Jesus was between the praises of Him as King and His impending death on the cross. As a human, this God knowledge, was a heavy weight. His choice was to glorify His Father by being obedient and He knew going through a cruel death was the price. At this time some Greeks wanted to see Him. Jesus, hearing of these seekers, used a grain of wheat as an illustration and then gives an application.
John writes that these men were Greeks who had come to worship. God never was exclusive to the Jews. He did however choose them as the vehicle to proclaim Himself to the world through His Son Jesus. When His Son came, it was to the Jews first. Yet here were God-fearing Greeks and this group wanted to see Jesus. They came to Phillip first who then told Andrew. Together, they went to tell Jesus.
A Grain of Wheat
The cross and resurrection were before Jesus. The time had come. He told Phillip and Andrew, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.” Then He tells them a simple story about a grain of wheat. He wants to be understood. First, He says, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone.” Then He states it differently. “If it dies, it produces much grain.”
What was He trying to tell them? He continued.
“He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life,” Jesus said.
Somehow in the grasping and clenching of our lives, there is death. Yet in the releasing of it all to our loving Heavenly Father, there is not only life for ourselves, but the life is reproduced. At a baptismal service recently, it was so beautifully depicted, the symbol of being buried with Christ and rising to newness of life through His Spirit.
Jesus further spoke to servanthood. To serve Him, is to follow. “Where I am, there My Spirit will be also,” He told them. The Father honours anyone who follows Jesus. To follow Jesus, to be His servant, means being as the grain of wheat. It will bring not only fruit, but them, the Father, will honour. Jesus, heard of these seekers, used a grain of wheat as an illustration and then gave an application.