John 12

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12:1-8

12:1

So here is the last week of Jesus ministry and this chapter is the completion of His public teachings. 

12:2

A dinner no doubt in Jesus honor and thanks for raising Lazarus. 

12:3

Why would Mary anoint Jesus feet with oil? Why did she do that?

She anointed His feet, His lowest point, and cleansed Him with her hair, her highest point. His most dirty point. And her most clean point. 

So we’re about to see a contrast with Judas here in a few verses. 

But John here is saying how worthy of honor/praise Jesus is to these people and therefore us as well. Mary honored Him for raising Lazarus. We honor Him for raising us likewise. 

So the implication is even the “least” part of Jesus is still worthy of our best/highest. 

Mary matched the worth of Jesus here in here honoring of Him because it was Him that was her most valued treasure, not the oil. 

“The house was filled…” true worship of Jesus is never private. True honoring of Jesus is very public, overwhelming. 

He honor/worthiness is too much to just be confident to one room, one area of our lives. 

He, He alone, will have all our praise. 

12:4-8

So why did Judas object to this use of the perfume really?

He\’s a thief. Lover of money. Judas seems to have valued/loved money more than Jesus. Or, perhaps, desired money over desiring the honoring of Jesus. Notice, like I said, the contrast between Mary and Judas. 

What did Judas’ love/valuing of money led to?

his betrayal of Jesus. 

John here tells us 2 things: 1) the perfume was pricey ($25G) 2) and that Judas would betray Jesus. Given his objection here I find it likely that John is telling us Judas betrays Jesus because of Money.  

Does anyone know the end of Judas’ story?

He kills himself. Hanging. The perfume was worth 25G and he sold Jesus for 1G. His desire for money killed him. 

The natural implication and application of this: Be very cautious for even the desire for money, let alone the love of it. So even the desire for money can quickly turn suicidal. 

12:6

John tells us about Judas’ motives.

Notice, John tells his real motives. 

Here, we have our first explain of virtue signaling. Always be wearying of those who signal their own virtue; they are usually deceivers of some king. 

However, there is a proper kind of virtue signaling. Guesses? 

Being light on a hill perhaps. Our virtue-signaling should not lead to our own glory but to God’s alone. 

That is: Look how great God is thru me. NOT Look how great I, in my virtue, am. 

12:7

Here we have Jesus\’ response to Judas. It seems there are 3 things Jesus says here: 

Leave Mary alone. The “it” here is hard to interrupt because it could refer to the perfume she uses or the value of Jesus she holds. I think Jesus is saying “Judas doesn’t interfere with her love/value of me because of your greed” due to John seeming to contrast both characters and their affections here. 

Interestingly enough we have a promise here: We will always have the poor with us. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t serve/love the poor even tho we will never eliminate it but that there will always be more of God’s work to do everywhere we go and that we should allow God to work in us to effect true change in people\’s lives and not to affect social change. 

“you don’t always have me” therefore treasure and enjoy my presence while you can. 

12:9-11

Lazarus was both a light in a dark place to draw people to Jesus but also a lighthouse pushing others away from Jesus. 

But Lazarus is not held responsible for other’s reaction to him/his light but only that he kept shining till he can no more. 

Application: we are not responsible for how people respond to our light/truth but just to shine/tell as much and as often as possible. 

12:12-26

12:12-13

The Jews accept their king; they use palm branches to symbolize Jesus quick coming victory over Israel’s enemies. 

Except that\’s not what happens. They think He is a military king. 

But Jesus will be much too meek/lowly of a king for them

12:14-15

Their King rides in on a donkey. Not too glorious at all. 

Keep in mind Jesus\’ lowliness as we continue in this chapter; it’ll be relevant again later. 

12:16-19

Notice the parallels here and with 12:9-11. People were going to Lazuras (12:9)- People are going to Jesus (12:18). Pharisees wish to kill Lazarus to retain power (12:10)-Pharisees wish to kill Jesus to retain power (11:53/12:19). & again in 12:18-19 the crowd positively response to Jesus like they did Lazarus in 12:9 and the Pharisees negatively response to both L & Jesus (12:10, 12:19). This, of course, acts as a foreshadow; IE much in the same way Lazarus resurrected so will Jesus.  

12:19 

“the world” a curious chose of words. The Jew leaders seem to have a case of doublespeak a lot. 

“The world” when they said it probably just met a mass of people. But here John adds another layer to their statement when Greeks come to Jesus. 

12:27-36

12:20-21

“Greeks” presumably God-fearing Greeks who couldn’t worship with Israel because they did not undergo the full reception into the Jewish religion. Having come to “worship at the feast” they re restricted tot he temples outer courtyard, reserved for Gentiles.

Interesting that John in this chapter emphasizes Israel’s rejection of Jesus but emphasizes the “worlds” acceptance of Him. Paul later writes about this when he says “for there is no Jew or Gentile but all are one in Jesus” God is now dealing with the world once more. God hasn’t dealt with the world since Genesis 11 and at 12 deals exclusively with Israel. He now broadens His scope of Love once more to the world/to all peoples. 

12:22

Notice whenever you read of Andrew that he always busy brings others to Jesus. 

Also, “Philip” who was a Jew like the rest of the apostles, his name is Greek and his hometown, Bethsaida in Galilee, is populated by many Gentiles and Jews. Thus, the Greeks approach him to seek counsel with Jesus. 

12:23-26

Notice that John doesn’t state the where or how of what Jesus says here. 

The text doesn’t make it obvious if Jesus said these things to the Greeks directly or not. 

John seems to exclusively underscore the “what” of Jesus\’ teachings and the “why” of those that reject and accept Him not so much the “where” or “how” details of His ministry. 

The Greeks requested to see/meet Jesus. And Jesus, if He speaks to them, how to truly see Him here. 

12:23

“has come” present tense. Before now, Jesus had been speaking in the future tense. 

“glorified” Jesus\’ glory was in obedience to the Father. Likewise, our glory and honor are found in obedience in our everyday lives to God. 

12:24

In order to benefit from grain, it must die. If it remains alone it is of no value. Because when it dies it brings fruit. In His death there is life. In our life there is death. God makes certain that Jesus\’ death bore fruit. He didn’t die to make salvation possible. He died to give salvation to His people/Elect/Church. 

Jesus\’ worthy/value is found in his suffering/death. If He only came and gave us His teachings they are torturous to us. Because even if we wanted to follow them we’d still be damned.

“bears much fruit” The believers/those who have had their sins against a holy God wiped away are this fruit. 

12:25-26

If you have no part of Jesus now you won’t have any of Him later. If you don’t live like Jesus now you will not live here or later at all. 

IE, those who are absorbed by self-protection and interests of life on Earth will encounter ruin, while those set free by Jesus\’ grace to lay down their physical lives receive eternal life. It is in service of Jesus that the truth of this statement is experienced. 

The wheat must die and dying is hard. The seed must die so it bears fruit. If you want fruit unto eternal life then die. 

Jesus calls us to hate our lived in this world. So hate your life to keep it to eternal life.

Jesus calls us to follow Him to His death. Follow Him to death and be with Him/in His presence forever

Be a servant to Him and God will honor you. 

12:27-28

Jesus was troubled not because the Romans were about to beat Him up. But because He was about to fulfill His purpose and take on the wrath of Holy Father in the place of sinners. Nevertheless, He accepts His role and reasserts His commitment to the Father’s will and glory. 

12:29

What does the word sound like to you? 

“I have glorified it” at the raising of Lazarus. And now He will glorify it again in Resurrection. God is committed to glorifying Himself in everything. He lives for His glory, so we likewise. God glorifies Himself in Jesus\’ death by:

Judging the world in Jesus and not His sheep. So there is no condemnation for His sheep. 

Casting out the ruler of this world-Satan. Thus, Satan is defanged/can’t accuse the Sheep anymore because Jesus took away our sin 

Drawing His sheep to Himself, from every tribe (all His elect)

Shining as a light in the world. God is revealed thru Jesus and His work as supremely valuable over all else.

12:31

“judgment” by His coming death, Jesus will end the power of sin over mankind, judging and condemning it. 

“ruler of this world” Satan is a usurper and has power in fact, but not by right. He is the head of sinners and the world’s sinful structures, but the Lord is sovereign even over Him, and Satan exercises authority over God’s enemies only to the extent that God allows him. 

“cast out” The death of Jesus deprives Satan of grounds to accuse believers in God’s heavenly law court and curtails his power to deceive and dominate humanity. 

12:32

Jesus and His cross exert a universal attraction to all people of all nations by which they can be saved. “all” meaning all kinds of peoples without distinction.

12:36 

God is glorified in our everyday lives. 

12:37-43

We’ve discussed before on why people didn’t believe in Jesus. John here is going to tell us why. 

God gave them the savior they needed, but not the one they wanted. This savior was too lowly. No high and mighty like they wanted. God planned their blinding by sending a messiah that they would not accept. They didn’t want His meekness, teachings or divinity. He gave what they needed not wanted (like any good Father would). He gave them exactly what would drive them to their hardness of heart. 

12:41

“saw his glory” Isaiah received a vision of the glory of the enthroned God (Is. 6:1) and prophesied about the Suffering Servant (Is. 52:13-53:21. The “Him” of whom Isaiah spoke and whose glory Isaiah saw was none other than the reincarnate Word. 

Love of the glory of man kills our love of the glory of God. Its the root to all unbelief. They loved themselves and their pride, therefore, they refused to be despised by them and refused to go and follow Jesus to a cross. 

12:44-50

12:44

“believes in Me” The close relation of Jesus with the Father is stressed in 3 respects: to believe in Jesus is to believe in the Father, to see Jesus is to see the Father (12:45) to hear Jesus is to hear the Father (12:50). On the other hand, rejection of Jesus and His words is also a rejection of the Father and His words. This rejection results in a judgment, although the leading purpose of Jesus\’ incarnation is the salvation of His won and to the condemnation of those who don’t believe. 

Here John does re-establishes where Jesus is or whom He speaks to. But I’m not sure it matters. Because here is the summation of Jesus\’ public ministry. 

Jesus here states that He is here to fulfill God’s plan/agenda not His own. God sent Jesus to suffer and die for His church. We know God thru Jesus, we know Jesus thru His word. We are saved/have eternal life thru His word. Jesus ends His public ministry with the importance of the Gospel and His word. This text and all of scripture and all of Jesus\’ ministry point to the cross where He will die for His Church.  

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