Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15:58


Monday, June 25, 2012

John 12-- The Beginning of the End (or so they thought)

Blogging Through the Book of John
Chapter 12
(Because I got out of order....)

(John 12:1-3) Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

Less than a week before his death, Jesus knew his time was running out. He went to Bethany to visit his friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. It would be interesting to know what he and Lazarus talked about. I'm sure they had friendly banter along with Lazarus asking him how he was really doing. Lazarus had a huge reason to believe Jesus was who he said he was.

While they were talking, Mary took a jar of expensive perfume (which cost about a year's wages) and began washing Jesus' feet.

*Some* people weren't very happy about that. Have you ever done something for Jesus and have others either question it or criticize you for it? Don't worry about what others say... Like Jesus tells Judas in the next passage, she was serving him.

(John 12:4-6) But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

I have to stop here and mention that it is fairly obvious by the way John writes Judas that he was hurt by his "friend's" betrayal. Every time he mentions Judas, he talks about how crooked he was or that he betrayed Jesus. I'm sure he forgave him, but you can tell by his writings that the hurt was still there.

(John 12:7-8)Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

Every time someone criticise you for doing something for God, repeat this verse in your head. Know that Jesus is telling that person, "Leave her alone!" When you do things for Him, he's on your side... no matter what the world says.

(John 12:9-11)When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. 10 Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, 11 for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.

Does anyone know what happened to Lazarus? Did they end up killing him after all? If you have an answer, I'd love to know. I'm guessing they didn't, but I'm not sure.


(John 12:12-13) The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors 13 took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hail to the King of Israel!”

One day you are on top of the world, treated like royalty with crowd clamoring to touch you. The next, you are hanging on a cross, dying and with only a handful of people there who care about you.

In a way, that can be like our lives. Know that Jesus understands better than anyone-- He's lived it. When you think no one cares, know that Jesus does. He remembers how it felt to be loved and rejected in such a short amount of time.

(John 12:14-16) Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said:

15 “Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem.
Look, your King is coming,
riding on a donkey’s colt.”

16 His disciples didn’t understand at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered what had happened and realized that these things had been written about him.

Hindsight being 20/20, the disciples looked back later and found truths in their every day lives. At the time, he was just a man riding a donkey. After he died, the realized how many prophesies he'd fulfilled. It added to their faith. Throughout his ministry, Jesus gave them 'foreshadowing' events that they wouldn't understand until he wasn't with them any more. Isn't it cool that God does that? He knows everything about us so he puts things in our path that will LATER grow our faith?

(John 12:17-19) Many in the crowd had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, and they were telling others about it. 18 That was the reason so many went out to meet him—because they had heard about this miraculous sign. 19 Then the Pharisees said to each other, “There’s nothing we can do. Look, everyone has gone after him!”

The Pharisees knew they couldn't get him with the crowds around-- so they waited until night....

(John 12:20-26) Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration 21 paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” 22 Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus.23 Jesus replied, “Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. 25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. 26 Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.

... Jesus told the disciples that his time was running very short. And that his death would produce many new kernels-- lots of new followers and believers. Have you ever wondered where you'd be if Jesus didn't die for you? If he didn't let the 'wheat' die and allowed other 'kernels' to have a new life?


(John 12:27)“Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came!

Jesus was NOT looking forward to dying. He wasn't overly joyed about going through the pain and humiliation he knew he would have to endure. In fact, he thought about asking his Daddy to save him from it-- but he knew it was why he was there... he was a man born to die.

He kept praying...

(John 12:28-29) Father, bring glory to your name.”
Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” 29 When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him.

That would be amazing! To hear God's voice, telling you that he was proud! It also lets us know that he hears all of our prayers. Even though Jesus wasn't in a church or temple or whatever, God heard him where he was. Whatever we do, we should want to bring glory to God's name.... will we always succeed? NOPE. We are human after all, but we need to try, then ask for forgiveness when we don't. Remember, he hears our prayers.

(John 12:30-33)Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out. 32 And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate how he was going to die.

Jesus was telling them that he knew exactly how he was going to die. He would be lifted up--- hung on a cross. It also let them (us) know that he knew the Romans were going to carry out his execution.

He also let us know that Satan is the ruler of this world. He was then, he is now. We have to be so careful....

(John 12:34-36)The crowd responded, “We understood from Scripture that the Messiah would live forever. How can you say the Son of Man will die? Just who is this Son of Man, anyway?”

35 Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. 36 Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.”
After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them.

What the crowd didn't understand was that the Messiah would live forever... and they would too... if they accepted him.

Have you accepted him? Have you prayed, accepting Jesus as your Savior? If you believe it, and you haven't prayed about it, do it now. He's always there to listen.

(John 12:38-43)This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted:
Lord, who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?”[n]

39 But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said,

40 “The Lord has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts—
so that their eyes cannot see,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and have me heal them.”[o]

41 Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory. 42 Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. 43 For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.

The Pharisees had the proof right under their noses. They even had scriptures saying no one would believe... and they didn't. One of the main reasons was that they loved human praise more than the praise of God.

We can be the same way. Sometimes we put God in a corner and want the human praise more. We have to be very careful about that, because it's so easy to do! I know it is for me sometimes.

(John 12:44-50) Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. 45 For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. 46 I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. 47 I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. 48 But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. 49 I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”

Trusting in Jesus is like a flashlight. If you trust him, he will light your way in the darkness of the world. If you reject him, you'll have to walk in the darkness. Some people think that Christians are the ones in the dark; we don't do (or try not to do) the same things the world does. They think our minds are stifled, and we live in the dark ages. When in reality, our light keeps us on the straight and narrow... now sometimes we stray. Sometimes we get attracted to something outside the light, but as long as we keep our eyes on him, we stay out of the darkness.

Being a Christian doesn't mean your perfect, it means you can be forgiven and have a clean slate when you inevitably do.

If you are enjoying, learning from, or really just dislike this series, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

God Bless You,


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