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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
John 12

 

 

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Introduction

"Blessed Is The King Of Israel"
- John Twelve -

Just before the last Passover that Jesus observed He spent some time in Bethany with His friends Lazarus, Martha and Mary. At supper Martha served and Lazarus sat with Jesus. Mary anointed Jesus with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair. Mary was a spiritual woman and this act is fitting for her character. This was an action that proved her love for Jesus. She loved the Lord and wanted to give her best to him and she even wanted to give more. She was a very humble person. Observe that she anointed his feet and wiped them her hair. Judas Iscariot criticized her because he was a thief and desired access to the worth of the perfume. Sadly, Judas is remembered in many bad ways in the New Testament. Jesus reprimanded him and said, "Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this." Mary was a person with love for the Master and devotion to His cause. Judas said he wanted to help the poor. Jesus shared a truth that was first stated in Deuteronomy 15:11. "For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land." Jesus wanted it understood that some opportunities are there only one time and for a brief moment.

The Jewish leaders desire to put both Lazarus and Jesus to death. They realized that as long as Lazarus was around they would have to deal with Jesus. Jesus wanted the people to understand that real life was not the few years that we live on earth but real life is eternal life in heaven. The purpose of Jesus" earthly life and death was to provide eternal salvation. That is why He came to the earth. Jesus said, "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." Jesus was lifted up on the cross and later lifted up from the grave. Our faith in Jesus must be strong. We must not allow the praise of men to keep us from the praise of God. We must love the Lord and keep His commandments. "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." (John 12:48)


Verses 1-11

Jesus was anointed at Bethany -- John 12:1-11 : Jesus often visited Bethany, the home of His friends Lazarus, Martha and Mary. This visit was special because Jesus had just raised Lazarus from the grave. At supper Mary took an expensive bottle of perfume and poured it on Jesus' feet. She wiped his feet with her hair. The sweet smell of the perfume filled the house. Judas said the perfume should have been sold to help the poor. However, his motives were terribly wrong. He wanted access to the money because he was a thief .There is always opportunity to help the poor but there was only this brief opportunity to anoint Jesus before his burial and Mary did exactly that. The Jews still wanted to kill Lazarus because he served as a living example of the Divinity of Jesus. Many people were becoming believers because of Lazarus" resurrection.


Verses 12-19

Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last Passover -- John 12:12-19 : As Jesus entered Jerusalem the people took palm branches and went out to greet him. They shouted, "Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord." Jesus rode into the city on a donkey to fulfill yet another prophecy. "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." (Zechariah 9:9) The crowds were growing for Jesus because he had raised Lazarus and the Jews said, "There is nothing that can be done! Everyone in the world is following Jesus."


Verses 20-43

Some Greeks wanted to see Jesus -- John 12:20-43 : Some Greeks had gone to Jerusalem to worship during Passover. They said to Philip, "Sir, we would see Jesus." Philip told Andrew and together they told Jesus. This led to Jesus teaching that His salvation was for everyone. He said, "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." Jesus was willing to die for us and we must likewise be willing to die for Him. He came into this world to suffer and die for our sins. When Jesus prayed the Father would glorify His name the people were shocked to hear a voice from heaven saying, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." By being lifted up on the cross Jesus would make many want to come to Him. "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." (John 11:32) The people did not understand the resurrection of Jesus. They wondered how He could be crucified and at the same time live forever. Jesus encouraged them to walk in His light while such opportunity was available. Sadly, even after seeing Jesus' great miracles many of the people were still unwilling to have faith in him. The words o Isaiah 53:1 were proven true, "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?" A stubborn lack of faith on the part of the people caused God to blind their eyes. (Isaiah 6:9-10) The glory that Isaiah saw was the glory of Jesus. "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple." (Isaiah 6:1) Some tried to be secret disciples. They believed in Jesus but would not confess Him. They feared being put out of the synagogue.


Verses 44-50

Jesus came to save the world -- John 12:44-50 : Jesus spoke of faith in God saying, "He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me." Jesus mission was to cause people to believe in God and honor Him. He said, "Everyone who has seen me has seen the one who sent me." In a great statement of spiritual victory Jesus said, "I am the light that has come into the world. No one who has faith in me will stay in the dark." Jesus stated His purpose in coming to earth saying, "I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." A person must hear the words of Christ in order to believe them. He must believe those words in order to keep them. He must keep the Lord"s words in order to have salvation. When Jesus said, "I judge him not" he meant that it was not necessary for Him to judge because He said, "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." (John 12:48) Jesus said of the Father, "I know that his commands will bring eternal life. That is why I tell you exactly what the Father has told me."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on John 12:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/john-12.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, September 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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