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The Gospel According to John: Chapter 12

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1Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them b Gk lacks She bought it with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii c Other ancient authorities read with him began to testify that he had called…from the dead and the money given to the poor?” 6(He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it d Other ancient authorities read all things so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

9When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.

12The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting,

“Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord— the King of Israel!”

14Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:

15“Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

16His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him. 17So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify. e Or the Christ 18It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him. 19The Pharisees then said to one another, “You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!”

20Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

27“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people a Other ancient witnesses read when to myself.” 33He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. 34The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah b Gk from supper remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 36While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”

After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them. 37Although he had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in him. 38This was to fulfill the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah:

“Lord, who has believed our message, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

39And so they could not believe, because Isaiah also said,

40“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they might not look with their eyes, and understand with their heart and turn— and I would heal them.”

41Isaiah said this because c Other ancient authorities lack except for the feet he saw his glory and spoke about him. 42Nevertheless many, even of the authorities, believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved human glory more than the glory that comes from God.

44Then Jesus cried aloud: “Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. 47I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge, 49for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. 50And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.”


d Gk lacks She bought it

e Other ancient authorities read with him began to testify that he had called…from the dead

a Other ancient authorities read all things

b Or the Christ

c Other ancient witnesses read when

a Gk from supper

b Other ancient authorities lack except for the feet

Text Commentary view alone

12.1–11 : The anointing at Bethany.

See Mk 14.3–11 . Despite the plot against his life ( 11.53,57 ), Jesus returns to the vicinity of Jerusalem.

1 :

Bethany, 11.18 .

2 :

Martha served, cf. Lk 10.40 .

3 :

A (Roman) pound, ca. 326 g ( 11.5 oz). Nard was imported from the Himalayan mountains.

4–6 :

This is the fullest description of Judas in the New Testament. Judas is described in the same general way as the religious authorities: one … about to betray him, i.e., to commit actions that result in Jesus’ death (v. 4; cf. 5.18; 7.1; 8.59; 10.31–33; 19.6 ); thief (v. 6; cf. 10.1,8; see 10.10n. ); he cared not about the poor (v. 6; cf. 10.13 ).

5 :

Three hundred denarii, see note c.

7 :

Jesus foresees his death; anointing was part of the preparation of the corpse for burial (see Mt 26.12; Mk 16.2 ).

12.12–19 : Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Cf. Mt 21.1–9; Mk 11.1–10; Lk 19.28–38 .

13 :

See Ps 118.25–26 . Hosanna, originally a Hebrew invocation to God, meaning “Save!” In the name of, with the authority of God. King of Israel, the messiah.

15 :

Zeph 3.16; Zech 9.9 .

12.20–50 : The conclusion of Jesus’ public ministry.

21–22 :

Philip and Andrew, see 1.43–44 . Bethsaida, see 1.44n.

23 :

The hour, see 2.4n.

24 :

See 1 Cor 15.36 .

25–26 :

Mt 10.39; Mk 8.35; Lk 9.24; 14.26 .

27–30 :

A voice … from heaven, divine reassurance. For your sake, that the assembled “crowd” might believe that Jesus came from God.

31–33 :

Reality reverses appearances: Jesus’ death judges the world, not him; it defeats Satan (the ruler of this world), not Jesus; draws, does not repel, all people.

34 :

The law, see 10.34–36n. The Messiah remains forever, Ps 89.36–37 .

36a :

Children of light, those who are spiritually enlightened. The phrase appears in Lk 16.8; Eph 5.8; 1 Thess 5.5 ; as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls (see 1QS 3.13–4.26 ), where it is contrasted with the “children of darkness.”

38 :

Isa 53.1 .

40 :

Isa 6.10 .

42 :

Many … authorities, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea are the only ones who have been named, cf. 7.48; Acts 15.5 . Fear … put out of the synagogue, see 9.22n.

43 :

A scathing indictment of the insincerity of the religious authorities (cf. 10.13 ).

44–50 :

Summary of Jesus’ teaching; cf. 3.16–19 .

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