John 12 provides some immediate background to the final Passover of Christ in the flesh.
Notice that this anointing took place six days before Passover, and since Passover was on a Wednesday we can count back six days, Tuesday, Monday, Sunday, Saturday and Friday ending on Thursday.
This dinner at which the woman anointed the feet of Jesus was on the day that we would call Thursday, and being soon after the raising of Lazarus was a time of great rejoicing. Mary moved by the resurrection of her brother anoints Christ’s feet in awe and deep gratitude.
John 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
Mary [Lazarus and Martha’s sister] Anoints Christ’s feet. Jesus was very close to this family of Lazarus, Mary and Martha.
12:2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Judas may not have been known as a thief when this took place: This account was written years later after Judas had subsequently been identified as a thief
12:4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
Judas reveals his wrong attitude that he had become a disciple because he was seeking personal gain, like many leaders today.
A pointed lesson for us as we must also choose between Christ and our own perceived personal advantage
12:7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. 12:8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
Jesus rebukes him, for he would not allow anyone to criticize Mary for her deep gratitude and loving service to him. This must have infuriated Judas.
12:9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
While the religious leaders of the day sought to kill Jesus, the people knew that Lazarus had been completely dead for three whole days, and wanted to see Lazarus back alive and to see the Lord who had called him forth.
Can you see how this is building towards Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem and the welcoming of the crowds; who shouted out Hosanna [“Our Salvation; and “Save Us].”
12:10 But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; 12:11 Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
The next day; five days before Passover, a Friday NOT a Sunday; Jesus enters Jerusalem in triumph, this was a for-type of his entrance to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives to become King of all the earth at his soon coming return!
Many wrongly claim that Christ entered Jerusalem on a Sunday, to be consistent with their false belief of a Friday crucifixion. There is no such thing as Palm Sunday in the scriptures! Jesus and his disciples were welcomed into Jerusalem on a Friday!
12:12 On the next day [after the anointing of Christ’s feet] much people that were come to the feast [of Passover and Unleavened Bread], when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 12:13 Took branches of palm trees [a symbol of triumph and royalty], and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna [Salvation]: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna means Bless Us, or Save Us. Notice that this was the fifth day BEFORE the Wednesday Passover; which was a Friday.
12:14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, 12:15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt. 12:16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
It was customary for a new king to ride to his coronation on an ass as a sign of humility in leadership. By doing this Jesus was not only fulfilling the prophets, he was symbolically proclaiming himself to be the king! Which would have further convinced his disciples, the priests and the people; that he was about to take the kingdom and rule over them.
These things including what took place later at Passover were not understood until AFTER Christ’s ascension to God the Father and his return later that day as our High Priest giving his Spirit to his eleven disciples.
Notice that the people came because Jesus had raised the dead Lazarus to life. The next time Christ will also come to the city AFTER he has raised the dead in Christ to spirit and AFTER the wedding supper in heaven.
When the resurrection takes place many will see the dead rise and will begin to believe and repent [beginning with Israel] and turning to him; and will then welcome him when he comes with his chosen: crying out “Save Us” (Zech 14)
Revelation 11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 11:13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
Christ will come WITH his resurrected chosen (Jude); and the people who had seen this marvelous thing will accept Christ as their God and their King; and beg for his deliverance.
John 12:17 The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record [witnessed to]. 12:18 For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle.
The great crowds came out because of the raising of Lazarus and the many witnesses of that miracle which clearly pointed to Jesus as Messiah.
The crowds were coming because of that miracle; and this was a foretaste of the crowds that will welcome Christ as King of kings; after Jesus has resurrected the chosen dead and when Christ comes WITH his saints to save and rule the earth.
WHY have these simple and so very beautiful allegories not been taught?
12:19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.
The religious establishment of the day is now incensed in fear and jealousy, and ready to make their fatal move
12:20 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: 12:21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. 12:22 Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.
At this point his fame has spread to the point that even foreigners from foreign lands begin to seek him out, incensing the religious establishment even further.
12:23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Jesus tries to warn his disciples of what is coming and declares that only by dying [giving up the physical for the spiritual] can much spiritual fruit be brought forth.
12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
This is a key teaching of Christ: We are NOT to love physical things, or our physical lives in this world, nor the pleasures of this physical world! We are to follow God the Father and esus Christ the Good Shepherd right to the grave, and he will save us to eternal life in the spirit if we do.
Oh, how very far we have fallen away from this standard of true converted behavior.
The Father witnesses from heaven through his angel that Jesus is the son of God
12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
12:29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. 12:30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 12:33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
12:34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up [crucified]? who is this Son of man?
12:35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
We are to always live by the light of Christ shining within us through the Holy Spirit dwelling in us and leading us into FULL UNITY with God the Father and with Jesus Christ.
To compromise with God’s commandments, instructions and example; is to quench that light [of the Spirit] and to turn back into the darkness of bondage to sin and the Pharaoh of this world.
12:37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: 12:38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? 12:39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 12:41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his [Christ’s] glory, and spake of him.
The masses called out for him to save them, not because they believed his words, but because of his miracles. Many today believe on Christ, and still do not KEEP what he TAUGHT.
Many of them believed and would not take a stand, because they feared men more than God! So it is in the Ekklesia today: Many Believers without spiritual backbone
12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 12:43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
It is the same in the religious establishment of the called out spiritual Ekklesia today. Many leaders and brethren would repent and turn back to God, except for fear of losing jobs and losing the respect of their peers.
Here, Jesus says that he is/was in perfect UNITY with God the Father; as we are supposed to be!
12:44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. 12:45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
Christ came and died for us, to light the way to reconciliation with God the Father as the door of salvation to eternal life. He came to set us an example that we should follow, so that we might become LIKE HIM! and achieve HIS complete UNITY WITH GOD THE FATHER!
To depart from the example and instructions of Christ; to compromise with the Word of God the Father: IS to depart from CHRIST, and to dwell in darkness!
12:47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. [At that time, but he will judge in the end] 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. [In the end we shall be judged by the Book of Life; the whole Word of God! and not by what other men say!] 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 12:50 And I know that his commandment [God’s Word is eternal life] is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak
Christ tell us that he has taught us all that God the Father had commanded, and that we shall be judged by every Word of God the Father.
If we KEEP Christ’s words and are faithful to live by every Word of God as Jesus taught; they shall bring us life everlasting!
If we chose to compromise with and reject the whole hearted enthusiastic DOING of the Word of God the Father and of Christ to follow idols of men; we live in darkness and have NO light in us.
It is by our actions based on God’s Word, that we shall be judged by the Word of God.
A little leaven leavens the whole lump! A little compromising and sin, pollutes the Temple of Almighty God!
Anyone who teaches to tolerate sin and false doctrine in the congregation, is a child of the darkness and not a child of the light of God!
Anyone who willingly compromises with the Word of God the Father, and with the instructions and example of Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd: lacks the Light that guides the faithful children of the Light.