Scripture: John 12:20-26
Key verse: (25) Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
Reflection: What do you enjoy doing on your free days? I enjoy long walks with my wife and our dog. I delight in sunny days by the pool and stormy nights with a good book in hand. I love good food, cooking a meal and serving a meal. What do you enjoy in this life?
In verse 25 Jesus uses hyperbole to make his point — as he does in many occasions. It is not that we should hate the life we live here on earth. Jesus is not saying we should hate the sunny days, or hate the walks with family and friends, or hate the vacations to the beach. What Jesus is saying here is that our highest priority in life and our first desire should be to serve him and follow him. Our priority should not be self-centered or self-serving, but instead we should delight in serving the Lord in all we do. It is when we give up our selfishness for a life of service that we find that which is of eternal value.
I wonder how we might turn our walks, our vacations, our pool days or stormy nights to moments of Christ-centered service. I wonder what that looks like for you. Could you be challenged to read a book that stretches your faith. Maybe the walks we take provide times to reflect and talk about the things we are grateful for each day. If you enjoy cooking, what would it mean to cook with a servant heart?
By introducing this idea with “those who” in verse 25 and “whoever” in verse 26, Jesus is saying that this applies to all who choose a life of faith. Imagine when we begin to find the joy of Christ in all we do, we may also find Christ there too, living and serving in joy alongside us.
Prayer: My Savior, in life you call us to set aside our selfish ways in order to serve with the humility and love you have shown. It is you, Christ, who is my redeemer and friend, the one who died to give me life. Help me to live as you live. Amen.
Author: Ben Brannan
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].