Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.
… the NAB has an interesting point to make about the “losing one’s life” phrase … ” His life: the Greek word psyche refers to a person’s natural life. It does not mean soul, for Hebrew anthropology did not postulate body/soul dualism in the way that is familiar to us.”
I’m very interested in this idea of self sacrifice to the death … not a metaphorical death, not a “life transition” type of death, but the real physical death of all one is. That, I think, is the kind of loss of life Jesus is talking about here and it’s the kind he experienced (though he rose again after). A scary thing to contemplate.
Also interesting that people put such emphasis on having souls and thinking that when they die, their souls will leave their bodies. From what I’ve read, (but please correct me if I’m wrong) there is no distinction in the bible between a person’s body and his soul. The word soul means, often, the person … example – John was a merry old soul. And for that matter, there seems to be evidence in the bible that all created theings have/are souls … animals, plants, not just people. Sometimes the percieved lack of a soul is used as justification for the ok-ness of killing a person/animal …. something to think about.