Jesus’ audience understood farming so he took an opportunity to express
a paradox through the story of a seed. The terms Jesus used were easy to
understand. They knew that a harvest was the result of dying seeds giving way
to new life. Jesus’ life must be given up so that new life can be realized by those
who would believe and follow Him. For the follower of Jesus, seeking honor
from the Father would require humble self-giving service. Emptying oneself in
service to Jesus is the only path to righteousness. This paradox of living in a way
that is seemingly dishonorable (dying to self) is the path to greater honor (from
God Himself).