Everybody wants glory, but not everyone is willing to pay the price required to attain it. Jesus’ path to glory was not through teaching, preaching, healing, or any of the works he did during his earthly ministry. His path to glory led through the grave.
In his gospel account of the triumphal entry, John ends with a hyperbolic grumble from the Pharisees; “the entire world” was going after Jesus. The Greeks step in almost as evidence, seeking an audience with Jesus through Philip. Philip in turn goes to Andrew, and they go as one to Jesus. At the very least, their arrival provides an opportunity to proclaim that the hour that Jesus has been talking about has finally come—the hour of his glorification. But this begs the question: If the triumphal entry was not the glorification of Jesus, then what was?
The answer lies in the parable about the seed of wheat: it must die in order to bear fruit (Jn 12:24). When He reflects upon His own desire to run away from the hour placed before Him (Jn 12:27), He immediately rejects it as an alternative. The very reason he had come was glorification, and that glorification required the grave.
That which is true of Jesus is also true of those who follow Him (Jn 12:26). For a disciple of Jesus Christ, the pathway to glory is not in proclaiming excellent sermons, or writing brilliant papers in seminary. Neither is it discipling hundreds or even thousands of people. The pathway to glory is dying to self that we might live in Christ.
The pathway to glory for Jesus and the pathway to glory for those who follow him is the same: we must die in order to live.
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