During Passover week, Jerusalem was swarming with visitors, including some Greeks who asked Philip if they could see Jesus. In response, Jesus simply said, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified” (Jn. 12:23). Then, contrary to what His listeners may have anticipated, Jesus compared His life to a seed, which must die in order to live and bear fruit.

As believers in Christ, we shrink from the thought of dying to self. Yet in nature we easily accept that a seed must pass through death to produce new life in the spring season. We know that seeds germinate under the ground’s surface, though we don’t see it happening.

Years ago my daughter was given a seed-planting kit. The soil in the kit was transparent jelly, which allowed us to observe the buried seed. Many days later we rejoiced as we witnessed the first sign of life emerge from that seed and eventually rise to full bloom.

In today’s circumstances, if we die to self and let the Spirit control our sinful desires, we can be confident that spiritual fruit will germinate within us, even though we can’t see it yet. We can rejoice over every seed of self that dies, for it’s a sign of the coming of spring to our lives.