The conversation that Jesus began with the Greeks in John 12 is a very fascinating one for me. It was not hi, nice to meet you, how are you doing? No, it was get to the point- The hour has come, unless a grain of wheat falls and dies it cannot produce, If a man loves his life he will lose it… It is clear in this passage that the shadow of the cross is weighing heavily on Jesus. He knows it is coming, He knows the approaching agony of the weight of sin and God’s wrath being poured out on Him. It becomes the focus of His mind and thoughts and teaching over these next several chapters and verses. In reality, he is preparing his followers for the cross that he must bear, but also the one they must bear. It is what makes this passage and these individual verses so very important to understand, for it is a clarion call to each of us about our life in Jesus Christ.
John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.
In this verse, Jesus is presenting a hypothetical situation. In this tense, the word If (Gr. ean) means perchance and indicates a hypothetical “any man” serving Jesus. Literally, this verse reads ean-if ego-I tis-any (person) diakoneo-serve/minister ego-I. So the call is to any man, to you and to I describing what it means (with the following words) to serve (diakoneo) or minister to Jesus. This Greek word indicates that the servant or the minister is in the presence of the one being served, in order for one to efficiently serve, they must be in close contact with the one being served. In this case, in order for us to serve Jesus, we must be a servant of Jesus. To be a servant of Jesus, one must be born again to be in his effective service. Let me illustrate with another verse....
"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan