Read John 11
Raising of Lazarus; Mary anoints Jesus' feet; the triumphant entry.
If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will my Father honour (John 12:26).
Follow me . . . serve me were familiar words to all who met the Master. Even when Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem to be crucified, He said, And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple (Luke 14:27).
Speaking under the shadow of the approaching cross, Jesus told His disciples: Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit (John 12:24). Every grain of wheat, every seed teaches the lesson that through its death lies the path to a beautiful and fruitful life. The concept of dying to bring life is not the easiest to explain. However, the example of the seed explains it well. That's why Jesus is the best teacher of all. Through the old life dying, a new life can begin. Who doesn't want a clean slate to write a new story on. We die with Christ so we can live this brand new life. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me (Gal. 2:20).
Christ's death on the cross was not only a demonstration of completed obedience, but it is to be an example of self-denial for all who respond to His loving call, follow Me . . . serve Me. Jesus is calling us to obey Him on every issue. We know from the Word that obedience is superior to sacrifice (I Sam.15:22). Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God (Col. 3:22).
There is a heavenly reward for those who will endure unto the end (Rev. 2:26). Paul instructed Timothy to endure afflictions . . . make full proof of thy ministry . . . . I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing (2 Tim. 4:4-8).
Only the few who accept the challenge of the cross and die to self will experience the meaning of Jesus' words, him will my Father honour, for their life belongs to Christ. When we truly belong to Christ, this is when life begins. The purpose God has for our lives can start to manifest itself within our lives. We can become the person God has planned for us to be.
And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23).
Thought for Today:
The Holy Spirit enables us to submit to the work of the cross in our lives — crucifying self.
For John 12:13: See Ps. 118:26. John 12:15: See Zech. 9:9. John 12:38: See Is. 53:1. John 12:40: See Is. 6: 9-10; Ex. 4:21.
12:46 I am come a Light, I have come to reveal the Truth.
Prayer Suggestion: Pray for national revival, for righteousness exalts a nation (Prov. 14:34).
Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 3:3