John 12

1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Laz'arus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
2 There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Laz'arus was one of those at table with him.
3 Mary took a pound of costly ointment 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 ointment.
4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said,
5 "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?"
6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it.
7 Jesus said, "Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial.
8 The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me."
9 When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Laz'arus, whom he had raised from the dead.
10 So the chief priests planned to put Laz'arus also to death,
11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.
12 The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.
13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!"
14 And Jesus found a young ass and sat upon it; as it is written,
15 "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on an ass's colt!"
16 His disciples did not understand this at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that this had been written of him and had been done to him.
17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Laz'arus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness.
18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.
19 The Pharisees then said to one another, "You see that you can do nothing; look, the world has gone after him."
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.
21 So these came to Philip, who was from Beth-sa'ida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus.
23 And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified.
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
26 If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.
27 "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour.
28 Father, glorify thy name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
29 The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.
31 Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out;
32 and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
33 He said this to show by what death he was to die.
34 The crowd answered him, "We have heard from the law that the Christ remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?"
35 Jesus said to them, "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.
36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." When Jesus had said this, he departed and hid himself from them.
37 Though he had done so many signs before them, yet they did not believe in him;
38 it was that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
39 Therefore they could not believe. For Isaiah again said,
40 "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and turn for me to heal them."
41 Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke of him.
42 Nevertheless many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
44 And Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.
45 And he who sees me sees him who sent me.
46 I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
47 If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
48 He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.
49 For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak.
50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden 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.

John 12 Commentaries