John 12 notes

  • Overview
    • Chapters 11&12 are the “hinge” connecting the end of Jesus’ public ministry with the beginning of the end of Jesus’ earthly life.
    • Don’t forget the question: Who is Jesus?

 Jesus Anointed (vv. 1 – 11)

    • Probably borrowed from Mark 14:3-9 with one exception:
      • Jesus anointed BEFORE entering Jerusalem
    • While John connects Jesus to Lazarus, via Bethany, there is no proof positive that the dinner is actually hosted by Lazarus except…
      • Martha is serving (diakonos)
      • Mary anoints Jesus’ feet
      • Lazarus is at the table
    • Anointing may be precursor to what the women will attempt to do after Jesus has been in the tomb three days
      • What’s really important? Mary offers and gives her “best” for Jesus
        • Wiping Jesus’ feet with her hair is an intimate act and makes her vulnerable
        • The aroma of Mary’s offering/gift fills the house!
          • In offering/giving her best, she also offers her ALL!
        • Judas has issues with the offering/gift. Why? Would you?
        • Significance of Jesus’ remarks in vv. 7-8?
          • Look at 10:1, 8, 10
        • The crowd comes not only to see Jesus, but the work that glorified Jesus
          • Result is that “many of the Jews” begin to believe in Jesus

 *Mary, a woman or “outsider”, offers the model of faithful discipleship with her example of giving everything, including self, in service to Jesus.  Judas, a “disciple” or “insider”, offers the model of unfaithful discipleship in his holding back of self and resources & maybe more importantly in criticizing the one who gives her all.  Judas is the “thief” who comes to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10)…but how?

 Jesus Enters Jerusalem (vv. 12 – 19)

    • Shortest telling of all four Gospels
      • 12-13 focuses on crowd
        • There is a “disconnect” between what they are saying and doing & why they are saying and doing it. What is the “disconnect”?
      • 14-15 focuses on Jesus
        • John has Jesus coming in peace (donkey) vs. as a warrior (steed & chariot…cf. Zech. 9:9)
      • Jesus’ disciples see, but do not really “see” until a later act
      • The Pharisees see a crowd who have either seen the Lazarus miracle (or heard of it) and equate it with the “world” (kosmos) following Jesus (channeling John 3:16 right now J)
  • Death Equals Life! (vv. 20 – 36)
    • Who are the Greeks in v. 20? Why do YOU think they are interjected into the story?
    • Possible connection between Andrew & Philip as the first two converts now becoming a “bridge” to the first Gentile converts
    • What is the purpose of vv. 23-26? Why is this passage frequently read at a service of committal?
      • Time to peel some layers on this “onion”!
    • Verse 27 is an acknowledgement that in Jesus’ “hour” (kairos moment) there will be agony and trust (look at Ps. 42)
      • The purpose of Jesus coming into the world is about to be revealed in his “hour”. Question: When your “hour” comes what will be revealed?
    • God Speaks!
      • In response to Jesus’ prayer
        • Have done & Will do!
      • Crowd hears “thunder”…some believe they are hearing “angels”
        • There is an epiphany; however, it is limited by their understanding of God
      • Who is the “ruler of this world” (v. 31)? And how will this “ruler” be driven out?
      • In the crucifixion Jesus is glorified…how?
      • Crowd either cannot or will not comprehend why the “Son of Man” has to undergo suffering & death
        • Their time & timing is not of God
        • The crowd continues to misidentify Jesus. (Remember the question: Who is Jesus?)
      • In the end Jesus hides…not because of fear, but rather because of the “hour”!
  • The Epilogue (vv. 37 – 50)
    • Isaiah quoted to explain how the people should have believed (signs), but that because it is not quite the right time (kairos) they do not
    • The “signs” are done to elicit faith not fandom!
      • Are you a true believer (“disciple”) or a fan?
    • Many come to believe, but will not profess
      • Profession leads to marginalization/ostracism
      • These “fence sitters” desire human acceptance over the Lord’s acceptance
    • Significance of vv. 44-50
      • This is Jesus’ summation of his public ministry
        • Why he came
        • Who he is
        • What happens to those who accept/reject him
        • How he speaks for God

*Again…who is Jesus to YOU?  While I appreciate the opinion that Jesus was just a man (okay…maybe a great man), there is something in me that will not/ does not allow me to have faith in a man…even a great man.  It has been my experience that humanity, no matter how noble, will eventually let us down.  We cannot depend on humans in all circumstances or “seasons”.  However, God’s Word Incarnate (Jesus) offers hope to society’s “outcasts”.  And, whether we choose to admit it or not, all who claim & faithfully follow Jesus, are “outcasts”.  We “outcasts” do not live for the world’s glory today, but rather for God’s “well done my good and faithful servant” tomorrow!