Audio: Design For Discipleship - John 12:12-36

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Sermon - Design For Discipleship John 12:12-36

Rev. Mark Sumpter

Palm Sunday—John 12:12-36

What do you get when people are crying out, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD”?  

This happened on Palm Sunday, the day that Jesus rode the donkey into the city of Jerusalem. The people lined the streets, waved palm branches, and shouted, “Here’s our king!”

When cries go out like this, you get people expecting a conquering king, one like David from the Old Testament, who turned back Israel's Philistine enemies and brought hope in the midst of oppression. These along the streets of Jerusalem felt the Romans oppressing them. They wanted things to change. This King riding into Jerusalem brought hope.  

Sure enough.

But Jesus adds more to His own conquering triumphs. He says, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” And then he tells a short parable: “…unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

Huh. That’s different. Christ’s kingdom is like scattered seed tossed into the ground and it changes from a seed to a sprout and eventually changes to bring full growth and the harvest.

This change from seed to sprout, Jesus says, means dying. The seed is buried and dies.

That’s the primary lesson of Christ’s kingdom. This King riding into Jerusalem says “…whoever loves his life [must] lose it.” Those who follow Him are like the seed in the ground—they die. From that death sprouts up life—it's life with the King.