Six days before Passover, Jesus arrived in Bethany. Lazarus, whom Jesus had brought back to life, lived there.
Dinner was prepared for Jesus in Bethany. Martha served the dinner, and Lazarus was one of the people eating with Jesus.
Mary took a bottle of very expensive perfume made from pure nard and poured it on Jesus' feet. Then she dried his feet with her hair. The fragrance of the perfume filled the house.
One of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was going to betray him, asked,
"Why wasn't this perfume sold for a high price and the money given to the poor?"
(Judas didn't say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the moneybag and carried the contributions.)
Jesus said to Judas, "Leave her alone! She has done this to prepare me for the day I will be placed in a tomb.
You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me with you."
A large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was in Bethany. So they went there not only to see Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom Jesus had brought back to life.
The chief priests planned to kill Lazarus too.
Lazarus was the reason why many people were leaving the Jews and believing in Jesus.
On the next day the large crowd that had come to the Passover festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.
So they took palm branches and went to meet him. They were shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel!"
Jesus obtained a donkey and sat on it, as Scripture says:
"Don't be afraid, people of Zion! Your king is coming. He is riding on a donkey's colt."
At first Jesus' disciples didn't know what these prophecies meant. However, when Jesus was glorified, the disciples remembered that these prophecies had been written about him. The disciples remembered that they had taken part in fulfilling the prophecies.
The people who had been with Jesus when he called Lazarus from the tomb and brought him back to life reported what they had seen.
Because the crowd heard that Jesus had performed this miracle, they came to meet him.
The Pharisees said to each other, "This is getting us nowhere. Look! The whole world is following him!"
Some Greeks were among those who came to worship during the Passover festival.
They went to Philip (who was from Bethsaida in Galilee) and told him, "Sir, we would like to meet Jesus."
Philip told Andrew, and they told Jesus.
Jesus replied to them, "The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
I can guarantee this truth: A single grain of wheat doesn't produce anything unless it is planted in the ground and dies. If it dies, it will produce a lot of grain.
Those who love their lives will destroy them, and those who hate their lives in this world will guard them for everlasting life.
Those who serve me must follow me. My servants will be with me wherever I will be. If people serve me, the Father will honor them.
"I am too deeply troubled now to know how to express my feelings. Should I say, 'Father, save me from this time [of suffering]'? No! I came for this time of suffering.
Father, give glory to your name." A voice from heaven said, "I have given it glory, and I will give it glory again."
The crowd standing there heard the voice and said that it had thundered. Others in the crowd said that an angel had talked to him.
Jesus replied, "That voice wasn't for my benefit but for yours.
"This world is being judged now. The ruler of this world will be thrown out now.
When I have been lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people toward me."
By saying this, he indicated how he was going to die.
The crowd responded to him, "We have heard from the Scriptures that the Messiah will remain here forever. So how can you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up from the earth'? Who is this 'Son of Man'?"
Jesus answered the crowd, "The light will still be with you for a little while. Walk while you have light so that darkness won't defeat you. Those who walk in the dark don't know where they're going.
While you have the light, believe in the light so that you will become people whose lives show the light." After Jesus had said this, he was concealed as he left.
Although they had seen Jesus perform so many miracles, they wouldn't believe in him.
In this way the words of the prophet Isaiah came true: "Lord, who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord's power been revealed?"
So the people couldn't believe because, as Isaiah also said,
"God blinded them and made them close-minded so that their eyes don't see and their minds don't understand. And they never turn to me for healing!"
Isaiah said this because he had seen Jesus' glory and had spoken about him.
Many rulers believed in Jesus. However, they wouldn't admit it publicly because the Pharisees would have thrown them out of the synagogue.
They were more concerned about what people thought of them than about what God thought of them.
Then Jesus said loudly, "Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me.
Whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.
I am the light that has come into the world so that everyone who believes in me will not live in the dark.
If anyone hears my words and doesn't follow them, I don't condemn them. I didn't come to condemn the world but to save the world.
Those who reject me by not accepting what I say have a judge appointed for them. The words that I have spoken will judge them on the last day.
I have not spoken on my own. Instead, the Father who sent me told me what I should say and how I should say it.
I know that what he commands is eternal life. Whatever I say is what the Father told me to say."