John 12 Outline
– Mary anointed Jesus with perfume made of pure nard (John 12:1-11)
– Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem (John 12:12-19)
– Jesus predicted his time has come for him to be crucified (John 12:20-36)
– The Jews rejected Jesus because of their spiritual blindness (John 12:37-50)
John 12 Bible Study
In John 12:1-11, a dinner was given in honor of Jesus at Bethany, where Lazarus was raised from the dead. Martha was serving there. Lazarus was dining at the table along with Jesus. Mary took a perfume made of pure nard and poured it on the feet of Jesus. After that, she used her hair to wipe on the feet of Jesus. When Judas Iscariot saw this, he complained that the perfume worth one year wages and it could be sold and the money be given to the poor. Jesus rebuked him by saying that what Mary did was for the preparation of his burial. He said that they will always have the poor with them but not him. Many Jews had came to see Jesus and Lazarus who was risen from the dead. Mary was a humble person. Usually, the Jews will anoint the guest with a dab of perfume and wash the feet of the guest with water. Mary used the whole bottle of perfume to anoint the feet of Jesus, which shows that she was a humble person. The perfume made from pure nard was costly and worth about 300 denarii. Mary used her hair to wipe Jesus’ feet, this is seldom done by a Jewish woman. This passage shows that Mary loves Jesus very much. We, should be like Mary, be willing to surrender our all for Jesus including the most precious things that we treasure in life. We should be humble at all times and not let pride get into our hearts. Pride can lead to other sins such as selfishness, vainglory and etc (Proverbs 16:5; James 4:6; 1 John 2:16; Philippians 2:3)
In John 12:12-19, the crowd shouted praises to Jesus as he entered the city of Jerusalem. Then, Jesus quoted a scripture that says the king is coming on a donkey’s colt to Zion (Zechariah 9:9), which is the ancient name for Jerusalem. The disciples did not understand what Jesus was saying, only after Jesus had ascended into the heaven. Palm branches are used to signify the Jewish nationalism. Hosanna means please save now in the Hebrew language. The Jewish crowd expected Jesus to be the political Messiah that will free them from the dominion of the Romans. However, Jesus showed them that he did not come as a political Messiah by riding on a donkey. The purpose of Jesus in coming into the earth is to be a Messiah who come to save the sins of the world. The people took palm branches and lay it on the road for Jesus to pass by. Many people came to see Jesus, after they heard he had raised Lazarus from the dead. The Pharisees plotted to kill Jesus when they knew about this.
In John 12:20-36, some Greeks approached Philip and told him they want to see Jesus. In turn, Philip told Andrew. Then, both Philip and Andrew told Jesus about it. Jesus replied that the time has come for him to be glorified, to be handed over to the enemies and crucified at the cross. Previously, the time has not yet come for Jesus to be crucified so no harm came to him. Now, the time has come for him to be crucified so that he can become an atonement of sins for the people. Jesus used the parallel of kernel of a wheat that falls to the ground and die to describe his death. Just like a kernel of wheat that falls to the ground and die, Jesus have to sacrificed himself on the cross and die for our sins and be buried before he can be resurrected. But if the kernel of wheat that falls to ground and die will produce many seeds, this means that the death of Jesus enable many people around the world to be saved and receive the gift of eternal life by putting their faith in him. After that, Jesus prayed in the public to the Father God to save him and he asked for glorification to the Father’s name. Then, a voice from heaven replied ‘I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again’ (John 12:28 KJV). Jesus said that the voice from heaven is for the benefit of the crowd, so that they can believe in him. Jesus predicted that there is only a short while before he will be handed over to the enemies and be crucified. Jesus said we should walk in the light and not after darkness has taken over. We only have chances to repent while on earth. After death, there is no more time to come to Jesus in repentance and gain eternal life.
In John 12:37-50, many people still did not put their faith in Jesus after Jesus had done all the miracles. Therefore, Jesus rebuked their stubbornness by saying that God has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts so that they cannot see with their eyes or understand with their hearts; otherwise God will heal them (Isaiah 6:9-10). People who reject the truth won’t have understanding because they are spiritually blind. If you want to become a believer, you must believe in Jesus and the Father God. There is only one God and each has a different function including Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. If you reject any one of the trinity, you will be condemned to hell. Jesus is the giver of life. If you abide in God’s words, you will abide in his commandments and be the children of light. Jesus’ teaching came from the Father God.