"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.John 12:24(NASB)
The truth of the glorious gospel of Christ is very easy to understand, and many everyday activities and occupations were used, by the writers of the New Testament, to illustrate important biblical principles and various godly precepts.
Jesus used stories like the good Samaritan, the wise and foolish builders, and a fishing dragnet, to illustrate some of His teachings, while Paul utilised the patience of a long-distance runner or the courage of faithful soldiers in the fulfilment of their duty. Such parables were used to teach us important lessons in the Christian life and illustrate Church-age truth and related doctrine.
One favourite illustration is that of the patient farmer and the seed that is liberally scattered on the earth. We are all familiar with the parable of the sower, where the good seed represents the pure Word of God which is being sown throughout the world, together with the four different types of soil symbolising the different responses from those that hear the gospel. The simple lesson of these scattered seeds demonstrates the importance of having a teachable spirit so that believers may bring forth much fruit, to the glory of God.
In this verse however, a single grain of wheat is used in a different but very beautiful way. Christ is the propitiation for our sin, and this passage helps to explain the necessity for Christ to die on the Cross so that He may rise up to life immortal and bring many sons to glory. Jesus was the single Seed Whose death brought forth abundant fruit. Indeed, it is also used to illustrate the fruitfulness of a single Christian life who is prepared to die to self and the old sin-nature and live for Christ, to His honour and glory.
The Lord Jesus is the perfect picture of a single grain of wheat which can only become fruitful under certain circumstances: "For unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."
A single grain of wheat has within itself a germ of life which has the capacity to become abundantly fruitful. However, that ordinary little seed cannot increase and multiply while it is sitting inside a sack of corn. One single little grain of wheat has the tremendous potential to be incredibly productive. However, without first falling into the ground - alone, and then dying... it is incapable of bringing forth any fruit.
The Lord Jesus Christ was the heavenly example of a single grain of wheat, falling into the ground and dying - in order to bring forth an abundant harvest, to the glory of God. There was no other way to redeem a lost world, other than Christ... the one single, perfect Seed in Whom resides life eternal, falling into the earth, alone. He died in our place by shedding His life blood on the Cross and took the sin of the world upon His shoulders.
In Him was life - life from the dead, and His life was the light of men. However, Christ had no intention of remaining alone... for He is the eternal Son of God and He became the perfect Son of Man in Whom we have redemption, by faith. Having died and been buried... that single Seed of the Lord rose again, bringing many sons to glory and producing the rich harvest of a multitude of believers - a fruitful harvest that spans 2000 years of history.
And we, who have been saved by grace though faith in Christ, have within us the life of Christ which can become abundantly fruitful, when our lives resemble His likeness. May we set our faces as a flint towards the goal of our calling so that we may mirror the attitude of the Lord Jesus, as we die to self and live for Christ - so that by God's grace, we may become a fruitful branch of our heavenly Vine.
Heavenly Father, may I be willing to die to the things of myself and come to the place where I am able to put my old sinful nature in the place of death so that I may be raised up as a fruitful branch that honours my God and Saviour. Thank You that Christ has indeed, swallowed up death in victory - may I live only for His greater praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.