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Jesus is not a God who always meets our expectations of what a God should be. True, He is the God of love, unlike any other gods in all other religions. He cares, is watchful, shepherds us, forgives and is merciful, and is all-powerful and all-knowing. However, He is more than this.

He is the God who will dig us deep.

Let’s look at this scenario. Jesus has just performed one of the great miracles of His ministry, the resurrection of His friend Lazarus. Previously, He had healed a man who was born blind. Before we go on, I must add here Jesus’ extraordinary answer to His disciples’ question before this healing miracle, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind” (John 9:2).1 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3).

 I just want that to simmer in our brains for a while as we proceed.

His most recent act before the event which we will address was His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem riding on the foal of a donkey.

Afterwards, some Greeks came to Philip and wanted to see Jesus. Their request was simple. “Sir, we wish to see Jesus” (John 12:21).

Now, if this question had been asked of you or me, we most likely would have said, “Sure. Bring them here. I’ll talk to them.”

But not Jesus. In fact, His response seemed to have nothing whatsoever to do with the request. Here is how He responded:

“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. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:23–25).

If I were one of His disciples, my next question may have been, “So, you’re not going to see them, right?”

That, of course, didn’t happen.

Jesus is making it known that if these Greeks or anyone else wanted to follow Him, they must die to themselves. We are not to love our lives on this earth, He said. This, of course, is culturally abject nonsense. We love our lives on this earth. This self-centered belief system, which all the world clings to, is the mother of a great variety of heinous sins. Abortion. Greed. Drug and alcohol abuse. Murder. All manner of sexual sins, some of which are abominations. Sex outside of marriage as well as divorce, which has produced millions of sons and daughters without fathers, leading to the dissolution of the family. The West is drenched in this roiling, nasty stew.

So, reader, what do you think about following Jesus? Are you willing to give up your life and turn away from loving it? The cost is great to do this. You will be a culturally misplaced person. An oddity. You will experience loss of friendships. Eighty years, give or take, of cultural discomfort and separation from what the majority of people are doing. However, such a life bears much fruit, Jesus said. The one who hates one’s life in this world as opposed to loving it will keep it, Jesus promised, for eternal life. Eternal life, trillions of years without end, when one leaves the earth.

Without doubt, if we can take Jesus’ eternal view, which makes sense, since He is an eternal being, it is worth it. But think this is easy? No, not at all.

Jesus will dig you deep.   

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

Gif courtesy Edge images.

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