John 12:25

At Bible Study this week we read John 12 together and discussed the importance of the stories told within. The woman and the nard, washing Jesus’ feet with her hair – the Wheat – and this:

25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

What, what? I have to keep something I hate for always? hm…..

That is the way the verse is written in my NIV bible and I’ve always understood it to mean this: don’t get too attached to your life as it is because you can’t take it with you when you die (very short version of meaning). Our group fleshed it out further, and the fun about discussing these things with a group is that each person comes his/her own perspective and experiences and many times with another translation that I hadn’t thought to reference.

I want to point out the literary beauty of the gospel of John – a friend once told me that he was the poet of the gospel writers, and I think that’s a lovely way to describe his writing.

These following two translations of this verse, are by far my favorite explanations because they give a sort of “plan of attack” and triumphant voice to something that can equally be translated as kind of confusing and depressing.

The Message
25 In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.

Calvin’s commentary:

For the true limit of loving life, is, when we continue in it as long as it pleases God, and when
we are prepared to leave it as soon as he shall order us, or — to express it in a single word
— when we carry it, as it were, in our hands, and offer it to God as a sacrifice. Whoever
carries his attachment to the present life beyond this limit, destroys his life; that is, he consigns
it to everlasting ruin.

Did you catch that?  “reckless in your love!” – what a beautiful way to describe how we can reflect the love of God – how can we, as Christians, be good followers of Jesus?  be reckless in love – Love recklessly – beyond comfort zones and beyond friends and family – Love without boundaries.

and do this – in a way that is never so content that we become reliant on the limits we’ve placed on our life.  Be willing to live beyond our comfort zone – as it pleases God – be equally willing to hold the life we are living so loosely that change may be one we may step recklessly into.

Anyway, these were my notes and musings and I just thought I’d share.   How are you loving recklessly?  Can we hold eachother accountable to reckless love?  or at least encourage one another in such a thing?

Happy Tuesday all.

2 thoughts on “John 12:25

  1. When I think of the “reckless love” described in the Message version, I think of my step-father. He’s in poor health, so poor in fact that he can no longer work. Even more, he has few possessions to his name. Yet every weekend he travels to downtown Chicago to give what he has been given and to talk share with people who are often shunned and forgotten. He has no care for his own well being in this. He cares only about sharing God’s love.

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