John 12:23-26: 23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
How good are you at reading between the lines? Some people just seem to have the knack for picking up on the underlying meaning behind the words of the person who is talking. This can be a handy skill in relationships where sometimes you need to be able to “take a hint.” As much as we want people to be straight up and direct with us, this is not the case in many situations. Relationships can go sideways very quickly without the ability to pick up on hints and read between the lines.
Days before Jesus was betrayed he was dropping hints of what was coming. He was, as he says in verse 24, the kernel that would fall to the ground and die so that many more seeds could be created. His allusions like this were often missed by his disciples. Maybe these clues were so outside of their experience that they couldn’t read them. Maybe the hints Jesus made about his future were too painful to imagine.
As skilled as we can be at reading between the lines, we can be just as skilled at ignoring the things we would rather not admit or think about. The mirror we use to see ourselves and the world is often painted to make it easier to accept. The urge to see things as better than they are is hard to resist. But this week is about facing the hard truth. Jesus said that anyone who loves their life will lose it while those who hate their life will keep it. Time to read between the lines. It may be too much to think about losing our lives or hating them altogether, but we could imagine something we could give up to make more room for following Jesus. Isn’t this where sacrifice begins? Every sacrifice is like the kernel that falls to the ground so that so many more good things can be born from it. What sacrifice could you make this week that would allow something good to be born in your life or someone else’s?
Gracious God, show me the sacrifice I can make this week that will bring new life to others. Amen