Knowing How to Lose

Read John 12.23. What if Jesus had ended His comments with this statement? He doesn’t. In fact He reveals a shocking truth: The  kingdom would not come into existence unless He died. From the earthly viewpoint, Jesus wasn’t headed to a triumphant victory – he was headed to a stunning humiliation and overwhelming defeat and personal loss – His own death via crucifixion. Without His dying, nothing happens. How could Jesus’ death be a victory? How can we develop this same attitude in knowing how to lose? If we want to be true servants, we need to know what this means.

I. Knowing How to Lose is the foundation of christian servanthood.

  1. Doesn’t this stand in great contrast to our society? Everything is about winning.
  2. Ephesians 1.7-8a. Jesus lost so that we can be blessed.
    1. Will we emulate His attitude?
    2. God took a risk for us. He made Himself vulnerable: Matthew 27.45-46.
  3. Now, what about us and our willingness to lose? Are we demonstrating true discipleship by:

II. The General Invitation of John 12.25-26.

  1. John 12.25 – whoever – now it’s not just the Jews, but everyone!
    1. Whoever loves his life loses it.
    2. Whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
  2. John 12.26 – Anyone who serves – must follow me.
    1. Where I am, there my servant will be also.
    2. If anyone serves me, the father will honor him.
  3. This is an invitation to die.
    1. It isn’t simply believing that Jesus is… or that Jesus is who He said who He was or what He did… It’s how you look at yourself that makes the difference.
    2. Whoever loves this life loses it. You keep it now, you’ll lose it forever. See Luke 9.23.24; Matthew 10.37-39.
  4. When we come to Jesus, we must count the cost. Are you really willing to die to yourself? That’s what a servant does.

III. What does the Servant Receive?

  1. John 12.25 – eternal life. Life in all it’s fullness, eternally forever.
  2. John 12.26b – Where? Where I am, there my servant will be.
  3. John 12.26c – The Father will honor us. Who can comprehend this?


  1. While we live inside a culture that stresses winning …and winning at all costs … domination of those we win against…
    1. Do we know how to lose? To sacrifice for others? To make ourselves vulnerable?
    2. That is what a servant does.
  2. Have you lost your life for Christ? Galatians 2.20.

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