The Gospel of John for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron
John Chapter 12
(Words in red
Scriptures are the words of Jesus)
“Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.”
This would be the last time
Jesus would come to the town of Bethany, in Judea,
before His death on the cross. Lazarus
was the one Jesus had raised from the dead (John Chapter 11).
Lazarus lived in Bethany.
“So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus
was one of those reclining at the table with Him.”
Jesus was in Bethany,
eating a supper cooked by a lady named Martha (see John Chapter 11), Mary’s
sister. Their brother was Lazarus,
the man Jesus had raised back to life, after four days in the grave.
“Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and
anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was
filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
Martha was serving dinner
to Jesus and the others, but her sister Mary served Jesus in a different way.
She took a large bottle of an expensive perfume called "nard",
and wiped Jesus' feet with it. The
whole house was filled with the smell of the beautiful perfume.
“But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray
Judas Iscariot was the
disciple who was going to betray (tell on) Jesus.
Because of what he was going to do, Jesus would be killed.
“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to
Judas criticized what Mary,
the sister of Martha and Lazarus, was doing. She
was wiping the feet of Jesus with costly perfume, and Judas shouted that the
perfume should have been sold and the money from it given to the poor.
“Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but
because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was
put into it.”
John the Apostle was the
writer of this Book of John. He did
not know it at the time, but later he would find out that Judas, who kept all
their money, was a thief who stole from them.
Judas wanted the money for himself.
“Therefore Jesus said, ‘Let
her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial.’”
Jesus was telling Judas to
be quiet. Mary may not have fully
understand what she was doing, but she was showing all of them by her action
that Jesus would die for us.
“For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”
Jesus loved the poor and He
has always helped them, then and now. But
the Son of God would come just ONCE as a man who would die for you and me.
What Mary was doing (verse 3) was important and He would not allow Judas
to insult her (verses 4-6)
“The large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there; and they
came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He
raised from the
A lot of the people who
lived near Bethany had heard Jesus was in town.
They came to see Him, but they also wanted to see Lazarus, the man Jesus
had raised from the dead.
“But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also;”
This is amazing!
Jesus had healed many people. He
gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf.
The lame could walk. And now
he had raised a dead man to life! And
this is the amazing part: The chief
priests (religious leaders) wanted to KILL Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised
back to life!
“because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were
believing in Jesus.”
Because Lazarus had been
raised from the dead, many of the people believed in Jesus.
The chief priests (see verse 10) wanted the people for THEMSELVES and
were trying to stop the people from believing in Jesus, the Son of God.
“On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they
that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,”
A very large crowd of
people had come to the Passover Feast in Jerusalem (more people than normal),
because they heard Jesus was there. They
wanted to see Him.
“took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and
shout, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,
even the King of
A large crowd of people
took branches from nearby palm trees and started waving them at Jesus.
They were shouting "Hosanna" (Save us now).
Hundreds of years before (Psalm 118:26), "blessed be the Name of the
Lord" had been said about the Messiah, the Christ, and now those words were
being said to Jesus, and they called Him the "King of Israel".
“Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written,”
The disciples brought a
donkey to Jesus, so that He could ride into Jerusalem while the people were
waving palm branches and shouting to Him.
“Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, seated on a
A long time before
(Zechariah 9:9), it had been said that the Messiah (the Christ, the special One
of God), would be "lowly", riding on a young donkey as He came into
Jerusalem. The "daughter of Zion"
meant the people of Israel. All this was happening right now,
before their very eyes.
“These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when
Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him,
and that they had done these things to Him.”
The disciples (students) of
Jesus did not understand what all this meant, but after Jesus rose from the
dead, they remembered and began to see.
“So the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the
tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify about Him.”
Some of the people had been
with Jesus in Bethany when He called and raised Lazarus from the dead.
They were telling everybody what had happened.
“For this reason also the people went and met Him, because they heard
that He had performed this sign.”
Many of the people came
there because they had heard that Jesus had raised Lazarus, after he had been
dead for four days. We do not have
to be afraid of death ever again.
“So the Pharisees said to one another, ‘You see that you are not
doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.’”
The Pharisees (Jewish
leaders) were getting upset. It
seemed like the more they tried to keep the people AWAY from Jesus, the more the
people followed Him.
“Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at
Some of those who would
attend the Passover Feast, were Gentiles (non-Jews).
The Jews called them "God-fearers" (people who loved the God of
Israel but were not Jews).
“these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and
began to ask him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’”
Philip was one of the
disciples (students) of Jesus. He
was one of the twelve "apostles" (sent ones - Matthew 10:3).
Some of the Gentiles (non-Jews) at the Feast, wanted to meet Jesus, and
they asked Philip for help.
“Philip came and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus.”
Andrew was the
"apostle" who was the brother of Simon Peter.
Philip went to him and told him that some Gentiles (non-Jews) wanted to
talk with Jesus. Andrew and Philip
went together and told Jesus.
“And Jesus answered them, saying, ‘The
hour has come for the Son of Man to be
Jesus did not answer them
but instead began talking. He spoke
to the crowd and also to God the Father. Jesus
showed His glory in many ways, but now His glory was that He would die for the
sins of the world.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the
earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it
dies, it bears much fruit.”
Jesus was saying that He
was like a seed of wheat. The seed
must first die before it grows into a plant that can produce more wheat.
Jesus would die but we come alive when we trust in Him and what He did
“He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this
world will keep it to life eternal.”
To "love his
life" is to NOT believe in Jesus. To
"hate his life" is to trust in Jesus, the Son of God.
If we trust in Him, we will live - forever!
“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My
servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”
How do we serve Jesus?
How do we follow Him? First
we must believe that He is the Son of God. We
learn to follow Him through prayer. When
we pray, God the Father will honor (listen to) us, and He will show us the way.
“Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father,
save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour.”
was. Death did not frighten Him but
soon He would die on the cross for our sins.
He never sinned, but on the cross, our bad thoughts and bad actions would
become His. We are forgiven when we
trust in Him.
“‘Father, glorify Your name.’ Then a voice came out of heaven: ‘I have both glorified it,
and will glorify it again.’”
was praying that God the Father would be glorified (honored) by people.
God the Father answered His prayer: His
name IS glorified by Jesus, God the Son, and by what He was doing right at that
“So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it
had thundered; others were saying, ‘An angel has spoken to Him.’”
people were listening to Jesus pray and heard the answer but did not understand.
Some thought it was thunder and others felt it was an angel (a messenger
from God). But it was God the
“Jesus answered and said, ‘This
voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes.’”
heard what the people were saying and told them that it was not for Him the
Voice had spoken. The voice of the
Father was for THEM (and for us).
“Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be
of what Jesus was going to do on the cross, the whole world (every one of us) is
in danger of God's judgment, but there is hope for you and me.
The "ruler of this world" (Satan) lost whatever power he had.
There is no hope for him but you can trust in Jesus and be saved.
“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”
Jesus was "lifted up" to die on the cross, there is hope for each one
of us. Jesus died so that we might
live. He was our Substitute and if
we are drawn by the Holy Spirit to trust in Him, we shall be saved - forever.
“But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was
the words of these verses, Jesus was telling them the way He would die.
He would be "lifted up" to die on a cross.
“The crowd then answered Him, ‘We have heard out of the Law that the
Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say,
Son of Man must be lifted up?
Who is this Son of Man?’”
crowd of people understood that "lifted up" meant He would die on a
cross. They remembered that the
Messiah (the Christ) would be called "Everlasting Father" (Isaiah
9:6), and that His government would last "forever" (Isaiah 9:7).
They were troubled when He said He would die.
“So Jesus said to them, ‘For
a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk
while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks
in the darkness does not know where he goes.’”
had told them "I am the light of the world"
The "light" gives understanding because we can see when it is
light. Jesus would only be on earth
for a short time and He is telling us to trust in Him; and He will take us out
Verse 36. “‘While
you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.’ These things Jesus spoke, and He went away and hid Himself
heard Jesus and should have believed in Him that He is the Son of God.
If we do so, we become sons of light (sons of God) for He gives
understanding. Jesus had said all He
was going to say, and for a time He went away from them.
“But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were
not believing in Him.”
had told them enough and shown them enough, so they should have believed
(trusted) in Him, but most of them did not believe.
“This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: ‘Lord,
who has believed our report? and to whom has the arm of the Lord been
ago, God's prophet Isaiah had said the Messiah (Christ, Anointed One) would come
to Israel and His people would not believe Him (Isaiah 53:1).
Much later, Jesus did come to them and just like it was said, they did
not believe in Him.
“For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again,’”
was a reason why they did not believe and we will be told that reason in the
“He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they
would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted
and I heal them.”
quoted Isaiah 6:10. Many in Isaiah's
time would not believe and many in Jesus' time did not believe either.
They could have trusted Him and some did (John 12:42).
The rest should have "seen" but they would not.
When they would not trust in Him, they were allowed to stay that way.
“These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of
the Prophet actually SAW God in His glory and told us (wrote) what he had seen
(Isaiah Chapter 6).
“Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of
Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be
put out of the
of the religious leaders of the Jews DID believe in Jesus.
But they were quiet about it, because they would have been thrown out of
the Jewish Synagogue (like a church) if the Pharisees (a group of religious
leaders) knew they believed.
“for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.”
who believed in Jesus would not tell others because they were afraid of what
people would think. John (the writer
of the Book of John) says this: "they
loved the approval of men" more than they loved God.
“And Jesus cried out and said, ‘He
who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me.’”
came back to the Temple and called out: "If
you believe in Me, you are believing in God."
To honestly believe in Jesus is to receive God the Father.
“He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me.”
was seen by many people when He was here on earth.
Those who saw Him, saw God. Pray
in Jesus Name, and the Holy Spirit will help you trust in Him with all your
“I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in
Me will not remain in darkness.”
have "light" is to understand. Jesus
gave us "light" so we might "see" Him through what He said
and did. To refuse to believe is to
remain in darkness but to trust is to be given light.
“If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge
him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.”
did not come to this world to make us guilty (judge us).
He came to save us and set us free. He
died in our place and we are innocent if we trust in Him, because He took our
guilt and shame.
“He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges
him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.”
didn't need to judge us for who and what we are.
The words we are reading right now; THEY will be our judges.
But we don’t need to be afraid, for Jesus loves you and me.
“For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who
sent Me has given Me a commandment as to
what to say and what to speak.”
that Jesus said and did was what God the Father wanted.
Jesus never sinned because in everything He was led by the Holy Spirit of
“I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I
speak, I speak just as the Father has told
can we become better? We are to
trust in Jesus and follow God. We
are not perfect like Jesus, but He IS perfect.
When we trust in Him, the Father gives us LIFE - forever.
Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries