After salvation our priorities of soul must change with Christ at the top. MP3 click here John 12:20-24; Rev 3:21, 4:9
John 12:20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast;
John 12:21 these therefore came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
However, since Philip is a bit apprehensive as to what to do, instead he goes to Andrew.
John 12:22 Philip came and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip came, and they told Jesus.
They went to Jesus. As a result of this there is an interview.
John 12:23 And Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come for the Son of Man [title to hypostatic union] to be glorified.
The literal translation of this is that “Jesus had an answer,” and that answer is for the Greeks.
The Greeks will understand this.
The seed must die before the wheat is produced. The cross must come before any blessing can come to mankind.
John 12:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
This is the only way that Jesus Christ can communicate to Greeks resurrection. Resurrection is entirely foreign to the thinking of Greeks, it is entirely apart from Greek culture.
“it remains by itself alone” – present active indicative of menw[meno] describes the seed after it is planted. It keeps on being alone.
When Jesus Christ was on the cross He was alone. In resurrection and ascension is where there is multiplication but on the cross Christ was not only unique as the God-Man but He was alone when bearing our sins.
However, the success of the cross multiplied the seed and therefore it bears much fruit – that is the harvest.
There can be no body of Christ, no dispensation of the Church, no believers in this Age until the cross occurs and Christ is alone. When He was on the cross God the Father poured out the sins of the world on Jesus Christ. This qualifies Jesus Christ to be the only celebrity in Christianity.
John 12:25 "He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.
This verse emphasises another aspect of it. Jesus now hits them with something which is clear to the Greeks and probably obscure to the Jews.
Now we move to the principle of the spiritual life after salvation while the believer is on the earth as well as the believer moving into eternity.
These Greeks would have understood exactly what He was talking about because it is an idiom that was part of their culture.
After salvation the believers remain on the earth. This point must be brought over to the Greeks. They do not go to heaven immediately and they are going to be in this life. Many of these Greeks are going to respond and be ambassadors for Christ. They are going to be a kingdom of priests as they are on the verge of the Church Age at this moment.
“He who loves his life loses it,” “loves” – present active participle of filew, [phileo] the strongest Greek word for love. This is soul love plus physical love plus every kind of love brought together. It is a total love of the soul.
The word a)gaph [agape] is a love with a mental attitude only; it is a limited type love. It is limited to what you think, it means freedom from mental attitude sins. The great word for love is filew. Here we have, “He who keeps on loving.”
“his life” – his yuxh, [psuche] his soul. Yuxhis soul life. It refers to the believer’s self-consciousness, his mentality, his volition, his emotions, his norms and standards.
The real person is the soul. The real you is your soul. “He that keeps on loving his own soul” is an idiom of Greek culture in which the person involved has a false attitude toward himself, toward his life.
It means to have a false scale of values.
To love your own soul is an idiom for the Greek philosophy of hedonism. Hedonism means live it up as much as you can—self-gratification in one word.
This is actually the Greek idiom for self-gratification. It is comparable to putting your emphasis on the details of life. It actually indicates the condition of the soul that has self as its top priority.
It means, for example, a believer who is negative toward doctrine and builds scar tissue on his soul. He has the frantic search for happiness. This is loving your soul—going in for self-gratification because you have a false scale of values. This is exactly what the Greeks would understand.
All Jesus is portraying to the Greeks at this point is that if you as a believer get into reversionism you are going to lose everything that is important in the Christian way of life.
Reversionism destroys the whole function of the grace plan in the Christian life. It is the great enemy of grace in phase two.
So He says, “He that loves his own soul”—negative volition, scar tissue, emotional revolt, reversionism. All of these things put together.
“shall lose it” – present active indicative of a)poluw. [apoluo] It doesn’t mean to lose the soul, it means to lose the purpose of the function of life. Jesus is saying to the Greeks that life has purpose but you can lose out by neglecting doctrine, by getting into reversionism. But on the other hand, there is another side to it.
“he that hates his life” – this does not mean that you have to hate yourself. Again the word pseuche means soul and the word hate is the present active participle of misew, [miseo] which means to hate, but it also means to love less or to put something very low on your scale of values.
Here it means to have an attitude, a regard in which you take certain things as inconsequential. Things that were valuable as far as self-gratification is concerned are not of any consequence. Other things are of greater consequence, say, to put the spiritual things of life above the material. It is really the attitude of the supergrace life. It is the attitude that comes from doctrine.
“in this world” – an expression for the CWL in time.
“shall keep it to life eternal” – incorrect. It says, “he shall guard what belongs to another until he reaches eternal life.”
The word keep is fulassw[phulasso] and it is a military word which means to guard, to guard something that belongs to someone else.
Doctrine belongs to God and the person who has the attitude of orientation to grace de-emphasises those things that lead to self-gratification, de-emphasises hedonism—shall guard what belongs to another until he reaches eternal life.
Eternal life is phase three or the believer after physical death.
The believer takes doctrine with him into phase three. The soul leaves the body and goes to be with the Lord, and any Bible doctrine you have in your soul goes along. That is what “unto life eternal means.”
It must be realised that Jesus is speaking to a very specialized group of people—Greeks under Greek culture. To understand this it is necessary to orient thinking into their culture. It must be understood that every culture has idioms and that to translate an idiom literally is often to lose the meaning of the idiom. Therefore, the meaning of the idiom is lost by the literal translation.
The literal translation here does not in any way communicate the meaning because the meaning is bound up in the emphasis, scale of values.
The Greeks, when they were bound up in something they loved, they loved their souls. That was an idiom they used—“I love my soul.” It doesn’t mean they were stuck on themselves, it simply means that they enjoyed doing certain things.
But Christ here is making a distinction. There is a spiritual life and one must change the scale of values that pertain to gratifying self and put Jesus Christ and the spiritual life at the top.
Now that doctrine has been emphasized in terms of priorities or a correct scale of values the Lord now moves to teach them another principle about the spiritual life. This is from the standpoint of the Greeks and is not a discipleship passage.
John 12:26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
“If anyone serve me” – 3rd class condition. They are still free to make a choice.
They are being given very briefly all of the alternatives which belong to them if they choose for Jesus Christ.
Serve meis the present active subjunctive of diakoneo which means to start at the bottom, rowing on the bottom bank of the ship, the toughest place to row. Therefore it means to serve in the humblest frame of mind and circumstances.
The present tense means to keep on pulling even though you are the low man in the bottom of the ship. [Abram]
Active voice: he has to do it himself all alone through the proper motivation which the Lord will show – the Father will hold him in honour. The subjunctive mood indicates the 3rd class condition.
“serve me” – dative of dignity indicates the occupation with the person of Christ; “let him follow” – present active imperative of a)kolouqew[akoloutheo] which means to keep on following me.
And how do you follow Jesus Christ? He is not on earth so that you can physically follow Him around. You follow Jesus Christ by taking in doctrine.
There is only one way to follow Christ and that is to take in Bible doctrine day in and day out. All service in the Christian life is based on knowledge of doctrine.
Ignorance of doctrine cannot produce for God. Divine good comes from doctrine; human good comes from energy of the flesh. The greatest virtue in the Christian life is knowledge of doctrine. This is “keep in following me”–present linear aktionsart in the imperative mood, which is a command to take in doctrine daily.
“and where I am” – this anticipates Christ at the right hand of the throne. Please notice Christ’s confidence in the success of His mission. He will be the seed that dies and bears much fruit. And if that fruit matures, they will sit with Him on His throne.
“there” refers to the right hand of God – and right now it is true positionally for all believers; some day it will be true experientially for those who reach the super-grace life.
Rev 3:21'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 "Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created."