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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 12

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1 SIX days before the Passover festival Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead. 2They gave a supper in his honour, at which Martha served, and Lazarus was among the guests with Jesus. 3Then Mary brought a pound of very costly perfume, pure oil of nard, and anointed Jesus's feet and wiped them with her hair, till the house was filled with the fragrance. 4At this, Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples—the one who was to betray him—protested, 5‘Could not this perfume have been sold for three hundred denarii a 12:5 denarii: see p. xxvii. and the money given to the poor?’ 6He said this, not out of any concern for the poor, but because he was a thief; he had charge of the common purse and used to pilfer the money kept in it. 7‘Leave her alone,’ said Jesus. ‘Let her keep it for the day of my burial. 8 b 12:8 Some witnesses omit The poor … have me. The poor you have always among you, but you will not always have me.’

9Learning he was there the Jews came in large numbers, not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead. 10The chief priests then resolved to do away with Lazarus as well, 11since on his account many Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.

12 THE next day the great crowd of pilgrims who had come for the festival, hearing that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, 13went out to meet him with palm branches in their hands, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!’ 14Jesus found a donkey and mounted it, in accordance with the words of scripture: 15‘Fear no more, daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, mounted on a donkey's colt.’ 16At the time his disciples did not understand this, but after Jesus had been glorified they remembered that this had been written about him, and that it had happened to him.

17The people who were present when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead kept telling what they had seen and heard. 18That is why the crowd went to meet him: they had heard of this sign that he had performed. 19The Pharisees said to one another, ‘You can see we are getting nowhere; all the world has gone after him!’

20 AMONG those who went up to worship at the festival were some Gentiles. 21They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we should like to see Jesus.’ 22Philip went and told Andrew, and the two of them went to tell Jesus. 23Jesus replied: ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24In very truth I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains that and nothing more; but if it dies, it bears a rich harvest. 25Whoever loves himself is lost, but he who hates himself in this world will be kept safe for eternal life. 26If anyone is to serve me, he must follow me; where I am, there will my servant be. Whoever serves me will be honoured by the Father.

27‘Now my soul is in turmoil, and what am I to say? “Father, save me from this hour”? No, it was for this that I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name.’ A voice came from heaven: ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ 29The crowd standing by said it was thunder they heard, while others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ 30Jesus replied, ‘This voice spoke for your sake, not mine. 31Now is the hour of judgement for this world; now shall the prince of this world be driven out. 32And when I am lifted up from the earth I shall draw everyone to myself.’ 33This he said to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

34The people answered, ‘Our law teaches us that the Messiah remains for ever. What do you mean by saying that the Son of Man must be lifted up? What Son of Man is this?’ 35Jesus answered them: ‘The light is among you still, but not for long. Go on your way while you have the light, so that darkness may not overtake you. He who journeys in the dark does not know where he is going. 36Trust to the light while you have it, so that you may become children of light.’ After these words Jesus went away from them into hiding.’

37 IN spite of the many signs which Jesus had performed in their presence they would not believe in him, 38for the prophet Isaiah's words had to be fulfilled: ‘Lord, who has believed what we reported, and to whom has the power of the Lord been revealed?’ 39And there is another saying of Isaiah which explains why they could not believe: 40‘He has blinded their eyes and dulled their minds, lest they should see with their eyes, and perceive with their minds, and turn to me to heal them.’ 41Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke about him.

42For all that, even among those in authority many believed in him, but would not acknowledge him on account of the Pharisees, for fear of being banned from the synagogue. 43For they valued human reputation rather than the honour which comes from God.

44 JESUS proclaimed: ‘To believe in me, is not to believe in me but in him who sent me; 45to see me, is to see him who sent me. 46I have come into the world as light, so that no one who has faith in me should remain in darkness. 47But if anyone hears my words and disregards them, I am not his judge; I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48There is a judge for anyone who rejects me and does not accept my words; the word I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. 49I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself commanded me what to say and how to speak. 50I know that his commands are eternal life. What the Father has said to me, therefore—that is what I speak.’


a 12:5 denarii: see p. xxvii.

b 12:8 Some witnesses omit The poor … have me.

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