John Chapter 12
The Anointing of Jesus at Bethany:
(Read John 12:1-8)
In this chapter we see the contrast between Mary and Judas. Jesus came to the end of his public ministry. There are six separate sections in this chapter. Mary anoints Jesus at Bethany, reclining at Jesus’s feet in adoration. Jews plot to kill Lazarus. Also, we see the record of the triumphal entry of Jesus on a donkey to Jerusalem. John gives the account of Greeks seeking Jesus. Jesus predicts His crucifixion as 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 had done (Matthew 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 or burial. It was a sacrificial giving of her life saving. Also, this was an extravagant 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. When Judas was critical of the generosity of Mary, Jesus rebuked him. He was also critical of Jesus accepting her worship. Critical spirits can crush the hearts of others. Jesus accepted Mary's worship. Only God is to be worshiped. 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. True worship is in truth and spirit, for the Father is seeking such worship (John 4:24). We must forsake the critical spirit of Judas and embrace the adoring response of Mary. 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 (John 16:33). This world is not our home, and we are just passing through. You may be a Lazarus; the world is watching. So, we must be diligent in our walk with the Lord. Next day Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. This is known as Palm Sunday. In the Old Testament the donkey is a symbol of peace and the 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. Hosanna in Greek means "Save now". The waving of palm branches speaks 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 at this time (Psalms 118:25, 26). He came to establish a reign of grace and peace in the heart of his followers (Romans 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. Do you believe in Jesus who came to seek and save the lost?
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 said, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus' '. Philip consulted with Andrew, and they went to 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 the lost. Jesus knew that the time for his suffering was now at hand (John 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" (John 12:28). Then Jesus said, "When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself". Jesus is the Savior of the world. He died on the cross to set us free from sin. By his death he triumphed over death and the devil (Hebrews 2:15). His death and resurrection give us the certainty that Christ will have the final victory. There is no greater love than the love of a dying Savior! Those who survey the wondrous cross will see God's great love. Sinners are saved by the cross and the believers are sanctified by the cross. 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 many Jewish leaders believed in Jesus, but they were afraid to express their faith openly. They loved the praise of men more than the praise that comes from God. This shows how depraved the human heart is. There is no secret discipleship. Though Jesus did many miracles, Jews did not believe him. It was a fulfillment of what Isaiah prophesied (Isaiah:5-12). Believing Jesus is the equivalent to believing God the Father (John 12:44-45). They loved the praise of men more than the glory that comes from God (John 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 and receive Him as their Savior. Knowing Christ personally and intimately is salvation. Do you live for the glory of Christ or for the praise of men? When God enlightens to see the glory of Jesus, we must forsake anything that stands in the way to follow him. Pray that you would see the glory of God's grace more clearly today.