Truly, Truly! – The Buried Seed

Truly, Truly! – The Buried Seed

Truly, Truly! – The Buried Seed.

“And Jesus said to them, ‘The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, what I am about to say is really important, so you’ve got to listen carefully. Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it is buried and dies, it produces a harvest of much fruit. The person who loves his life will lose it, while the person who hates his life in the world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:23-25).

There is a much-used Hebrew word in the Hebrew Bible that points to its root word “truth.” The Greek in the New Testament also picked it up and used it for “truth” as well. That common Hebrew word is “amen.”

Amen. This biblical word basically means: This is truth! I agree that this is true! Yes! We heartily accept and approve of what was said! We are assured that this is certainly true! So be it! We believe this is trustworthy and we take it to heart!

Amen! Amen! is often translated as Truly, Truly, or Verily, Verily in the New Testament. This double Amen is only recorded in the gospel of John, and is said by Jesus before He offers a statement, not after.  He is the only Person to say this, because He is the only Person who has the authority to say this before He says it. This double Amen, as opposed to a single Amen, must be an important distinction for Jesus, because He felt compelled to use this preface twenty-five times in John.  When Jesus begins a statement with that double “Truly,” He is intending to be doubly intense when He says it, and so He wants the listener to be doubly attentive. He wants to emphasize the importance of His words. He is saying, In all truth I tell you. He wants the listener to focus, and He is serious about preparing the listener to be receptive. When Jesus says Truly, Truly, He is saying: Most assuredly, what I am about to tell you is absolutely true and trustworthy. So listen up, because an eternal truth is coming to you now. In all sincerity, says Jesus, this is the solemn truth. Take these words in, says Jesus, and have them go into your mind and then straight to your heart. For these words of mine are double truth, they are doubly true. Jesus might as well have been saying… And you readers out there centuries from now, get ready to apply your hot pink highlighter, get ready to do some double underlining! Truly, Truly, what you are about to hear is the honest to goodness truth. This is True! Really True!

God’s Glory: The presence of God in all its weighty splendor; its fiery radiance; its sacred majesty; its overwhelming power; its eternal perfection. The glorious presence of God has so much unearthly substance that it outweighs the world. Because the essence of God’s nature is pure love, the self-sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross reveals the glory of His heart for the world. The death of Christ proclaims the glory of God’s goodness.

To Glorify God: To bless His holy presence in the world; to honor His greatness and majesty; to proclaim His purity of heart; to recognize the spiritual substance of His presence in the universe; to express our gratitude to God that He is the source of all truth; to praise His worthiness to be worshipped; to lift up His beautiful splendor; to amplify the wonders of His sacred name; to point to the weight of His moral virtue by living a life of self-sacrifice and remaining a living reminder of His mercy and justice. We glorify God through our words of praise and blessing and by our lives that bring praise to Him.

In John 12:24, Jesus tells His followers about something that He thought was so important that He started off by saying the equivalent of… Listen carefully now, I really need you to understand this. This is the utmost truth, and is most assuredly true. Truly, truly! And then Jesus offers a mini-parable that has two intentions. First He wanted to discuss the coming Passion, and that He will be like a kernel of wheat that gets buried in the ground and dies to the world. But, He says, the seed must in a sense die in order to bring new life into the world, a harvest bearing much fruit. The purpose of burying a seed is to produce a fruit-bearing plant, He says. And that’s what will happen after I am buried in the ground. The dead seed leads to resurrection life, says Jesus. And judging by His words after this parable, Jesus intends for His followers to do likewise. You must become a buried seed in the ground if you want to bring resurrected life into this world, He is saying. Bury yourself so that you are dead to the world and its way of life, and you will bring new life into the world, starting with you! I intend for you to bear much fruit, says Jesus, but you must first bury your self and follow me.

To “love” your life in a way that you end up losing it: Self-indulgence leads to self-destruction; to live with your self in the center by orbiting around your ego and its needs; to embrace selfish ambition; to live in a way that your earthly needs are your constant concern; to tenaciously cling to the values of this world; to pursue recognition, admiration, and power over others; to tightly grasp the things of this world that we value; to primarily lean on your self and allow it to control your life; to live with the self on the throne of your heart, and continue to serve the self as the king of your life. A selfish life is one that hasn’t been buried, hasn’t died to the self.

To “hate” your life in a way that you will end up keeping it: Self-denial leads to self-renewal; to develop such a love for God and His Kingdom that everything else seems almost like hate in comparison; to embrace a daily martyrdom, in which you pick up your cross and die to self; to remove self-centeredness in your life; to reject the self that turns into a tyrant, controlling everything in your life; to reject the ungodly standards of this world; to let go of the impulse to seek pleasure by pampering your self; to develop a life for others and for one another; to turn your back on self-gratification as your purpose in life; to starve your ego of whatever feeds it; to invite the almighty God to replace your self on the throne of your heart; to seek God’s Kingdom and its values first; to refrain from creating little kingdoms of your own.

Don’t remove my mountain: Anticipating Gethsemane later at the beginning of His Passion, Jesus becomes troubled about what He soon has to do. He is face to face with His destiny on the Cross, and HIs human side is struggling with it all. But He comes to accept the cup of death that is the Father’s will for the life of the world. Jesus is resolved now to climb that mountain of self-sacrifice. There is an old gospel song about asking God not to remove the mountain, but to give the strength to climb it. This is very much on the mind of Jesus, and certainly we can see that these thoughts, and the following lyrics of that song, pertain to followers of Jesus as well.

Mountains can symbolize God and His stability and permanence, for sure. But mountains can also represent the difficult things in life we have to face. We often say we have to climb a mountain when we face adversity and need to overcome it. Our God is the God of those mountains as well. This gospel song’s wonderful lyrics focus on the need for us to bravely face those life mountains, just as Jesus did, and instead of asking for their removal, asking God to give us the strength to climb that mountain, to conquer that adversity.

There are two versions of this gospel song. This first version was written by Doris Akins, and has been covered by many gospel heroes through the years… Inez Andrews, Mahalia Jackson, James Cleveland, and the Blind Boys of Alabama. Here are Doris’ lyrics:

“Lord don’t move my mountain; Give me the strength to climb it.

Lord don’t move my stumbling block, but lead me all around it.

The way may not be easy; You didn’t say that it would be.

For when my tribulations get too light, we tend to stray from thee.”

Alternative lyrics profoundly expand on the main idea. These are words to live by:

Lord don’t move that mountain, just give me the strength to climb it.

For if you should move each mountain, I might grow weaker every time.

And just as your Son Jesus took the Cross up Calvary’s hill,

Lord don’t move my mountain, so I may better do thy will.


Down on my knees in prayer, and Lord you promised me you would always meet me there.

Now there’s a mountain up ahead I can’t seem to climb,

For if so I’m asking for the strength to try it one more time.


Now if there were no mountains, Lord, I might forget to pray.

And if there were no valleys, Lord, I might even stay.

I know the higher the mountain, the sweeter the victory;

Lord ever remind me, that you will walk ahead of me.”

All glory to the Father. The troubled heart of Jesus seems to be settled for now, and He asks that His Father’s name be glorified. This is truly sacred unselfishness… He is at the cusp of His own death, and He wants the Father to get the attention, He wants His Father to receive the honor and praise and adoration! Jesus is asking here that God’s name, His character and identity and heart to be lifted up so all can see who He truly is. The Son is pleading for the Father’s splendor and majesty to be on full display, that His awesome spiritual substance be revealed. Jesus said this in the context of His impending sacrifice, so Jesus seems to be asking that the Father be glorified through Christ’s death.

It didn’t take long for the always attentive Father God to respond to His Son’s prayer. Like a sudden thunderstorm, the Father’s audible voice is heard, just like at Jesus’ baptism and His transfiguration. From out of nowhere, the Father’s voice boomed, “I have glorified my name, and I will glorify it again!” We can safely assume that it is through Jesus’ death that the Father will be glorified, and nothing would please Jesus more.

“Father, the time has come… Glorify your Son that your Son also may glorify you. I have glorified you on the earth. I have finished the work which you have given me to do. And now, O Father, glorify me together with yourself, with the glory which I shared with you before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:1, 4, 5).