Week 5

Introduction

I have become accustomed to accepting that the grace I receive from God is meant for me, for my salvation. But grace is not meant for me to bury, like the steward who buried the talent the master gave him to use responsibly. 

Here is the paradox: All creation exists to give glory to God. Jesus says that the grain of wheat has to die and to be buried so that it can yield a harvest. In saying this, he was talking about his own death on the Cross. 

His death is the consequence of remaining faithful to his Father and to his mission. His commitment gives glory to God. When we die to self, then God is glorified. If we become Jesus’ disciples, then we have to die to self.  

The Gospel

Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. These approached Philip, who came from Bethsaida in Galilee, and put this request to him, ‘Sir, we should like to see Jesus.’ Philip went to tell Andrew, and Andrew and Philip together went to tell Jesus. Jesus replied to them:

‘Now the hour has come

for the Son of Man to be glorified.

I tell you, most solemnly,

unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,

it remains only a single grain;

but if it dies,

it yields a rich harvest.

Anyone who loves his life loses it;

anyone who hates his life in this world

will keep it for the eternal life.

If a man serves me, he must follow me,

wherever I am, my servant will be there too.

If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.

Now my soul is troubled.

What shall I say:

Father, save me from this hour?

But it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour.

Father, glorify your name!’

A voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ People standing by, who heard this, said it was a clap of thunder; others said, ‘It was an angel speaking to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not for my sake that this voice came, but for yours.

‘Now sentence is being passed on this world;

now the prince of this world is to be overthrown.

And when I am lifted up from the earth,

I shall draw all men to myself.’

By these words he indicated the kind of death he would die. (John 12:20-33)

The Enquiry 

See

  • The Greeks who want to “see” Jesus are Gentiles who want to follow him. When was the last time you wanted to “see” Jesus? Recall what was happening in your life at that moment. If you did “see” him, what happened because of that encounter? Now focus on what happens when Andrew and Philip find Jesus. Summarise what Jesus says to them. 
  • When Jesus says “Now the hour has come” what does this mean for his followers (“If a man serves me, he must follow me.”)? Why has his hour come at this point in his life? 
  • Why does Jesus refer to himself as a grain of wheat? Have you ever experienced being “a wheat grain”? How true do his words appear to you based on your experience?

Judge

  • Jesus teaches his followers about the purpose of life. What do you think about his message?   
  • What would you have liked Jesus to say about being his disciple?
  • What does your faith tell you about being a follower of Jesus? How is your faith affirmed and/or challenged by what you have read and thought about? 

Act

  • What do you want to change in yourself and/or in others that will bring glory to God’s name? 
  • What small action can you take that will contribute to bringing about this change? When and where will you carry out the action and how often? 
  • Who can you involve in your action and how, when and how often will you get them to participate in your action?

Author: Pat Branson 

Image source: Nikolett Emmert (Creator),  Pexels, Free to use stock photo

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