I’ve been reading in the Gospel of John during morning prayer this week, and I was struck by the story of the Greeks at the festival who want to see Jesus (John 12:20-36). Jesus’ response seems like a bit of a non sequitur: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 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.”
In response to growing fame and celebrity, Jesus doesn’t hire a PR firm and strategize for maximum visibility… instead he moves in the opposite direction, knowing that his being “glorified” is bound up in his death.
And this isn’t just something for Jesus to do on our behalf as the singular Son of God (thought it is that). He goes on to say, “Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also…” i.e. the cross!
This is our pattern as disciples of Jesus: we walk in the way of the cross, the way of the seed that goes into the ground, the upside-down way of the kingdom of God, where we produce abundant fruit as we follow Jesus to the cross, trusting that it is simultaneously the way of life and peace, and a glory that the world cannot perceive.
Keep walking the way of the cross.
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