cancer, as God’s mercy rather than dying in the flesh as mercy so that they can be with God for eternity.

The one who serves Christ and follows Him will spend eternity with Christ and God the Father will honor that person. There is no simpler way of saying what the conditions of eternal life are. Look to Christ. He is the answer.

It was by Christ, the Word, whom the Greeks thought was the creative force of the universe as the Logos but John revealed to be God Himself, that all things physical and spiritual were created in time.

John 1:1 ¶  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  The same was in the beginning with God. 3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

It is by Christ, the Word that all things are held together and continue without chaos, not gravity or some mythical substances called dark matter or dark energy.

Colossians 1:12 ¶  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

It is by Christ that Jew and Gentile are united into one Church.

Ephesians 2:11 ¶  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

    2:14 ¶  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

And it is by Christ that we can approach the throne of God.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

(18) Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Bible, published in the early 1800’s and made available on the web at http://www.studylight.org/commentary/leviticus/2-14.html

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