Holy Tuesday–Holy Disciples
Peruse: John 12:20-26 (TPT) True Seekers
20 Now there were a number of foreigners from among the nations who were worshipers at the feast. 21 They went to Philip (who came from the village of Bethsaida in Galilee) and they asked him, “Would you take us to see Jesus? We want to see him.” 22 So Philip went to find Andrew, and then they both went to inform Jesus.
23 He replied to them, “Now is the time for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Let me make this clear: A single grain of wheat will never be more than a single grain of wheat unless it drops into the ground and dies. Because then it sprouts and produces a great harvest of wheat—all because one grain died. 25 “The person who loves his life and pampers himself will miss true life! But the one who detaches his life from this world and abandons himself to me, will find true life and enjoy it forever! 26 If you want to be my disciple, follow me and you will go where I am going. And if you truly follow me as my disciple, the Father will shower his favor upon your life.
Ponder: In our passage today, Jesus is preparing his disciples for His death. Jesus must lay down his physical life, so His followers may enjoy new spiritual life in Him. What does new spiritual life as a disciple of Christ look like for you? As disciples, we are to be made new in the image of Christ; the salvation Christ offers brings sanctification (holiness). By faith, we begin to produce the spiritual fruit of righteousness that is revealed in our physical lives. For me, three words in our passage stand out to bring some answers on how a disciple victoriously enters this new life: 1) detaches, 2) abandons, and 3) favor.
First, new life does not mean we “pamper” ourselves—embracing the temporal things of this world and living with passion to fulfill all pleasure. Never forget we have been called out of the world by name for a spiritual journey of faith. Instead, a disciple “detaches” or separates from the power of the world and its ways. “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other” (Mat 6:24). Second, a disciple “abandons” himself or herself to the work of Christ. In this context, abandon means to give oneself over unrestrainedly; this means we must abandon our own plans in exchange for the will and pleasure of God to produce righteousness in us. Remember the seed that must grow in us is God’s Word and it is the “thorns” or pleasures of this world that chokes out spiritual life (Luke 8:14). Lastly, if we are willing to follow Jesus wherever he leads, then the Father will shower us with “favor” or grace—a spontaneous gift from God for the undeserving. Grace is God’s power and resources for His disciples to live holy. “From His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16).
Prayer: Lord, there is so much I want to learn from You, as well as many ways I need Your comfort, today. Yet, the most important thing I can articulate in the moment is to simply say I need You, Jesus! I want to be a life-grain that produces a harvest of righteousness. Help me to live detached and abandoned in the fullness of Your grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.