Leaving a legacy

Welcome to the Renew blog, a Six Step Bible Study.

We are a united group of Ladies from the UK, who believe in the transforming power of the Word of God for our lives. We meet every Wednesday at Create church, (part of Rising Brook) in Huntington and would love to welcome you to our group, if you live local.

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We are on week 15 of our study in the book of John and we’re continuing with Chapter 12.

Last week Hayley taught us about Mary’s elaborate worship, she anointed Jesus with the most expensive possession she owned, the perfume she anointed Him in would have been something that not many would own, it would have been her life’s inheritance! When I think about this story it makes me think of my own life. Would I bring to Jesus my life inheritance? Everything my family have ever lived for? It’s certainly a story that has us thinking about our heart for our true saviour and how His desires are placed within us when we gradually build on that relationship.

Both Mary and Jesus knew why she was doing it. They both knew that His time on earth was drawing to an end..

As we move on from the story of Mary anointing Jesus we see some foreigners from among the nations come to find Him;

Now there were a number of foreigners from among the nations who were worshipers at the feast.[r] 21 They went to Philip (who came from the village of Bethsaida in Galilee) and they asked him, “Would you take us to see Jesus? We want to see him.” 22 So Philip went to find Andrew, and then they both went to inform Jesus.[s]

23 He replied to them, “Now is the time for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Let me make this clear:[t] A single grain of wheat will never be more than a single grain of wheat unless it drops into the ground and dies. Because then it sprouts and produces[u] a great harvest of wheat—all because one grain[v] died.[w]

This was yet another sign that Jesus’ time to be glorified was coming, in Isaiah 55:5 it is prophesied that

Surely you will summon nations you know not,
    and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendor.”

Notice in verse 24 Jesus is talking about a grain of wheat that drops into the ground dead but then produces a great harvest! What dead seed produces a harvest?

This makes me think about our lives and what our seed will leave behind! Jesus although killed would leave a legacy that would produce harvest, clearly, He knew that He would be risen again and that His death was not the end only the beginning, but what if we lived with this in mind? 

What if we lived in the mindset of what our seeds will leave behind, what legacy will we leave?

What will our family and friends go on to remember and how will those memories inform their lives? 

That’s powerful stuff. This thought takes me back to John 3:16 the eternal life. Eternal life is placed in this portion of scripture before the word perish, which means that it is possible to perish whilst still iiving and breathing, 

The passion translation notes read like this: 

John 12:24 The “one grain” is Jesus Christ, who will within days be offered as the sacrifice for sin on Calvary’s cross. He will “drop” into the ground as “a grain of wheat” and bring forth a great “harvest” of “seeds.” This parable given to Philip and Andrew was meant to be Jesus’ reply to the request by the non-Jewish seekers to see Jesus. Christ’s answer? “They will see me through you. As you follow me, you will also experience the dying and birthing experience.” The harvest among the nations will come when we follow Jesus where he goes.

So, the people that requested to see Jesus would eventually see him through the disciples. 

How do people see Jesus at work in your life? 

This next portion might be hard to swallow, it always is for me when I read it out of context, I used to read it a little like a telling off, but now I’ve seen this in action it makes me smile much more, having experience the favour of God on my life by surrendering and acting in obedience according to his instruction.

25 “The person who loves his life and pampers himself will miss true life! But the one who detaches his life from this world and abandons himself to me, will find true life and enjoy it forever!26 If you want to be my disciple, follow me and you will go where I am going.[x] And if you truly follow me as my disciple,[y] the Father will shower his favor upon your life.

What we see here is that when we invite Jesus into our lives God makes us a grain of wheat, that will multiply into a harvest. In the way that we live people just notice Jesus at work in our lives, we don’t have to anything spectacular, no miraculous signs and wonders, just continue to dig deeper into the one who set us free.

27 “Even though I am torn within, and my soul is in turmoil, I will not ask the Father to rescue me from this hour of trial. For I have come to fulfill my purpose[z]to offer myself to God. 28 So, Father, bring glory to your name!”[aa] Then suddenly a booming voice was heard from the sky,

“I have glorified my name! And I will glorify it through you again!”

29 The audible voice of God startled the crowd standing nearby. Some thought it was only thunder, yet others said, “An angel just spoke to him!”

30 Then Jesus told them, “The voice you heard was not for my benefit, but for yours—to help you believe. 31 From this moment on, everything in this world is about to change,[ab] for the ruler of this dark world[ac] will be overthrown.[ad] 32 And I will do this when I am lifted up off the ground[ae] and when I draw the hearts of people[af] to gather them to me.” 33 He said this to indicate that he would die by being lifted up on the cross.[ag]

You see the devil would have me think that portion is hard to swallow, because he came so that I might perish! He doesn’t want me to know the freedom that is fully available to me, he doesn’t want me to experience the favour or God, so if every time I read that portion of scripture and feel inadequate, like I’m not good enough his job is done. The more I entertain that thought the more I get annoyed at myself and more so with those around me that seem to have it all together.

The good news is that Verse 31 tells us everything in this world is about to change, because the minute that grain comes to live within us the ruler of this dark world is overthrown! How cool is that?

Literally every circumstance the devil throws at you will return void, Jesus has already defeated him and his schemes and no matter what he tries to do in your life he can’t win? 

As long as you are pushing in to the truth and leaning upon Jesus in areas of your life, you’re struggling I can promise you God has a solution and is about to set you free.

He said it here in vs 32;

And I will do this when I am lifted up off the ground[ae] and when I draw the hearts of people to gather them to me.

Or “I will draw all things to myself.” Or “I will bundle everyone/everything next to me.” Jesus also drew all our judgment to himself when he died for our sins. The Judge became the payment for the guilty. (footnotes from TPT)

What circumstance do you want to overthrow in the authority you have been given today?

34 People from the crowd spoke up and said, “Die? How could the Anointed One die? The Word of God says that the Anointed One will live with us forever,[ah] but you just said that the Son of Man must be lifted up from the earth.[ai] And who is this Son of Man anyway?”

35 Jesus replied, “You will have the light shining with you for only a little while longer. While you still have me, walk in the light, so that the darkness doesn’t overtake you. For when you walk in the dark you have no idea where you’re going.36 So believe and cling to the light while I am with you, so that you will become children of light.” After saying this, Jesus then entered into the crowd and hid himself from them.

We can see this prophesied in the old testament See Ps. 89:35-37; Isa. 9:7; Ezek. 37:25; Dan. 7:14.

The crowd here would have known that the reference to being lifted up meant the cross, but they refused to see it, Jesus is now appealing to them to make the decision between the world and the Kingdom, still here we see that we have a choice, when we enter into a relationship with Jesus we can either choose to push in and open our eyes and our hearts to His teaching or remain in the darkness, unable to make sense of the world round us, with no hope or peace that anything will ever change. When we choose light we begin to see with a set of new eyes, our blindness gone and a new lease of life, and new identity and a new purpose! 

37 Even with the overwhelming evidence of all the many signs and wonders that Jesus had performed in front of them, his critics still refused to believe. 38 This fulfilled the prophecy given by Isaiah:

Lord, who has believed our message? Who has seen the unveiling of your great power?[aj]

39 And the people were not able to believe, for Isaiah also prophesied:

40 God has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts[ak] to the truth. So with their eyes and hearts closed they cannot understand the truth nor turn to me so that I could instantly cleanse and heal them.[al]

41 Isaiah said these things because he had seen and experienced the splendor of Jesus[am] and prophesied about him. 42 Yet there were many Jewish leaders who believed in Jesus, but because they feared the Pharisees they kept it secret, so they wouldn’t be ostracized by the assembly of the Jews. 43 For they loved the glory that men could give them rather than the glory that came from God!

The people’s minds were still closed, no matter what they’d seen, and unfortunately we still see this today, there are so many people walking around with blinkers on, indignant with people that do follow Jesus and totally defensive to the gospel, I have friends and family that have seen Jesus at work in my life but still refuse to push into Him. It’s all fear based and lies from satan, if only they would realise that’s what they are lies, they don’t have to struggle through as they are. That’s why our lives to God are so important, we are grains of wheat that have been planted here on earth just like Jesus, we are here to live a life so amazing that we too leave behind a legacy!

The very last teaching that Jesus gave in public was this;

44 Jesus shouted out passionately, “To believe in me is to also believe in God who sent me. 45 For when you look at me you are seeing the One who sent me. 46 I have come as a light to shine in this dark world so that all who trust in me will no longer wander in darkness. 47 If you hear my words and refuse to follow them, I do not judge you. For I have not come to judge you but to save you.48 If you reject me and refuse to follow my words,[an] you already have a judge. The message of truth I have given you will rise up to judge you at the Day of Judgment.[ao] 49 For I’m not speaking as someone who is self-appointed, but I speak by the authority of the Father himself who sent me, and who instructed me what to say. 50 And I know that the Father’s commands result[ap] in eternal life, and that’s why I speak the very words I’ve heard him speak.”

My very last question for you today is –

What legacy do you want to leave behind?

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