Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds (John 12:24).
We all say ‘Amen’ to this parable because of the truth it conveys. The fact, though, is that Jesus was addressing people who loved their lives and did everything to preserve and micromanage them. We are glad to be among the living to start the New Year 2024, and we all have plans for the year. We want to be alive and execute our plans. Some might have even declared that death is not their portion in 2024. But Jesus taught us to die to self, die to our ego, ambition, and plans as the way to live. He then invites us in Luke 9:23 to deny ourselves (dying to self), take up our crosses (a willingness to die), and follow Him. It is no secret that Jesus came into the world to die for our sins, and it is not surprising then that He is inviting us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices who have died to self, sin, and selfish ambitions. We must die now so that we can live in 2024.