New International Version
Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
King James Bible
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Darby Bible Translation
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, it abides alone; but if it die, it bears much fruit.
World English Bible
Most certainly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Young's Literal Translation
verily, verily, I say to you, if the grain of the wheat, having fallen to the earth, may not die, itself remaineth alone; and if it may die, it doth bear much fruit;
John 12:24 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die - Our Lord compares himself to a grain of wheat; his death, to a grain sown and decomposed in the ground; his resurrection, to the blade which springs up from the dead grain; which grain, thus dying, brings forth an abundance of fruit. I must die to be glorified; and, unless I am glorified, I can not establish a glorious Church of Jews and Gentiles upon earth. In comparing himself thus to a grain of wheat, our Lord shows us: -
1. The cause of his death - the order of God, who had rated the redemption of the world at this price; as in nature he had attached the multiplication of the corn to the death or decomposition of the grain.
2. The end of his death - the redemption of a lost world; the justification, sanctification, and glorification of men: as the multiplication of the corn is the end for which the grain is sown and dies.
3. The mystery of his death, which we must credit without being able fully to comprehend, as we believe the dead grain multiplies itself, and we are nourished by that multiplication, without being able to comprehend how it is done.
The greatest philosopher that ever existed could not tell how one grain became thirty, sixty, a hundred, or a thousand - how it vegetated in the earth - how earth, air, and water, its component parts, could assume such a form and consistence, emit such odours, or produce such tastes. Nor can the wisest man on earth tell how the bodies of animals are nourished by this produce of the ground; how wheat, for instance, is assimilated to the very nature of the bodies that receive it, and how it becomes flesh and blood, nerves, sinews, bones, etc. All we can say is, the thing is so; and it has pleased God that is should be so, and not otherwise. So there are many things in the person, death, and sacrifice of Christ, which we can neither explain nor comprehend. All we should say here is, It is by this means that the world was redeemed - through this sacrifice men are saved: it has pleased God that it should be so, and not otherwise. Some say: "Our Lord spoke this according to the philosophy of those days, which was by no means correct." But, I would ask, has ever a more correct philosophy on this point appeared? Is it not a physical truth that the whole body of the grain dies, is converted into fine earth, which forms the first nourishment of the embryo plant, and prepares it to receive a grosser support from the surrounding soil; and that nothing lives but the germ, which was included in this body, and which must die also, if it did not receive, from the death or putrefaction of the body of the grain, nourishment, so as to enable it to unfold itself? Though the body of our Lord died, there was still the germ, the quickening power of the Divinity, which re-animated that body, and stamped the atonement with infinite merit. Thus the merit was multiplied; and, through the death of that one person, the man Christ Jesus united to the eternal Word, salvation was procured for the whole world. Never was a simile more appropriate, nor an illustration more happy or successful.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Chester Cathedral. 1870. St John xii. 24, 25. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." This is our Lord's own parable. In it He tells us that His death, His resurrection, His ascension, is a mystery which we may believe, not only because the Bible tells us of it, but because …
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons
September 22 Evening
The Universal Magnet
The Son of Man
For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
1 Corinthians 15:36
How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
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