John 12

Mary Anoints Jesus

1 1Jesus, therefore, six days before 2the Passover, came to 3Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
2 So they made Him a supper there, and 4Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him.
3 5Mary then took a pound of very costly 6perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 But 7Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said,
5 "Why * was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?"
6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he 8had the money box, he used to pilfer 9what was put into it.
7 Therefore Jesus said, "Let her alone, so that she may keep it for 10the day of My burial.
8 "11For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me."
9 The 12large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, 13whom He raised from the dead.
10 But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also;
11 because 14on account of him 15many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus.

Jesus Enters Jerusalem

12 On the next day 16the large crowd who had come to 17the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
13 took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, "18Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the 19King of Israel."
14 Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written,
16 21These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus 22was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.
17 So 23the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify about Him.
18 24For this reason also the people went and met Him, 25because they heard that He had performed this sign.
19 So the Pharisees said to one another, "You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him."

Greeks Seek Jesus

20 Now there were some 26Greeks among those who were going up to worship at 27the feast;
21 these then came to 28Philip, who was from 29Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
22 Philip came and told 30Andrew; Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus.
23 And Jesus answered them, saying, "31The hour has come for the Son of Man to 32be glorified.
24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, 33unless * a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
25 "34He who loves his life loses it, and he who 35hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.
26 "If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and 36where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will 37honor him.

Jesus Foretells His Death

27 "38Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, '39Father, save Me from 40this hour '? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
28 "41Father, glorify Your name." Then a 42voice came out of heaven: "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again."
29 So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered *; others were saying, "43An angel has spoken to Him."
30 Jesus answered and said, "44This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes.
31 "45Now judgment is upon this world; now 46the ruler of this world will be cast out.
32 "And I, if I 47am lifted up from the earth, will 48draw all men to Myself."
33 But He was saying this 49to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.
34 The crowd then answered Him, "We have heard out of 50the Law that 51the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, 'The 52Son of Man must be 53lifted up'? Who is this 54Son of Man?"
35 So Jesus said to them, "55For a little while longer 56the Light is among you. 57Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who 58walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.
36 "While you have the Light, 59believe in the Light, so that you may become 60sons of Light." These things Jesus spoke, and He went away and 61hid Himself from them.
37 But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him.
38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: "62LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT? AND TO WHOM HAS THE ARM OF THE LORD BEEN REVEALED?"
39 For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again,
41 These things Isaiah said because 65he saw His glory, and 66he spoke of Him.
42 Nevertheless * 67many even of 68the rulers believed in Him, but 69because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear * that they would be 70put out of the synagogue;
43 71for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.
44 And Jesus cried out and said, "72He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me.
45 "73He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me.
46 "74I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.
47 "If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for 75I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.
48 "76He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; 77the word I spoke is what will judge him at 78the last day.
49 "79For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me 80has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.
50 "I know that 81His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak 82just as the Father has told Me."

Images for John 12

John 12 Commentary

Chapter 12

Christ anointed by Mary. (1-11) He enters Jerusalem. (12-19) Greeks apply to see Jesus. (20-26) A voice from heaven bears testimony to Christ. (27-33) His discourse with the people. (34-36) Unbelief of the Jews. (37-43) Christ's address to them. (44-50)

Verses 1-11 Christ had formerly blamed Martha for being troubled with much serving. But she did not leave off serving, as some, who when found fault with for going too far in one way, peevishly run too far another way; she still served, but within hearing of Christ's gracious words. Mary gave a token of love to Christ, who had given real tokens of his love to her and her family. God's Anointed should be our Anointed. Has God poured on him the oil of gladness above his fellows, let us pour on him the ointment of our best affections. In Judas a foul sin is gilded over with a plausible pretence. We must not think that those do no acceptable service, who do it not in our way. The reigning love of money is heart-theft. The grace of Christ puts kind comments on pious words and actions, makes the best of what is amiss, and the most of what is good. Opportunities are to be improved; and those first and most vigorously, which are likely to be the shortest. To consult to hinder the further effect of the miracle, by putting Lazarus to death, is such wickedness, malice, and folly, as cannot be explained, except by the desperate enmity of the human heart against God. They resolved that the man should die whom the Lord had raised to life. The success of the gospel often makes wicked men so angry, that they speak and act as if they hoped to obtain a victory over the Almighty himself.

Verses 12-19 Christ's riding in triumph to Jerusalem is recorded by all the evangelists. Many excellent things, both in the word and providence of God, disciples do not understand at their first acquaintance with the things of God. The right understanding of spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom, prevents our misapplying the Scriptures which speak of it.

Verses 20-26 In attendance upon holy ordinances, particularly the gospel passover, the great desire of our souls should be to see Jesus; to see him as ours, to keep up communion with him, and derive grace from him. The calling of the Gentiles magnified the Redeemer. A corn of wheat yields no increase unless it is cast into the ground. Thus Christ might have possessed his heavenly glory alone, without becoming man. Or, after he had taken man's nature, he might have entered heaven alone, by his own perfect righteousness, without suffering or death; but then no sinner of the human race could have been saved. The salvation of souls hitherto, and henceforward to the end of time, is owing to the dying of this Corn of wheat. Let us search whether Christ be in us the hope of glory; let us beg him to make us indifferent to the trifling concerns of this life, that we may serve the Lord Jesus with a willing mind, and follow his holy example.

Verses 27-33 The sin of our souls was the troubled of Christ's soul, when he undertook to redeem and save us, and to make his soul an offering for our sin. Christ was willing to suffer, yet prayed to be saved from suffering. Prayer against trouble may well agree with patience under it, and submission to the will of God in it. Our Lord Jesus undertook to satisfy God's injured honour, and he did it by humbling himself. The voice of the Father from heaven, which had declared him to be his beloved Son, at his baptism, and when he was transfigured, was heard proclaiming that He had both glorified his name, and would glorify it. Christ, reconciling the world to God by the merit of his death, broke the power of death, and cast out Satan as a destroyer. Christ, bringing the world to God by the doctrine of his cross, broke the power of sin, and cast out Satan as a deceiver. The soul that was at a distance from Christ, is brought to love him and trust him. Jesus was now going to heaven, and he would draw men's hearts to him thither. There is power in the death of Christ to draw souls to him. We have heard from the gospel that which exalts free grace, and we have heard also that which enjoins duty; we must from the heart embrace both, and not separate them.

Verses 34-36 The people drew false notions from the Scriptures, because they overlooked the prophecies that spoke of Christ's sufferings and death. Our Lord warned them that the light would not long continue with them, and exhorted them to walk in it, before the darkness overtook them. Those who would walk in the light must believe in it, and follow Christ's directions. But those who have not faith, cannot behold what is set forth in Jesus, lifted up on the cross, and must be strangers to its influence as made known by the Holy Spirit; they find a thousand objections to excuse their unbelief.

Verses 37-43 Observe the method of conversion implied here. Sinners are brought to see the reality of Divine things, and to have some knowledge of them. To be converted, and truly turned from sin to Christ, as their Happiness and Portion. God will heal them, will justify and sanctify them; will pardon their sins, which are as bleeding wounds, and mortify their corruptions, which are as lurking diseases. See the power of the world in smothering convictions, from regard to the applause or censure of men. Love of the praise of men, as a by-end in that which is good, will make a man a hypocrite when religion is in fashion, and credit is to be got by it; and love of the praise of men, as a base principle in that which is evil, will make a man an apostate, when religion is in disgrace, and credit is to be lost for it.

Verses 44-50 Our Lord publicly proclaimed, that every one who believed on him, as his true disciple, did not believe on him only, but on the Father who sent him. Beholding in Jesus the glory of the Father, we learn to obey, love, and trust in him. By daily looking to Him, who came a Light into the world, we are more and more freed from the darkness of ignorance, error, sin, and misery; we learn that the command of God our Saviour is everlasting life. But the same word will seal the condemnation of all who despise it, or neglect it.

Cross References 82

  • 1. John 12:1-8: {Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:37-39}
  • 2. John 11:55; John 12:20
  • 3. Matthew 21:17; John 11:43
  • 4. Luke 10:38
  • 5. Luke 7:37; John 11:2
  • 6. Mark 14:3
  • 7. John 6:71
  • 8. John 13:29
  • 9. Luke 8:3
  • 10. John 19:40
  • 11. Deuteronomy 15:11; Matthew 26:11; Mark 14:7
  • 12. Mark 12:37; John 12:12 mg
  • 13. John 11:43; John 12:1, 17
  • 14. John 11:45; John 12:18
  • 15. John 7:31; John 11:42
  • 16. John 12:12-15: {Matthew 21:4-9; Mark 11:7-10; Luke 19:35-38}
  • 17. John 12:1
  • 18. Psalms 118:26
  • 19. John 1:49
  • 20. Zechariah 9:9
  • 21. Mark 9:32; John 2:22; John 14:26
  • 22. John 7:39; John 12:23
  • 23. John 11:42
  • 24. Luke 19:37; John 12:12
  • 25. John 12:11
  • 26. John 7:35
  • 27. John 12:1
  • 28. John 1:44
  • 29. Matthew 11:21
  • 30. John 1:44
  • 31. Matthew 26:45; Mark 14:35, 41; John 13:1; John 17:1
  • 32. John 7:39; John 12:16; John 13:32
  • 33. Romans 14:9; 1 Corinthians 15:36
  • 34. Matthew 10:39; Matthew 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; Luke 17:33
  • 35. Luke 14:26
  • 36. John 14:3; John 17:24; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:17
  • 37. 1 Samuel 2:30; Psalms 91:15; Luke 12:37
  • 38. Matthew 26:38; Mark 14:34; John 11:33
  • 39. Matthew 11:25
  • 40. John 12:23
  • 41. Matthew 11:25
  • 42. Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5; Mark 1:11; Mark 9:7; Luke 3:22; Luke 9:35
  • 43. Acts 23:9
  • 44. John 11:42
  • 45. John 3:19; John 9:39; John 16:11
  • 46. John 14:30; John 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 6:12; 1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:19
  • 47. John 3:14; John 8:28; John 12:34
  • 48. John 6:44
  • 49. John 18:32; John 21:19
  • 50. John 10:34
  • 51. Psalms 110:4; Isaiah 9:7; Ezekiel 37:25; Daniel 7:14
  • 52. Matthew 8:20
  • 53. John 3:14; John 8:28; John 12:32
  • 54. Matthew 8:20
  • 55. John 7:33; John 9:4
  • 56. John 12:46; 1 John 2:10
  • 57. Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 5:8
  • 58. 1 John 1:6; 1 John 2:11
  • 59. John 12:46
  • 60. Luke 16:8; John 8:12
  • 61. John 8:59
  • 62. Isaiah 53:1; Romans 10:16
  • 63. Isaiah 6:10; Matthew 13:14
  • 64. Mark 6:52
  • 65. Isaiah 6:1f
  • 66. Luke 24:27
  • 67. John 7:48; John 12:11
  • 68. Luke 23:13
  • 69. John 7:13
  • 70. John 9:22
  • 71. John 5:41, 44
  • 72. Matthew 10:40; John 5:24
  • 73. John 14:9
  • 74. John 1:4; John 3:19; John 8:12; John 9:5; John 12:35
  • 75. John 3:17; John 8:15
  • 76. Luke 10:16
  • 77. Deuteronomy 18:18; John 5:45f; John 8:47
  • 78. Matthew 10:15; John 6:39; Acts 17:31; 1 Peter 1:5; 2 Peter 3:3, 7; Hebrews 10:25
  • 79. John 3:11; John 7:16; John 8:26, 28, 38; John 14:10, 24
  • 80. John 14:31; John 17:8
  • 81. John 6:68
  • 82. John 5:19; John 8:28

Footnotes 19

John 12 Commentaries

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