Pastor David B. Curtis


Media #880 MP3 Audio File Video File

Dying to Live

John 12:20-26

Delivered 10/22/17

We are working our way through the Fourth Gospel, and we have seen over and over the Jewish leaders hostility toward Yeshua. This opposition to Yeshua had begun in chapter 5, when Yeshua heals the paralytic man on the Sabbath, and then defends His actions by claiming to be God. In chapter 11 Yeshua said that He was, "The resurrection and the Life," and then as proof of that He raises Lazarus from the dead, after he had been in the grave for four days. This miracle and its effects are what led to His crucifixion. Yeshua says He is the Life and then He gives life, and the result is that the Jewish leaders want to kill Him. Notice what Caiaphas says,

Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish." He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Yeshua would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. John 11:50-52 ESV

Lazarus interpreted Caiaphas' words for his readers. He viewed Caiaphas' statement as a prophecy. In the mind of Caiaphas, the substitution was, we kill Yeshua so the Romans won't kill us. We substitute Yeshua for ourselves. But in the mind of God, the substitution was, "I will kill my Son so I don't have to kill you."God substitutes Yeshua for His chosen ones.

In a purely Jewish context the phrase in verse 52, "the children of God who are scattered abroad" would be understood to refer to the Jews of the diaspora, who would be gathered together in the Kingdom of God (e.g. Is. 43:5; Ezk. 34:12; 36:24ff.). But it also anticipates the Gentile mission that Paul so clearly lays out in Ephesians 2:11-22.

So from that day on they made plans to put him to death. John 11:53 ESV

The leaders of Israel decide to kill the man who gives life! He claimed to be the resurrection and life, and then He gave life to a dead man, so let's kill Him. Here the Sanhedrin is deciding to commit murder.

Through chapter 11 and into 12 we see this life/death contrast. Lazarus dies, and Yeshua brings him back to life after he had been dead for four days. Then we have the Jewish leadership plotting to kill the Giver of life. Caiaphas prophecies that Yeshua will die for the nation. Then in chapter 12 Mary, in an extravagant act of worship, anoints Yeshua for burial.

Yeshua said, "Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. John 12:7 ESV

So Mary performed a prophetic or symbolic action of preparing her Lord for burial. So again we see that it was the giving of life to Lazarus that led to the death of Yeshua. The events in chapter 12 begin the last week of Yeshua's earthly life.

Let me say a word here about Mary. In our first study of chapter 12 I said, "Let me pose to you a possibility: Lazarus's sister, Mary, and Mary Magdalene may be the same woman." For the past two weeks the question has been raised, "How can Mary of Bethany be the same as Mary Magdalene?" Meaning if she's from Bethany she can't be from Magdalene. I said last week that the Bible doesn't say that Mary is from Bethany or Magdalene. John 11:1 says, "Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha."

Dan Harden wrote me last week saying:

"Just wanted to pass this along, since you have gotten asked about it two weeks in a row. Apparently the designation of "Magdalene" can't possibly refer to the town of Magdala, because during that period the town was called "Taricheae" and didn't get the designation of Magdala until after it was destroyed in AD 67. I found one source that says the designation of "Magdalene" has to be found elsewhere, and in doing so, ties John 20:13 to Micah 4:8-9, where the same "Why are you crying" is found, and the daughter of Zion is refereed to as "tower of the flock," or in Hebrew, migdal eder (or magdal eder), which would have possibly been translated in the NT into Greek as Magdalene. If we read Mary Magdalene as Mary the Migdal or Mary the Tower, then the reasons for insisting on her being distinct from Mary of Bethany completely disappears. It's an interesting idea."

Let me add this Luke 8:2 says, "Mary, called Magdalene." She wasn't from there, she was called Magdalene, it was a nick name. Mary the tower (possibly of faith).

So after Mary anoints the Lord for burial we are taken to the Tragic Entry, it was tragic for Jerusalem as the Lord wept over them. He enters as their King, but not the King they wanted, He came to die. And once they realized that Yeshua was not a political Messiah come to defeat Rome, those who hailed Him as their "King" cry out, "Crucify Him…we have no king but Caesar" (John 19:15). Again this life/death theme is all through chapter 11 and 12. We ended last time with:

So the Pharisees said to one another, "You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him." John 12:19 ESV

This is another example of Lazarus' irony. By "the world," the Pharisees mean everyone, i.e. everyone in the Jerusalem area, including all the pilgrims. This is hyperbole. What we have seen is that "the world"(kosmos) commonly refers in the Fourth Gospel to people everywhere without racial distinction. When Yeshua said, "For God so loved the world," He is saying that God's love goes beyond Israel, He also loves Gentiles. Then in our text, ironically, right after they mention "the whole world," Greeks approach Yeshua:

Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. John 12:20 ESV

So the Jewish leaders say, "the world has gone after him," and the next thing we see is "Greeks," those outside Israel, the world, coming to Yeshua.

Lazarus' use of Zechariah 9:9, "Behold, your king is coming to you…humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey," in John 12:13 is suggestive, in light of this incident, which immediately follows and the way Yeshua responds to it. According to Zechariah 9:10, Messiah would proclaim peace to the Gentiles—and here they come.

Lazarus doesn't tell us this, but after His entry into Jerusalem Yeshua is in the Temple teaching. If a couple of days had elapsed between verses 19 and 20, then it is possible that the cleansing of the Temple had taken place as described in Mark 11. After Mark's version of the Tragic Entry he tell us this:

And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers." Mark 11:15-17 ESV

So Yeshua is teaching in the Temple and says, "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations." So in the Gospel of John we see Gentiles coming to Yeshua, and in Mark's Gospel we see Yeshua including the Gentiles by saying, "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations." This is a quotation from Isaiah 56:7. Isaiah 56 contains an incredible prophecy:

Thus says the LORD: "Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my righteousness be revealed. Isaiah 56:1 ESV

This is about the Messianic Temple in the Messianic Kingdom:

Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, "The LORD will surely separate me from his people"; and let not the eunuch say, "Behold, I am a dry tree." Isaiah 56:3 ESV

The word "foreigner" here is nekar, which means: "a foreigner or alien." It is referring to someone not from the tribes of Israel, a non-Israelite, a Gentile. The "His people" is Israel. Drop down to verse 6:

"And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples." Isaiah 56:6-7 ESV

These "foreigners" have joined themselves to Yahweh the God of Israel. Now notice carefully verse 8:

The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, "I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered." Isaiah 56:8 ESV

The "others" are different from Israel. When Yahweh gathered together the tribes of Israel, He also gathered in non-Israelites, Gentiles, you and me. Throughout the Tanakh Yahweh has promised to reunite the twelve tribes and to make them one with one leader. This is fulfilled in the New Covenant as Yahweh gathers the tribes together through faith in Yeshua. And along with Israel the "goy," the Gentiles, are coming to faith in Christ.

Okay, so Yeshua is in the Temple teaching and Lazarus tells us:

Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. John 12:20 ESV

The Greeks who request to see Yeshua not only represent "the whole world" (verse 19), but they stand in contrast to the Pharisees who are doing all they can to kill Yeshua.

"Among those who went up to worship at the feast"—the present tense implies they were in the habit of going to the Feast. This is the Feast of Passover. Along with all the Israelites that were in Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover there were:

"Some Greeks"—when the Bible says "Greeks" it usually doesn't mean they were citizens of Greece. The term "Greek" is a term that often means simply a gentile. It's possible that these were truly Greeks, but it is more likely that they were simply Gentiles. This is how it is normally used:

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. Romans 10:12 ESV

These verses in Romans highlight a characteristic of the Gospel of Salvation by faith—it is universal in scope. Verse 11, Whoever (verse 12) no distinction between Jew and Greek—all non Jews, verse 13 whoever! The offer of the Gospel is a universal one.

Back to our text. It is unusual that we encounter Greeks in a narrative of events at Jerusalem, because the other Gospel writers don't mention the incident. These Gentiles were probably praying in the Court of the Gentiles at the Temple. Entrance to the inner courts was forbidden, on pain of death, to all Gentiles except proselytes. Warning notices were posted on the barrier that separated the inner courts from the court of the Gentiles. Not even the Roman Governor of Syria, Vitellius, dared ignore the prohibition or test its sanction when he attended the feast seven years later, according to Josephus. (March ad 37; cf. Jos., Ant. xviii. 122).

The Gentiles were "outsiders" with respect to the blessings God had promised Israel. Gentiles could, of course, enter into these blessings as Jews by becoming proselytes, but they could not enter into the blessings of Israel as Gentiles—not yet anyway. So these Gentiles were either God-fearers or proselytes of the Gate.

Most scholars assume these Greeks are "God-fearers." That is Gentiles who believe in Yahweh and try to follow His Law, but who have not undergone the rite of circumcision, and therefore, are not part of the covenant family. That makes sense because if these people had been Gentile converts to Judaism, proselytes of the Gate, they would not have been, in Yeshua's eyes, any different than the other covenant people of Israel. But this is a new event; it is a definite turning point in His ministry. So a number of "Greeks" have come to Jerusalem to worship during Passover. While there, they hear about all that Yeshua had been doing in recent days. They probably heard about the healing of the man born blind (chapter 9). They most certainly heard that Yeshua had raised Lazarus from the dead:

So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Yeshua." Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Yeshua. John 12:21-22 ESV

Why do these Gentiles come to Philip? Philip and Andrew both have Greek names. Philip means: "lover of horses" and Andrew means, "manly." Both Philip and Andrew come from Bethsaida (John 1:44), a town in Northern Galilee with a large Greek culture population:

"The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— Matthew 4:15 ESV

Having a Greek name and coming from Galilee, these Gentiles may have felt comfortable approaching Philip. So they say to Philip, "Sir, we wish to see Yeshua." This doesn't mean they just want to get a glimpse of Him, they want to talk to Him, to have an interview with Him.

Philip wasn't quite sure how to handle this request, and so he consulted with Andrew. Why would these Gentiles wanting to see Yeshua cause a problem for Philip? Maybe it's because of what the Lord previously taught them:

These twelve Yeshua sent out, instructing them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matthew 10:5-6 ESV

So Philip is uncertain as to what to do, so he asks Andrew. The two of them then must have pressed their way through the crowd, possible with these Greeks, to get back to Yeshua's side and say to Him, "These Gentiles want to talk to you":

And Yeshua answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. John 12:23 ESV

"And Yeshua answered them"—did he? What did He say to them? As far as Lazarus' account here is concerned, Yeshua totally ignores these Greeks and makes no further reference to them whatsoever. It appears that His words are addressed to Andrew and Philip, but in fact they must have had a wider audience, maybe even including the Greeks who wanted to talk to Him in the first place.

Notice what Yeshua says, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified"—this signals a change. Up till now, there has been a repeated theme in this Gospel that Yeshua's hour or time had not yet come. When His mother came to Him at the wedding in Cana and informed Him that they had run out of wine, He replied, "My hour has not yet come" (John 2:4). When His brothers advised Him to go to the Feast of Tabernacles and make Himself known, Yeshua replied, "My time has not yet come" (John 7:4). At that same Feast, when the Jews tried to seize Him, they were unable to because, "His hour had not come" (John 7:30). When Yeshua was teaching in the Temple no one arrested Him, "because His hour had not yet come" (John 8:20). But now He says, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified."

What does He mean by "his hour or time"? Most scholars will agree that in the Fourth Gospel the reference to Yeshua's "hour" most often points to the "hour" of His passion and death on the cross. So Yeshua is saying, "It's time for Me to display my glory."

The coming of these Greeks signaled a turning point in which the Jewish people have rejected Yeshua as their Savior, and so now the Gospel would go out to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. Salvation would now be proclaimed to the whole world, but not until after Christ's death, resurrection, and ascension.

Not only did the Jews not want a Savior who dies for them. They certainly didn't want a Savior who dies for Gentiles. They hated Gentiles. Yahweh was their God and only their God.

Let me give you a little history here. In the opening chapters of Genesis, we learn that the first man, Adam, was created by God and then brought into Eden, the cosmic mountain, the dwelling place of Yahweh, the place where Yahweh holds council. So Adam was brought into the garden, into an intimate relationship with Yahweh and the divine council. Adam and Eve walked in the garden with Yahweh. They dwelt in His presence.

You know what happens next, man is tempted by Satan, and he sins. The Book of Jubilees says that Adam was in the garden for seven years before he sinned. To most modern Christians, the event in Genesis 3 is the sole reason that mankind is as evil as they are. But to Second Temple Hebrews this was only one of three events that caused man to be so sinful. And to them the event in Genesis 3 was low on the list.

When we come to Genesis 6 we have Watchers/Sons of God corrupting the gene pool with hybrid beings, and we have the Nephilim corrupting and destroying humans in Genesis 6.

From the writings of the Second Temple Period we see that they believed that the reason that wickedness so permeates the earth was a result of three incidents, 1) the fall of Adam and Eve. 2) the sin of the Watchers in Genesis 6. 3) The Tower of Babel in Genesis 11.

Because of Genesis 3, the fall, and Genesis 6, men were evil and disobedient to Yahweh, and in Genesis 11 it reaches its summit in the Tower of Babel. What happens at Babel is man's disobedience causes Yahweh to divide them up and give them to the lesser gods. They were to worship the lesser gods because Yahweh was done with them. Man continued to reject Yahweh and serve other gods so Yahweh gave them up. What happened in Genesis 10 and 11 is explained in:

When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. Deuteronomy 32:8 ESV

Here we see that Yahweh is responsible for the creation and placement of the nations (Heb. goyim). If in Deuteronomy 32, Moses was indeed referencing Yahweh's separation of the nations according to Noah's offspring (specifically their physical separation at the Tower of Babel), it is important to note that Israel is not listed in the index of the 70 nations found in Genesis 10. The nation of Israel did not yet exist at that time.

When do we see God's call to Abram? That doesn't happen until Genesis 12. So after God turns from the nations, He calls Israel to be His people. And through out the Scripture we see the phrase, "Yahweh, the God of Israel." Yahweh had abandoned the nations because of their sin and had created a new nation for Himself—Israel. But at the very call of that nation Yahweh lets us know that He will someday restore the nations to Himself:

Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." Genesis 12:1-3 ESV

It was to be through Israel that all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Israel was to be a light to the nations. But the Israelites didn't get this. They had grown to hate the people around them. They were so pro-Israel, they had nothing but disdain for the nations around them. If they traveled out of Israel and came back, they shook the Gentile dust off their garments and their shoes so they wouldn't bring Gentile dust into their country. They couldn't eat with Gentile utensils. They couldn't enter a Gentile home. All of this had developed as a way to insulate themselves from the nations around them.

They became more and more isolated. And they turned to hate the very people they were to reach. You see this, for example, in the case of Jonah, the reluctant missionary, who when told to go to Nineveh and preach, ran the other way. This is a sort of symbolic reflection of how the nation felt about Gentiles coming to know their God.

The whole of the Gentile city of Nineveh repents, and Jonah is upset about it. He is not happy about that because now there are Gentiles who have come into the place of blessing with his God. Israel was not the light they were called to be.

But now, in response to the request of these Greeks to see Him, Yeshua announces, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified." Yeshua is speaking of the hour of His Redemption through His sacrificial death and resurrection. This request of the Gentiles has now set the "countdown" to His glorification in motion. The hour to which Yeshua's whole life had purposefully progressed, indeed the hour to which all of history progressed, had now come. God's eternal plan is about to reach its culmination. That event to which the Old Covenant pointed in prophetic historical narrative, in symbolic ritual, in predictive word, is about to occur. Through the cross, the Gospel was opened to all peoples.

The Gospel came to the Jews first, but now that they have largely rejected it, the message goes out to the whole world. (Paul develops that theme in Romans 9-11).

"The Son of Man to be glorified"—Yeshua's death is always referred to as "His glory." The "Son of Man" is a Messianic term found in Daniel 7, a passage Yeshua's listeners would have been familiar with. In Daniel 7 the opening verses identify all the powers of the world, all the great nations: Babylon, Medo-Persia. They are represented in beastly image to show their corruption. All of the sudden, onto the scene in this vision comes the Son of Man, and He has power and dominion and authority, and He crushes all His enemies, and He sets up His kingdom.

The Son of Man being glorified is probably an allusion to Isaiah 52:

Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. Isaiah 52:13 ESV

The LXX here has, "will be glorified."

Yeshua has already said that He would "lay down His life" (10:17), and that He had other sheep not of the fold (10:16). The appearance of these Gentiles wishing to see Yeshua indicates that it is time for Him to lay down His life—the hour of His glory has come.

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 ESV

Yeshua is speaking here of Himself and of His imminent death. He has to die, that is the only way to save us so that we can be with Him. If He does not die, He will "remain alone"; if He dies He will by that death give life to many. If He dies, He will bring into the presence of the Father all those He redeems by His death. If H e does not die, He alone will live in the presence of the Father. His death is thus necessary to bring life to many.

Yeshua is speaking of His sacrifice being a condition of His glorification, and of death as the means of gaining life. Just as a seed must be covered in the earth before it sprouts new life, so too must Yeshua endure physical death to bring us new life that lasts eternally. The elect are the fruit that comes from Yeshua's death.

This general principle is now extended to the followers of our Lord in verses 25 and 26. Anyone who strives to save his life will destroy it, so far as bearing fruit is concerned. And anyone who despises his life in this world actually preserves it. Those who would follow Yeshua must follow the same principle and practice as their Master.

Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. John 12:25 ESV

This was a principle that He had taught them on at least three separate occasions previously (cf. Matt. 10:39; Mark 8:36; Luke 14:26). Obviously, it was very important.

Anyone who selfishly lives for himself or herself ("loves his life") "loses" his or her life in the sense that he or she wastes it. Nothing really good comes from it. Conversely, anyone "who hates his" or her "life," in the sense of disregarding one's own desires to pursue the welfare of another, will gain something for that sacrifice.

All of us very naturally want to control our lives; I want what I want, when I want it, and how I want it! From the time a little baby first begins to express himself this trait of human nature shouts forth from him. But as a disciple of Yeshua that changes. Life is reordered. What I had desired before—to please myself—is now laid aside so that I might please Another. What I wanted to do with my life—my own aspirations—is denied so that I might serve Yeshua as He desires.

Obviously, Yeshua did not mean that we gain justification by living sacrificial lives. This new life a believer is given is a gift from God for service, not for personal use. Believers are stewards of this new life.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV

If you are going to follow Yeshua, you no longer own yourself. He has ultimate rights; He has Lordship of your 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 12:26 ESV

Do you want to be where Yeshua is? Do you want to be honored by the Father? This comes from a life of service to Christ. The determining principle of your fruitfulness as a Christian, and your ultimate happiness as a Christian, will be the extent of which you follow Him and follow Him in death. Death to your pleasures, death to your ambitions, death to your goals. Those things that you put before the Lord.

As Yeshua went to the cross, He abandoned everything to follow after the Father's will. He had the right to live, since He had never sinned. But He died. He did not deserve to be separated from the Father or feel the agony of suffering or receive the mocking at the instigation of ungodly men. But He did, and He died.

Though we can identify many different areas we are called upon to die to, I think that the primary implication is that we die to our perceived rights. We're inundated in our day by people claiming their rights: "A woman has the right to choose," the pro-abortionist says. "People have the right to same-sex marriage," the sodomites say, "People have the right to choose their gender," the progressive says, 'The pornographer claims he has the right to pollute the minds of any he can find."

Rights! We know there are problems with all of these areas; no one would deny this. But rights come in less demonstrable ways: Someone cuts in front of you in traffic, so you have a right to flip them the bird or blurt out obscenities; you are a teenager and you think that you have the right to fill your life with entertainment. Think about how often we've nursed our rights when something happens to us. Yeshua says, Take up your cross, die to your rights, receive My teaching, demonstrate grace, kindness, and service toward those that you think have trampled your rights.

Here is what Yeshua said: Do you really want to live? Do you really want to max out on life? Then you need to die to self. Dying to self to follow Christ is the way of total freedom and complete fulfillment. It is the greatest paradox in life. We live by dying. We want to squeeze all we can out of this life and get every drop out of it. Yeshua said: You need to let go of your desires and wishes and follow Me.

"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose," Do you know who said that? It was Jim Elliot when he was in his 20s. His principle of life appeared foolish to the world about him. But Elliot chose to pursue a higher calling and purpose in his life.

Jim Elliot graduated from Wheaton with a passion for the mission field. It never let up. But more than his passion for missions, his passion for Yeshua burned brightest. He faced struggles, trials, and temptations just like all of us. He wrestled for the college while maintaining excellence in his academic work. His eyes remained firmly set on the missionary call. All the while he understood that without progressing in the faith and growing in his devotion to Christ, that all of his sermons, service, and missionary zeal was vain.

Finally, Jim arrived in Ecuador and began preparation for reaching the primitive Quichua Indians, a tribe that had no dealings with the outside world. Stuck in a Stone Age time warp, the Quichua would either welcome or react to the intrusion of missionaries. Though a few appeared to welcome Jim Elliot and his four companions, their reaction came in a savage attack that left all five missionaries dead. The world cried "tragedy!" But eternity marked it quite differently. The Quichuas were eventually reached with the Gospel, Jim's wife and daughter serving them as missionaries. Applicants for missionary posts surged. And even some of those that wielded the lances that speared Jim and his companions came to faith in Christ. Jim Elliot practiced what he preached: "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." He might have lost the world, but he found more than any of us can ever imagine.

If you save your life, if you cling to it, hoard it, get all you can for yourself, then, without a doubt, Yeshua says, you will lose it. This is not a mere platitude, but a truism; He is stating a fundamental law of life. It is absolutely unbreakable. Nobody can break this law. If you save your life, says Yeshua, you will lose it. You will find that you have everything you want, but you will not want anything you have. We grow in our fulfillment in life by following Yeshua's example of giving up control of our life to God.

Jonathan Edwards is recognized by many as the greatest theologian and perhaps the greatest intellect in North American history. At age 17 he penned 21 resolutions by which he would live his life. By the time he died, that list had grown to 70. Let me share with you what was at the top and stayed at the top of his list of resolutions. It was: "Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these resolutions"

We can't live the Christian life without God's help. I pray that Yeshua's words in this text of Scripture would bring us to a greater and more desperate dependence on Yahweh in all we say and do. The only way to really life is to die to self. We should all be dying to live.

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