“And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:23-24 (ESV)
During the last week before Jesus died on the cross he was in contact with many people in Jerusalem. In John’s record we read in Chapter 12 about some people from Greek regions who came looking for Him. They said, “We would like to see Jesus.” When the disciples tell Jesus what the Greeks asked, His reply is found in today’s verse. Instead of responding to the curious sight-seers Jesus begins to talk about his coming death. When Jesus says “the hour,” He refers to the time of His death, resurrection, and exaltation. Up to now, Jesus’ hour had always been future. He knew that by dying on the cross He would do more good for those Greeks (Gentiles) than by just satisfying their curiosity. We think of Jesus’ death like a seed planted which sprouts to bear many seeds. So Jesus, through his death and resurrection has brought many people into the family of God. We don’t know if those Greeks ever believed in Jesus as their Savior but they could have. They wanted to see Jesus. Maybe they did. Because He died, we have come to know Him and one day will see Him in heaven.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” – Romans 5:8-9 (NASB)
Truth has always been absolute – even when mixed in with untruthful statements, the part that is true is absolutely true. Today we hear that there is “my truth” and “your truth” even when they contradict one another. This leaves “truth” that cannot really be trusted, doesn’t it? It’s relative truth which isn’t truth. A politician’s promises are spoken and we understand that there is little if anything to trust in those false promises. We learn to distrust because of the pattern of untruthfulness. God has a different way His truth is absolute and based on His character. We can trust Him because of His pattern of truthfulness. When God says He loves us, we can know it is the truth. He demonstrated and proved His love before we were redeemed by Him, when we were still separated from Him by our sin. Doing nothing for it, God demonstrated His love toward us. We have been justified by Christ’s shedding His blood His death and resurrection. The promise He gave us is that we will be saved from the wrath of God’s judgment through believing in Christ Jesus. We’re secure in His Absolute Truthful Word.
“The [this] saying is trustworthy, for if we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.” – 2 Timothy 2:13 (ESV)
We have heard quotations repeated and often we hear “That’s true.” tagged on for emphasis. The Apostle Paul used the ‘trustworthy-sayings’ formula in his letters to individuals to introduce a familiar saying. It was Paul’s way of confirming the truth in a common saying. In our verse today four comparisons or couplets are set forth. The first two are positive; those who have identified with Christ’s death as a sacrifice accomplished for them, are assured that they will enjoy eternal life with Him. “If we endure” is our identification with Christ through until the end. Our present suffering is related to our and glorification later. Then two negative couplets. Those pretending to believe but are found to be faithless deniers of Jesus will indeed be denied by God. There is no way we can by being good enough to save ourselves. We must believe and trust Jesus Christ and what He did and said for us. The players, the deniers, and the faithless can’t affect any change to Christ’s offer of new life. God’s promises remain true. He cannot deny the truth for He is the Truth and the only Way to eternal Life. God: forever faithful to His word.