John 12:20-26

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord Predicts His Coming Death and Resurrection

John 12:20-26

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Lesson Number 57

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. For Christ, death was the way to life.
  2. For the Christian, death to self is the way to life.

Practical Application

  1. If you had three wishes, what would your first wish be?
  2. Let’s not lead the Lord in our Christian service.


  1. Who were the Greeks who came up to Jerusalem to worship at the Passover?
  2. Why did Jesus answer as He did when the disciples brought the Greeks’ request to see Him?
  3. Explain the meaning of John 12:24.
  4. Explain the meaning of John 12:25.
  5. List other verses in the New Testament that support the theme of John 12:24-25


  1. Gentile proselytes or converts to Judaism. They realized that the gods of the Greek and Roman religions were not the true God. They were like Cornelius in Acts 10.
  2. The “hour” refers to the Lord’s death and resurrection. Up to this point this hour had not arrived. See John 7:8 and John 8:20. But now the hour had come, and it was through this hour, the Lord’s death and resurrection, that the door would be opened for the gospel to go out to the whole world, including these Gentiles.
  3. The Lord uses a natural illustration of how a seed must die when it is planted if life is to go on, and if there is to be any fruit. He applies this principle to Himself. He had to die in order for us to receive eternal life. We are the fruit. He had to die because death is the penalty for sin, and we are sinners. Christ was the only person who never sinned, and He gave His life as a sacrifice. Because He died, we can have life. As the seed carries life when it passes through death for the new growth, so the life of Christ has been passed on to believers (as the fruit). Believers possess divine life, eternal life, the life of Christ!
  4. When a person becomes a Christian, he has eternal life and is on the way to heaven. But what about the physical life? If a life of selfish desire and self-pleasure is lived, then the reward of life in heaven will be lost. But if a person hates his life, loving Christ more, he will keep it, and there will be reward in heaven.
  5. Romans 12:1 and Galatians 6:14.


  1. Do you try, even unconsciously, to lead the Lord in Christian service, or are you letting Him lead you? Recall specific instances in your life that illustrate your leading or His leading.
  2. Refer to John 12:25. See Q-A #4. Do you love your life or do you hate your life in this world? See also Philippians 1:20-21.


  1. If you had three wishes, what would you wish? Would you be like the Greeks, “We wish to see Jesus?” Do you long to see Him? Do you want to know Him better? Do you desire a closer fellowship with Him? Are you looking forward to seeing Him in heaven?

Key Verses

  • “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” John 12:21
  • “Jesus said, ‘I say to you, unless a grain of what falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.’” John 12:24
  • “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:25

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