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Bible Commentaries
John 12

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 1

Bethany ; chap John 11:1 .

Verse 2

Served ; waited on the company.

Verses 2-8

Christ’s feet anointed by Mary. Matthew 26:6-13 ; Mark 14:3-9 .

Verse 3

Spikenard ; an aromatic plant, from which was made a precious ointment.

Verse 6

The bag ; the purse which contained their money, and from which they assisted the poor. It is dangerous to be intrusted with public money, and those who are inclined to theft or fraud will often be placed in situations where they will be strongly tempted to commit it. The less our conduct is under the inspection of men, the more mindful we should be of the inspection of God, and the more careful to secure his approbation.

Verse 10

Innocence is, in this world, no certain security against suffering. The greater a person’s influence for good, the greater may be his exposure, even from professed friends of God, to persecution and death.

Verse 11

By reason of him ; his presence was a standing proof that Jesus, who had raised him from the dead, was the Messiah.

Verses 12-19

Christ rides into Jerusalem. Matthew 21:1-16 ; Mark 11:1-11 ; Luke 19:29-44 .

Verse 16

Was glorified ; had ascended to heaven.

Verse 17

Bare record ; they related what Jesus had done in raising Lazarus from the dead.

Verse 18

Also met him ; went out to meet him and accompany him into the city.

Verse 19

Ye prevail nothing ; nothing to stop his increasing influence among the people. All attempts to thwart the counsels of the Redeemer will be unavailing; and the efforts which men make to stop the progress of his cause, he will overrule for its advancement and prosperity.

Verse 20

Certain Greeks ; that is, as the original word implies, Gentiles using the Greek language. The word should be distinguished from, "Grecians," Acts 6:1 ; Acts 9:29 , who are Jews by birth or descent, using the Greek language.

Verse 23

The hour is come ; the request of the Gentiles to see him he regards as a sign that the hour is at hand for the conversion of the gentile nations to himself. But this must be through his approaching suffering and death.

The Son of man should be glorified ; by his death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven.

Verse 24

It abideth alone ; remains a single kernel; its death is essential to its future life and increase: so the death of Christ was essential to the future increase and prosperity of his kingdom. Without that he could not become the Saviour of either Jews or Gentiles.

Verse 25

Loveth his life ; Matthew 10:39 ; Luke 9:24 .

Hateth his life in this world ; loveth it less than he does spiritual and eternal life. These words contain a solemn intimation that for Christ’s disciples also, as well as for himself, the way to glory and eternal life is through suffering and self-denial.

Verse 26

Let him follow me ; in the way of suffering, as well as of obedience.

Where I am , there shall also my servant be ; he must be with me first in suffering, and then he shall be with me also in glory. 2 Timothy 2:11-12 .

Verse 27

This hour ; the hour of suffering which was before him.

For this cause ; for the purpose of suffering, that men might be saved.

Verse 28

I have ; in the attestations which he had borne to Christ the Messiah.

And will ; in the miracles at his death, resurrection, and ascension to glory.

Verse 30

For your sakes ; that you might have this additional evidence that I am the Son of God, and always do that with which he is well pleased.

Verse 31

The judgment of this world ; the time when this world, which is opposed to me and under the power of Satan, is to be conquered and subdued to myself.

Prince of this world ; Satan.

Cast out ; conquered, so that his power on earth shall thenceforward decline, till he shall be utterly subdued. The efforts of Satan and wicked men to procure the death of Christ were overruled for the promotion of his glory, the salvation of his people, and the ruin of all who continued to oppose him.

Verse 32

Lifted up ; on the cross, as a sacrifice for the sins of men.

Draw all men ; chap John 3:14-15 ; John 6:44 .

Verse 34

Heard out of the law ; learned from the Old Testament. Isaiah 9:7 ; Daniel 2:44 ; Daniel 7:14 .

Verse 35

The light ; the Messiah, the source of all true spiritual knowledge.

Walk ; while you have the means of knowledge improve them, lest they be taken away. While men have opportunities to obtain spiritual knowledge they should diligently improve them, lest their opportunities cease, and they be left to ignorance, darkness and woe.

Verse 36

Believe in the light ; receive and obey my instructions, that you may be wise, and be instrumental in making others wise to salvation.

Verse 38

The saying of Esaias ; Isaiah 53:1 , fulfilled in their rejection of Christ.

Verse 39

They could not believe ; it is said of Joseph’s brethren, that they could not speak peaceably to him, Genesis 37:4 ; and Christ said to the Jews, "How can ye believe, who receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?" John 5:44 . The two things were incompatible. They must cease from the one in order to do the other. So here; as they would continue to love and cherish their sins, they could not, continuing this course, embrace the Messiah. The two things could not coexist. This was the reason why they should have renounced the one, and performed the other. But they would not do it. The prophecy of Isaiah showed that it was certain they would not. Isaiah 6:9-10 .

Verse 40

He hath blinded their eyes ; by presenting to them truths which they would reject, their rejection bringing them into greater darkness. In a similar sense it is said, that Jesus Christ came into the world to set members of families at variance, by leading some to trust in him, while others on this account opposed them and sought their death. Matthew 10:21 ; Matthew 10:35-36 .

Verse 41

His glory ; the glory of Christ, called by Isaiah the glory of Jehovah. Isaiah 6:1 .

Verse 42

Many believed on him ; were convinced that he was the Messiah.

Did not confess him ; did not openly declare their belief. The regarding of the praise of men more than the praise of God, while it may consist with a speculative conviction that Jesus is the Christ, is incompatible with that hearty obedience to him which is essential to salvation: men cannot at the same time continue them both, and should, without delay, through the grace of God, renounce the one and perform the other.

Verse 44

Not on me ; not on me only, but also on my Father.

Verse 45

He that seeth me , seeth him that sent me ; chap John 10:30 ; John 10:38 .

Verse 47

I came not to judge ; it was then his business to act not as judge, but as Saviour.

Verse 48

The word ; the gospel, according to their treatment of which men will be judged at the last day.

Verse 49

Of myself ; not of my own authority merely, but by the authority and appointment of the Father. Chap John 7:16-18 .

Verse 50

His commandment ; the message which he has commanded me to deliver to men.

Is life everlasting ; to them who believe and obey it.

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 12". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/john-12.html. American Tract Society. 1851.
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