John 12:21-25
John 12:21 (KJB)
The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.
The Greeks in verse 20 would probably had sought out Philip because the name Philip is of Greek origin. These proselytes had probably heard about the raising of Lazarus and maybe they even saw the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. These Greeks no doubt had seen Jesus as the prophesied Messiah and wanted to gain an audience with Him. There is an interesting point here that the Greeks came from the west and the time of Jesus’ impending death and at His birth the Magi came from the east. (Mat 8:11 KJV) And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. It seems to be the fulfillment of the prophecy Christ made in Matthew 8:11. The Gospel will be going forth to all the world. The Good News to all nations. North East West South = The real NEWS.
John 12:22 (KJB)
Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.
There may have been three reasons why Philip had gone to Andrew instead of brining these Greeks directly to Jesus. The First, Jesus may have been overwhelmed with people wanting to speak with Him and more personal audiences by people may have been impossible; Secondly, since the Jews wanted to kill Jesus, Philip may have wanted to check with Andrew to see if these Greeks were not hired hit men by the leaders; and Thirdly, Jesus had previously said to them that they were to go to the lose sheep of the House of Israel. (Mat 15:24 KJV) But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Since the Greeks were not of Israel, Philip may have thought he might be breaking a command. This verse is also a great principle for Christian living. If a situation arises in our lives and we do not know what do, then it is important that we find someone who has a strong Christian commitment and seek their advice. Helping each other is what the body of Christ does, or is supposed to do!
John 12:23 (KJB)
And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
Jesus had answered His disciples in a manner which would affect all of them very shortly. If the Greeks who came to see Jesus were those who were going to become saved by Him, then they would see Him as their Lord and Savior. The time for intermingling with the crowds is coming to an abrupt end and the time now will be spent with His disciples. Christ will be glorified when the Gentiles, such as the Greeks, would soon hear the true Gospel and become saved. For many months, during His ministry, Jesus would tell His disciples and others that His time had not yet come. This was the time of glorification through the events which was going to take place very shortly and now Jesus is stating that the time has now come.
John 12:24 (KJB)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
I live a short distance from many farms and as you ride through them you are riding through corn fields on both sides. If a kernel of corn is left on a table, it does nothing but sit there. If you take that same kernel of corn and plant it, it then combines with the nutrients of the soil plus the rain, and the hand of God as the true husbandman. The corn stalk then grows very high and soon the ears of corn start to form and eventually they fully mature and are ready for picking. Jesus is stating the same principle. The kernel of corn must die and be planted for it to sprout and bear fruit. Jesus will soon die for the sins of His people and when He is resurrected those people will be justified. (Rom 4:25 KJV) Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Once Christ goes to the cross, is resurrected, and then ascends to the Father’s right hand, then comes the mass evangelism of the world. Satan would be bound and could no longer stop anyone from being saved. We see the progression. First three thousand are saved on Pentecost. (Acts 2:41 KJV) Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. Then the next number mentioned is five thousand. (Acts 4:4 KJV) Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. Then in the next sixty years, world evangelism begins. The Roman empire is evangelized along with North Africa and Europe. Then it spreads out further to India by Thomas and then the whole world through the Great Missionary movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth century and now for the first time in history, the gospel is in every country in the world via the Internet.
John 12:25 (KJB)
He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
Here is the great dichotomy. Jesus is speaking about those who love this world system and never want to leave it because they find much gratification in it. A good example would be Demas. (2 Tim 4:10 KJV) For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. It is interesting that the name “Demas” means “popular.” One will never be popular in this world by being a Christian but if you go with the world system, you will be popular but there is a consequence. Jesus said if you are friends with the world, then you will lose your life, that is, you will lose your life for eternity. For a few years of living in sin on this earth, it will cost you your eternal soul.
Then on the other hand Jesus is speaking about true Christians who reject the ways of the world and He states it as “hateth his life” and He is not talking about hating your life but He is speaking about hating the life in this world. The true Christian has been redeemed and sinful ways are reprehensible to the true Christian. We hate our life in this world because it is one of total opposition to the world system which can easily snare us and that is why we must be on the lookout at all times for the sinful snare. The fact that Christians abhor the sinful lifestyle gives evidence they have become saved which means after this world is over, they will keep that life eternally since eternal life begins at the moment of salvation, just like physical life begins at the moment of conception. (Mat 24:13 KJV) But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. We are not saved because we endure, which would be works, but we endure because we are saved.