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John - Chapter 12

Bible Study Notes

John 12:1-3 Six days before the ‘Passover’ – Passover beginning Thursday evening – was most likely a Saturday (Sabbath). Mary, the sister of Lazarus anointed the feet of Jesus with very expensive perfume. The act symbolized Mary’s humble devotion and love for him. Lazarus and his sisters seem to be wealthy.

John 12:4-8 Judas only saw the value of the perfume and did consider that Jesus was even more valuable. What he would have liked is to see the perfume sold, the money put in his treasure money bag, so he could dip his hand in and take some when no one was looking. Judas was the Treasurer and he was responsible for the money bag. Jesus said to leave Mary alone and her perfume for He prophesied that she would once again use this same perfume to anoint His body at His burial. Jesus saying that the poor will always be with you, but not me, does not mean that alms should not be distributed to the poor, but was reminder that, while the poor would remain, Jesus would not always be with them.

Notes: I wonder if Judas volunteered for the job of Treasurer? 300 denarii in our money today is about 1 year’s wages.

John 12:9-11 Upon hearing that Lazarus was brought back to life, many Jews crowded around the house to see mostly Lazarus, which made the Jewish leaders so angry that they plotted to kill Lazarus too.

John 12:12-19 On Sunday, as Jesus approached Jerusalem, this same crowd took palm branches to wave at Him, proclaiming Him ‘King of Israel’. Jesus rode on a donkey and fulfilled the Old Testament scripture about this very day. The crowd continued to witness that Jesus was the ONE! They did this because of his healing power, not because they wanted a savior to save them from their sins. The Messiah is all about establishing the final Kingdom and kick out the Roman oppressors!

The Pharisees were angry because Jesus once again was getting all the attention and they feared they would be out of a job.

Notes: The waving of palm branches, which symbolically conveyed the notion of victory over one’s enemy. By this action of a grand entrance into Jerusalem, Jesus presented himself officially to the nation as the Messiah and Son of God. On his own time, Jesus forced the whole issue in order that His death might happen exactly on the Passover day when the lambs were being sacrificed. In God’s perfect timing at the precise time foreordained from eternity, Jesus presented himself to die.

Note: Hosanna! The term “hosanna” is a transliteration of a Hebrew word that means “give salvation now.” He who comes in the name of the Lord” refers to Messiah.

John 12:20-26 Andrew and Philip passed on a message to Jesus that Gentiles (God-Fearers coming to worship at the Passover celebration) wished to see Him. Jesus answered by talking of His death, resurrection and bearing fruit (Gentile believers included). In other words, the arrival of the Gentile seekers signals to Jesus that His mission has come to an end, but before Jesus can reach out to the Gentiles, He must die first. To love your life means to delight in the world more than in God who created it. Hates his life means thinks little of it compared to God that he is willing to give it all up for God.

John 12:27-36 Jesus now began to feel the weight of the horror and anxiety that He was to suffer the wrath of His Father for mankind’s sin. Jesus acknowledges that this is the main reason why He came to earth and He was ready to glorify His Father by His sacrifice. The Father voices His approval. The crowds hear the voice, but are not in agreement where it came from or what was said (Spiritual blindness). Jesus clarified that the voice was for their sake in order to help them believe. Jesus proclaimed that the judgment was about to be poured out on Him, defeating Satan as the owner of the earth, and draw all people to His saving power. The crowed was confused, “What do you mean that Son of Man is going to die?! If the Christ remains forever (His Kingdom when established would last forever according to the Old Testatment), than who is this Son of Man?” Again, they didn’t know that they (Messiah and Son of Man) were both the same person.

Notes: Jesus answers the crowd indirectly by saying to believe in both while you are able, especially while Jesus is still on earth, alive as the Light of the World. It may not be so easy for them once they see Jesus rejected by the Jewish leaders, condemned, and put to death.

John 12:37-43 Knowing that the majority of the crowd did not believe in Jesus the way they were supposed to believe in Him as Savior from their sin and bondage, He withdrew and hid himself away with His disciples. Although there were many in authoritative positions that did believe in Jesus, they would not confess Jesus publicly out of fear of being tossed out of the Synagogues.

Notes: The mass of unbelief was expected, for it was prophesied in the Old Testament that it would be so.

John 12:44-50 Jesus cried out His last public plea before His death. If you believe in Jesus you are actually proving you believe God (The Father). To look at Jesus is to look at God (The Father). Jesus came as the Light (Truth, Holiness, and Life) to pull us out of darkness (Lies, Sin, and Death). If you reject Jesus, it is the words that He speaks that will judge you on the last day (Judgment Day), for the words are not made up by Him, but given to Him by God (The Father). Jesus testifies that all the words His Father has given Him is the for the sole purpose of giving those that believe Him Eternal Life.

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