John 12:26 : If anyone serves me, let him follow me. Where I am, there will my servant also be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
This statement seems pretty simple, and it really is, but it did have meaning that was yet to be revealed to those listening. Remember that Jesus is speaking in reference to the Gentiles that wanted to see Him. He is saying that “anyone” who follows Him will be able to be with Him. This appears to be a clear indication that Jesus was not only inviting Jews but Gentiles also. Even Gentiles could be honored by the father if they serve Jesus. This was a very different concept of the Messiah than many of the Jews understood.
As we talked about yesterday, Jesus was telling them that they should give up their lives. We can see here, that in context, He’s most likely talking about giving up their lives as their own bosses. Also, when Jesus compares Himself to a seed from which other seeds would come and then He asks for servants to follow, it is safe to say that He wants us to follow His pattern of giving up on being the boss and Jesus will help us to lead others to stop being their own boss too. Just as Jesus chose to die to bring more believers, our death-to-our-own-way here in this world will bring about the salvation of others.
The upside is pretty good. By laying down our self-focused lives like Jesus did, we get to be with Him. Not only that, the Father (we are talking about the creator of the world here) will honor us. We definitely don’t deserve that. How good it is to know that when we give up our lives, we will get far more in return than our own little kingdoms could have produced when living in this world as our own bosses.
Just as Jesus suffered, Christians also suffer in this world because we are following someone who gets mistreated. This is very difficult, but Jesus doesn’t want us to forget our presence with Him at all times, and our future benefits with the Father. Those who don’t believe will have to enjoy things in this world because, in the end, they won’t be with Jesus and they will get dishonor from the Father in the form of judgment. May God help us to see past our temporary suffering in this world, and help us to bring others to Jesus while there is still a chance for them.