Dying Like a Seed: In John 12:24, Jesus speaks of seed that must die in order to produce abundant fruit. What would such a death look like in a Christian who wants to be faithful to God?
The theme of the dying seed ties in with certain aspects of our earlier discussions of meekness and patience. These lines from C. S. Lewis form an appropriate backdrop for our discussion of the dying seed:
The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says “Give me All. I don”t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don”t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don”t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked – the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.” (Mere Christianity IV.8.4)
- John 12:24: The dying seed. In practical terms of every day living, what is involved in the process of becoming a “dying” seed? Is it simply a life of denial, or is the process more involved than that?
- Could the “dying seed” metaphor include aggressive implications as well as passive ones?
- Biblical examples: What might each of the passages below suggest that would help us better understand the process of “dying”?
- Philippians 2:5-9: Jesus emptying himself.
- Romans 12:1-2: The process of becoming a “living sacrifice,” “transformed by the renewing of your minds.”
- 1 Samuel 2:12-3:18: Samuel’s experience of being called to tell Eli the hard news about Eli’s sons.
- 1 Samuel 13:1-14: King Saul’s impatience in waiting for Samuel to arrive to offer the sacrifice.
- Zechariah 4:1-14: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit.”