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Dave Burnette's Commentary

John Chapter 12 

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: John the Apostle
Date Penned: (85-90 AD)
Overview: Eternal Life is in Jesus-Christ Alone (c 1-21)
Theme:  Message & Ministry of Jesus Christ, The Son of God (c 2-12)
Message: Jesus Explains why He Must Die (v 1-57)

John 12 Commentary

(12:1-11) A Woman Anoints Jesus with Perfume - The chapter opens with a portrayal of Mary anointing Jesus, accompanied by a wide range of reactions. This anointing concurs with the one described in Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9; but it is different from the one depicted in Luke 7:36-50, which occurred much earlier in Jesus’ ministry. The tender attention given to Jesus by his three friends in Bethany contrasts with the treachery Judas planned to commit by the week’s end.

(12:12-19) Jesus Rides Into Jerusalem on a Young Donkey - John’s description of the Triumphal Entry, mentioned in all four Gospels, is the most brief of the accounts. John’s objective seemed to be to sketch the events, relating them to Old Testament prophecies and explaining that those present did not fully understand all that was going on. He pointed out that these events intensified the animosity of the leaders toward Jesus. In the other Gospels, we are left with the impression that the crowd’s reaction to Jesus was largely spontaneous. John, however, helpfully explained that those who had witnessed the raising of Lazarus had been busily telling others. The news created great anticipation in Jerusalem of Jesus’ arrival.

(12:20-36) Jesus Explains Why He Must Die - As if to confirm the fears expressed in verse 19, this section begins with a group of Gentiles trying to approach Jesus. We are not told if their request for an audience with Christ was ever granted, but Jesus replied to their interest with some instruction on the necessity of his own death. This passage also includes the third instance of God speaking audibly during the ministry of Jesus. The first was at the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22); the second at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36). God the Father broke the silence of heaven to encourage his Son in the final days of his mission on earth. Jesus himself emphasized again the brief time that remained during which the light would still be present.

(12:37-43) Most of the People Do Not Believe in Jesus - As he does persistently, John never allows his readers to avoid the decision aboutwhat to do with Jesus Christ. For those ready to respond, no obstacle will keep them from belief. For those whose hearts are hardened, even the most compelling reasons for faith become obstacles. John soberly reminds us that many of those who believe in Jesus still allow the pressures and fears of people to hinder their faith. Hidden faith may avoid a confrontation with others, but it seldom pleases God.

(12:44-50) Jesus Summarizes His Message - John closes this section in his Gospel about Jesus’ public ministry with a summary of Jesus’ entire testimony. The shared Passover meal will take up the next several chapters. But John leaves his readers with the cry of Jesus’ final public speech ringing in their ears. It is an ultimatum set before the crowds: Believe in Jesus, the Light of the World, or live in darkness under God’s judgment.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Are You Walking in the Light?

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of John with Chapter 12. In our text today we see John's account of Mary anointing the feet of Jesus before riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. What catches my eye is how Jesus explains why He must die and our instruction of walking in the Light so we we will be children of the Light. In making application we see the importance of walking with the Lord in the light of His Word. As Christians, each day we must choose to die to our flesh and walk in this light through the direction of the Holy Spirit as we do His Will for our Lives. How about you? Are you walking in the Light? Let us learn from our text today and the Words of Jesus who instructs us to walk in the light so we will be children of the light.


John 12 

John 12

 1Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.

 2There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.

 3Then 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.

 4Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,

 5Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

 6This 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.

 7Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.

 8For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

 9Much 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.

 10But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;

 11Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.

 12On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,

 13Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.

 14And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,

 15Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.

 16These 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.

 17The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.

 18For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle.

 19The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.

 20And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:

 21The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.

 22Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.

 23And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.

 24Verily, 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.

 25He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

 26If 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.

 27Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

 28Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

 29The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.

 30Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.

 31Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

 32And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

 33This he said, signifying what death he should die.

 34The 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? who is this Son of man?

 35Then 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.

 36While 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.

 37But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:

 38That 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?

 39Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,

 40He 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.

 41These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.

 42Nevertheless 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:

 43For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

 44Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.

 45And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

 46I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

 47And 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.

 48He 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.

 49For 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.

 50And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.