23 Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
This time of year spring flowers are blossoming across the Holy Land, dressing up for Easter. The hillsides of Galilee are a vibrant carpet of color, pink and white cyclamen, red, white and purple anemones, irises and daisies. Honeysuckle creeps over the rocky outcroppings. Every lovely flower rises from a grave where a seed had first been laid to rest.
In today’s text Jesus is drawing upon an illustration from nature, which he offers us as a mini-parable. Jesus speaks of a profound mystery, and underlines its significance with the words, “Very truly.” Yes, very truly, here is a miracle that Jesus does not want us to miss: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Jesus is telling us that death is a prelude to blessing. Death is a prelude to harvest.
Without the seed dying to itself, disintegrating and coming apart, there will be no fruit. In this, Jesus is describing his own life, which like a seed that dies brings forth fruit, so Jesus, by his death, will bring forth a harvest. And what is true in Jesus’ life, and true in nature, will also prove true for us — it is in dying to ourselves that we will blossom. It is in dying to ourselves that we will live fruitful and rewarding lives.
What might it mean for you to die to yourself? Can you think of a time in your life when a “death” or “dead end” brought forth life and fruitfulness? Seen on a poster: “Just when the caterpillar thought its world had ended it became a butterfly!”
Soaking in Scripture…
Today’s Andy Moments…