Jesus Anointed at Bethany:
(Read John 12:1-8)
This chapter gives the contrast between Mary and Judas. 12th chapter of John's Gospel gives the account of the end of Christ's public ministry. There are six separate sections in this chapter. Mary anoints Jesus at Bethany, Jews plot to kill Lazarus, The triumphal entry of Jesus on a donkey to Jerusalem, Greeks seeking Jesus, Jesus predicts His crucifixion and Christ emerges as the true Messiah. Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where a dinner was arranged in the house of Simon the leper to thank Jesus for what He has done (Matt 26:6-13). There we see Martha and Mary at their best serving and worshiping Christ. Mary anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. It was the costly perfume perhaps saved for her wedding. This was an act of her love and devotion to the Lord. It also shows her humility and faith in the Lord in anointing him for his burial. It was her extravagant and timely act of devotion to the Lord. When Judas was critical of the generosity of Mary, Jesus rebuked him. He was also critical of Jesus accepting her worship. Critical spirit can crush the heart of others. Mary worships Jesus by giving honor to him. Judas was judgmental and sought personal gain for himself. God demands worship from us and it is costly. Those who have been forgiven much, love much. Jesus said "Mary would be remembered wherever the gospel is preached". Nothing is wasted if it is given to the Lord. The house was filled with fragrance. Is your worship acceptable to God?
The Triumphal Entry of Jesus:
(Read John 12:9-19)
A large crowd came to see Jesus and Lazarus whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So the religious leaders planned to kill Lazarus because many had believed in Christ because of him. Believers should expect hostility from the world (16:33). This world is not our home and we are just passing through. You may be the Lazarus, the world is watching. So we must be diligent in our walk with the Lord. Next day (Sunday) Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. In the Old Testament donkey is a symbol of peace and horse a symbol of war. It was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. There was spontaneous outpouring of praise from the pilgrims, singing Hosanna to Christ. The waving of palm branches speak of their devotion and expectation. Though they acknowledged Jesus as their king, they failed to understand that Jesus did not come to establish a political kingdom (Psalms 118:25, 26). He came to establish a reign of grace and peace in the heart of his followers (Rom 14:17). The disciples understood this truth only after the ascension of Christ. Pharisees said "The whole world has gone after Jesus". This was fulfilled when the Greeks came to see Jesus. Pray that God would give you a greater anticipation of the heavenly blessings to come.
Jesus Predicts His Death:
(Read John 12:20-36)
Now the attention is turned from Jews to the Greeks. Some Greeks who came to worship at Jerusalem came to Philip and asked, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus". They were seeking Jesus became he was seeking them (Luke 19:10). Philip consulted with Andrew and they approached Jesus with their request. Jesus said, "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified". It was a reference to His death. Thus the promise to Abraham was fulfilled in Jesus that Abraham would be the father of many nations. Jesus came into the world to seek and to save that was lost. Jesus knew that the time for his suffering was now at hand (12:23). In His humanity Christ experienced agony as he approached his death. His desire was to glorify the Father through his death. He received the testimony from the Father that "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again" (12:28). Then Jesus said "When I am lifted upon the cross, I will draw all people to myself". Jesus is the savior of the world. He died to set us free from sin. By his death he triumphed over death and devil (Heb 2:15). His death and resurrection give us the certainty that Christ will have the final victory. Do you have this assurance? Jews failed to believe that their Messiah would die. Jesus warned them that while you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light. Jesus is the light of the world. Do you know him?
The Unbelief of the people:
(Read John 12:37-50)
John tells us that there were many Jewish leaders believed in Jesus, but they were afraid to express their faith openly. Though Jesus did many miracles before Jews, they did not believe him. It was a fulfillment of what Isaiah prophesied (Isiah:5-12). Believing Jesus is the equivalent to believing God the Father (12:44-45). They loved the praise men more the the glory comes from God (12:43). Only the grace of God can remove our spiritual blindness to see the glory of Jesus Christ. Pray that sinners would see the glory of Christ more clearly to receive him as their Savior. Knowing Christ personally and intimately protect us from living for the praise of others. Do you live for the glory of Christ?