What a Tiny Grain of Wheat Can Teach

April 7th, 2009

Louisa TindallBy Louisa Tindall
Junior English Secondary Education major

Read: John 12: 20-36

Reflect: I’m a country girl. I’ve lived next to fields of wheat, soy bean, and corn all my life, so today’s scripture reference to “corn of wheat” really jumped out at me. I love working with my hands in the dirt to watch plants grow.

But I have never heard of a “corn of wheat” before. When I looked at the footnote in my Bible, I discovered a “corn” is really one grain, a tiny granule of wheat. Jesus said, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”

When I read this verse, I was reminded of the parable of the mustard seed Jesus told in Matthew 13:31-32. Both a mustard seed and a corn of wheat are very tiny, yet both are used by God to create immense objects, in this case a tree or a huge wheat crop. But before the crop can be achieved, the corn of wheat has to die. Only then can “it bringeth forth much fruit.”

How can something die and yet make something else grow and live? The footnote in my Bible led me to 1 Corinthians 15:36, where Paul says, “Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die.” The crop won’t flourish until the seed has died. Then, and only then, does the growing process occur.

What a symbol of our own lives! A Christian has to die unto themselves in order to make a difference and for change to occur. Only then can the Lord use that person to make a difference in another person’s life, either leading an unbeliever to Christ or helping another Christian get back on the right path.

Jesus also used the corn of wheat symbol to reference His own death on the cross. Later in today’s passage, Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Jesus was specifically telling people that He was going to die. His death is both extremely sad and filled with hope. Jesus’ death allowed anyone to accept Him as Savior, to get rid of their old self, and to grow in Christ and become a new creation! How exciting and amazing! Jesus used His death on the cross to help all of us draw and grow closer to Him and be with Him forever in Heaven!

What also struck me about this passage was when Jesus said, “Yet a little while is the light with you…While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.” As soon as I read this I remembered one of my favorite Sunday school songs called “This Little Light of Mine.” In that song, we are told to “Let [our light] shine till Jesus comes.” How very true for Christians in today’s changing world!

In these two verses, Jesus encourages all Christians to continue walking in His ways. The world may one day remove everything that is Christian, and followers of Jesus will find it very difficult to even read the Bible, go to church, or sing hymns praising God. In this passage, Jesus seems to be telling His followers to hold onto Him, focus solely on Him, and get rid of the “darkness” that the world wants a person to believe. While Christians still “have light,” we should use it to make a difference in people’s lives and spread God’s Word.

As I continue my time here at EMU, I am going to keep these thoughts and teachings of Jesus close to my heart and really put them into practice. I want to make a difference in someone’s. I need to give all of my sins up and make a change in my life in order to impact others. Even though I’m small and only one person, I want to share God’s light and reach a dark world. I want to be the corn of wheat that makes a difference.

Respond: How can you “die” to yourself to help make an impact in another person’s life and help others grow in Christ? Is there something God wants you to give up so that you can draw closer to Him? God can give you the strength to fully trust in Him and to give up anything that is holding you back from what He has planned for your life.