John 12:1-11 – Jesus’ Anointing
Jesus knew His time was coming to an end so He spent time with His friends at the home of Lazarus, Martha and Mary. (Remember last time Lazarus had died and Jesus raised him from the dead.) While they were reclining at a dinner, Mary took a pint of expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus’ feet. She then wiped His feet with her hair. Somehow she realized His end was near and she wanted to honor Him. She wanted to show her gratitude and love in the midst of all the rejection and hatred He faced. She poured this precious and costly ointment on Him as a token of honor and worship.
Mary loved Jesus and wanted to spend time with Him. She was in awe and had deep gratitude for Him raising her brother to life. She showed unselfish love and worship of Him when she poured the expensive perfume on His feet. We can show our love and gratitude to Jesus by spending more time with Him in prayer and in His Word. We can be less selfish and think more of others than ourselves.
When have you done something extravagant not thinking of yourself, but thinking of another?
Do you treasure Jesus more than your stuff?
One of the disciples, Judas Iscariot was there along with all the other disciples. He was the accountant of the group and was in charge of the money. When Mary used this expensive perfume on Jesus, Judas became very angry. He spoke up and said she could have used this money for the poor instead of wasting it on Jesus. He really didn’t care about the poor. He just loved money. I think he was planning on betraying Jesus all along and this was all he could take. His greed finally showed through. This perfume costs as much as a year’s wages and he could have used it for his own pocket.
Jesus told him to “Leave her alone. It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” – John 12:7-8. Perfume was poured over a dead body before the body was put in the grave. When she did this she was prophesying about Jesus’ death, even though she may have not realized it. Jesus acknowledged Mary’s actions and her faith. She knew Jesus was worthy of worship.
The Jews found out where Jesus was so the chief priest made plans to kill not only Jesus, but Lazarus as well. With Lazarus’s testimony that Jesus raised him from the dead, many people would put their faith in Jesus and they surely didn’t want that.
Principle: A life spent in selfless devotion to Jesus is not wasted.
John 12:12-19 – Jesus’ Triumphal Entry
Many people had seen Lazarus come out of the grave and the news quickly spread. A large crown followed Jesus as He entered Jerusalem for the Passover. They greeted Him as their Messiah and shouted “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!!” – John 12:13. His disciples didn’t understand this until after Jesus was glorified.
This is a good lesson and an encouragement for us. The disciples didn’t understand until later. We don’t always get it either until later.
Jesus rode into the city on a young donkey as prophesied in Zechariah 9:9 – “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Jesus came in peace. He came on a donkey, which is a symbol of peace. He came to give eternal peace to you and me. The second time He comes will not be in peace. He will come on a white horse to judge and defeat evil.
Many people who greeted Him didn’t remain loyal to Him and later didn’t try to prevent His death. They would even shout, “Crucify him!” – John 19:15. The Pharisees were very worried that He was so popular.
Why do you follow Jesus?
Do you follow Him because of what He can do for you or because He is who is says He is – God’s Anointed One?
How are you making Him Lord and King of your life?
Principle: Fulfilled prophecies prove that Jesus is the Messiah.
John 12:20-36 – Jesus’ Hour
Some Greeks came to Philip asked to see Jesus. They wanted to know Him. Philip told Andrew and they told Jesus. Jesus knew He would suffer and they would kill Him in the cruelest way.
Jesus spoke of “the hour”. What did He mean by “the hour”?
The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. (John 12:23)
His hour of personal suffering had come (John 12:27-30).
It was the hour of the world’s judgment and the world’s prince will be driven out (John 12:31) – This is speaking of the ruler of the world, the devil who was defeated by Jesus’ death and resurrection.
At this hour He will be lifted up to draw all men to Him (John 12:32-33).
Jesus said, “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor and the one who serves me.” – John 12:25-26. To lose your life is to give up your selfish desires and put your lives to death. Not physical death, but allow Christ to grow in you. This doesn’t mean you are not to enjoy life, but live to serve God and not live for your own pleasures. We should want what Jesus wants and let Him control our lives.
Why should you hate your life? To follow Jesus, you must not love your life in this world. People who are without Jesus in this world live for material things. They want power and are greedy and want more and more stuff. They want anything that they think will make them happy. Their goals and desires are focused on self. To hate your live is the same thing as denying yourself and taking up your cross daily to follow Jesus. It means living for God’s glory and His purposes. We submit our thoughts, our words, and our deeds to Jesus. Our motivation is to serve Jesus.
Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him, but He always gave God the glory. “Father, glorify your name!” – John 12:28a. “Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’” – John 12:28b. When the crowd heard this, some said it had thundered while others said it was an angel speaking.
This was the 2nd time God spoke. 1st He spoke when Jesus was baptized saying, “This is my So, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” – Matt. 4:17. The 3rd time was at His transfiguration in Matt. 17:5.
Jesus told His disciple that they would have Him only a little longer. Soon His time on earth as a man would end. Jesus told us in chapter 9 that He was the Light. He told them to put their trust in the Light while He was here.
Principle: To see Jesus and His glory, look to the cross.
John 12:37-50 – Continued Unbelief
Jesus had done all these miracles, but still many didn’t believe in Him. They couldn’t believe because, “He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn – and I would heal them.” – John 12:40. In Isaiah’s day people were hardened because knew God’s laws, but refused to life right.
People today refused the truth and it becomes impossible for them to believe. Their hearts and minds are closed and God allows these people to remain this way which is a result of their own choice. To reject the truth is to reject God. There were leaders who did believe in Jesus, but because of the Pharisees they wouldn’t confess their faith. They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Some Christians today also like the praises of men and they think if they talk about Jesus and tell others, people will reject them.
Are you shamed of your belief in the gospel?
Do you fear the opinions of other?
Are you embarrassed by your faith?
Jesus repeated the most important parts of His message. God sent Him to earth and He is the Light. He gave them a choice to believe in Him. He said if you reject Him, the Word of God will be your judge. When the end comes, there will not be any excuse for rejecting Jesus. The Word will judge and condemn all who reject Him. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved.” – Acts 16:31.
Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” – John 21:44-45. Jesus crying out shows He is strongly appealing to the people. He wants them to pay attention to these truths. He and the Father are one. To deny Jesus is to deny the one true God. A world without Christ is in spiritual and moral darkness. Jesus is the Light and has come to save the world.
“There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him on the last day.” – John 12:48. There will be a last day and it will be a day of judgment. Jesus wants all who reject Him to be aware of that day. He gives a final notice of the coming judgment and is appealing to those who don’t believe. Don’t ignore Jesus’ final notice!
Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
Do you know where you will spend eternity?
Principle: Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved for all eternity.
Next week we will study John 13. Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site. Hope to see you here next time.
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