The Bond of Brothers
And Jesus answered them, "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. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.—John 12:23-26
I think it is safe to say that death ranks high on our list of fears. But often it's not our death that we fear, but the loss of someone important to us—a parent, a friend, and perhaps the most unthinkable, the death of a child. Death is emotionally painful and even more physically irreversible.
In today's scripture, Jesus is telling his closest brothers, a little cryptically, I might add that he is going to die. I am sure this is not great news to them. But there is good news in it too—the potential to bear much fruit. The brothers who had left everything to follow him, and who had come to know and love him as their teacher and mentor, were now faced with this horrific prediction. As was his tendency, Jesus offers them a metaphor that helps them to see and have confidence in the bigger picture. He describes how the death of a seed, and it's fall to the earth, is necessary to bring new life and much fruit. While this comparison was accurate, it's hard to imagine that it brought much comfort to the guys in that present moment.
What I love about this text is the realization that we need brothers to lean on when the present and the future looks bleak. We need godly men to lean on. Men who are anchored in the truth. Men who seek and speak the will of God in those terrifying moments when all hope appears to be lost. Jesus was that man for these men. And while we prefer to lean on human ingenuity and rest in our logic when the going gets tough, this not the best choice.
Today, while we are doing this challenge with men and learning to lean on one another and God, we know there are times we have done life alone. Maybe today you need to reach out to some man who is? A young man or older man, who is navigating the challenges of life without a godly voice of hope from other men. Tap them on the shoulder or better yet invite them to join the challenge with you! Be a seed of hope to another man today, as he may be waiting for a man like you.
This week we are focusing on the discipline of brotherhood.
Your Call To Act (C.T.A.) today is:
- Pray: for 3-5 minutes, for a man you know who needs a Christian brother in his life.
- Share: below, how other Christian men have been beneficial to you.
- Invite: the man you have prayed for, a beverage or a meal.
⚡Share That You Completed Today's Challenge