In John 12, you will learn:
1-8: At the home of Lazarus (the man Jesus raised from the dead), Jesus was honored with a dinner served by Martha. Lazarus was there too. After dinner, Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with a 12-oz. jar of expensive perfume made from the essence of nard, wiping his feet with her hair.
Judas scoffed, saying the perfume was worth a year’s wages and could have been sold to help the poor. (Talk about a hypocrite. Judas was stealing some of the disciples’ funds that he was in charge of.)
7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
**This verse might be taken as a remark against the poor, but the use of the perfume was for a specific occasion –the most significant event in history. My understanding of his reply is that a donation would not sustain all of the poor, and by comparison, in this instance it was used for a greater purpose.**
12-13: Palm Sunday: Believers in Jesus had gathered palm leaves and used them in greeting and praising him as he rode into Jerusalem on a young donkey.
14-15: FULFILLED PROPHECY – 14 Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said: 15 “Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem. Look, your King is coming, riding on a donkey’s colt.
23-34: Jesus’ predicts his death, including the way he would die. This is the highlighted passage. Scroll down.
26: Gentiles, as well as Jews, can become a disciple. (Gentiles are non-Jews.) Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.
(Skip to) 46 I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.
Highlighted Passage (John 12:23-33)
Jesus Predicts His Death
23 Jesus replied, “Now the time has come for the Son of Man[l] to enter into his glory. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. (Key Verse): 25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. 26 Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.
27 “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! 28 Father, bring glory to your name.”
Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” 29 When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him.
30 Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out. 32 And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate how he was going to die.
Jesus then went away and was hidden from them.
(37-41) FULFILLED PROPHECY:
37 But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. 38 This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted:
“Lord, who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? 39 But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said,
40 “The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts—
so that their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me and have me heal them.”
41 Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory.
Key Verse: 42 Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. 43 For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.
LINK to Bible Gateway – full chapter: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2012&version=NLT
NOTES AND APPLICATIONS (This section is mainly comprised of information and applications I’ve chosen from the Life Application Study Bible.)
(13) Jesus chose a time when all Israel would be gathered at Jerusalem, a place where huge crowds could see him, and a way of proclaiming his mission that was unmistakeable. This is why Palm Sunday is celebrated.
(25) We must be so committed to living for Christ that we should care nothing for our lives by comparison. We must set aside our own self-centeredness and our desires for advantage, security, and pleasure, so we can serve God lovingly and freely by releasing control of our loves to Jesus.
(27) Jesus dreaded his crucifixion, which he knew lay ahead. He denied his human desires in order to obey and glorify his Father. Whatever God asks, we should do his will and bring glory to his name.
(31) To overcome Satan we need faithful allegiance to God’s Word, to stay away from sin, and to have the support of other believers (fellowship at church and small group).
(32-34) The crowd could not believe what Jesus was saying about the Messiah. They waved palm branches for a King who would set up a political, earthly kingdom that would never end. They thought he would never die. His words and their concept did not agree. Some turned against him when he did not fulfill their idea of the Messiah.
(40) God simply confirmed the choices of those who would not believe in him; he did not intentionally prevent them from believing. A lifetime of resisting God had set them so fast in their ways, it was nearly impossible for them to come to God.
*Application for 42-43: Are you a silent believer? Do you not admit your faith or share the Gospel for fear that others – unbelievers or churchgoers that just go through the motions – will think differently of you? If you have received Christ as your Savior, and you have not been baptized or have not told your non-Christian loved ones, you need to pray for the courage to speak up. Don’t be afraid of others’ opinions. When you fall in love with a person, don’t you let your loved ones know? It should be the same with Jesus. And you should want to be Baptized – to symbolically be reborn before the church – to declare your faith in a public way. If you have no desire to be Baptized or to admit your belief, examine your heart and your motive for accepting Christ. Were you just going through the motions?
Personal Experience: I was excited and I was Baptized, after Christ became a part of my life. I am the only true Christian among my husband, sons, parents – my whole family. It was a little awkward at first trying to share my faith. I only wrote about it in Christmas newsletters. I wrote personal letters to my husband and sons so I could really get the words together and put in writing what I prayed they would do, someday. Verbally, though, the words “God” and “Jesus Christ” were difficult to form on my lips when I was with non-Christians.
I was not worried (or at least I don’t think so…) about being seen or shunned as a “holy roller”. I feared someone would ask a question or make a comment to which I could not thoroughly respond, or that I would somehow move them further instead of closer to God.
I grew in my relationship with God, gained passion and knowledge, and became more obedient to His ways. Becoming part of a small Bible study group enabled my forward steps, and my comfort level increased enough that today I am able to more confidently share Jesus.