Reading: John 12:20-36
Verse 24: “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.”
In today’s passage Jesus speaks of life and death. There are layers to these words that Jesus shares. He is speaking personally as his own death looms just days away. In verse 24 we read, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.” Christ, the single seed, must die so that the Holy Spirit can come, empowering more than one person to produce fruit for the kingdom of God. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus will be present in spirit in the hearts of all who believe.
Jesus is talking to Andrew and Peter, to all the disciples, and to all the disciples who will one day read these words. Like Jesus we too must be willing to surrender self to God – to hate this earthly life. Once we surrender then we become that kernel of wheat that dies so that it can produce other seeds. These seeds that we plant in the hearts and lives of others are what the Holy Spirit can work with to build the kingdom of God.
There is another connection, another layer here too. In Luke 8, in the parable of the sower, Jesus spoke of the soil and of sowing seeds. The parable discussed 4 “soils,” from the hard path to the fertile soil. Part of the Lenten journey has been to look within, to reflect on the condition of our soil. Our soil must be good in order to help produce a crop 100 times what was sown for the kingdom. The parable also addresses how to sow. Abundantly is the answer. We are to share the light and love of Jesus Christ with all people – even the ones who appear hard-hearted. There is no limiting the power of the Holy Spirit!
To close, a John Wesley question: How is it with your soul?
Prayer: Lord God, day after day help me to surrender self to you. Help me to lay my pride, my judging, my self-doubt at the foot of the cross. Lead me from there to live a life that shines the light and love of Christ on others, planting and nourishing the seeds of faith in their soil. Amen.