Mary Anoints Jesus
12 Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom He had raised from the dead.(A) 2 So they gave a supper for Him there. Martha was serving, and Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. 3 Then [a]Mary took a pound of very expensive perfume of pure [b]nard, and she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, the one who was going to betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this perfume not sold for [c]three hundred denarii and [the money] given to the poor?” 6 Now he said this, not because he cared about the poor [for he had never cared about them], but because he was a thief; and since he had the money box [serving as treasurer for the twelve disciples], he used to pilfer what was put into it. 7 So Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep [the rest of] it for the day of My burial. 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”
9 A large crowd of Jews learned that He was there [at Bethany]; and they came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away [from the teaching and traditions of the Jewish leaders] and believing in Jesus [following Him as Savior and Messiah].
The Triumphal Entry
12 The next day, when the large crowd who had come to the Passover feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,(B) 13 they took branches of palm trees [in homage to Him as King] and went out to meet Him, and they began shouting and kept shouting “Hosanna! Blessed (celebrated, praised) is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”(C) 14 And Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; just as it is written [in Scripture], 15 “Do not fear, Daughter of Zion; Behold, Your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”(D) 16 His disciples did not understand [the meaning of] these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified and exalted, they remembered that these things had been written about Him and had been done to Him. 17 So the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to tell others about Him. 18 For this reason the crowd went to meet Him, because they heard that He had performed this [miraculous] sign. 19 Then the Pharisees [argued and] said to one another, “You see that your efforts are futile. Look! The whole world has gone [running] after Him!”
Greeks Seek Jesus
20 Now there were some Greeks (Gentiles) among those who were going up to worship at the feast; 21 these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip came and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified and exalted. 24 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone [just one grain, never more]. But if it dies, it produces much grain and yields a harvest. 25 The one who loves his life [eventually] loses it [through death], but the one who hates his life in this world [and is concerned with pleasing God] will keep it for life eternal. 26 If anyone serves Me, he must [continue to faithfully] follow Me [without hesitation, holding steadfastly to Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]; and wherever I am [in heaven’s glory], there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
Jesus Foretells His Death
27 “Now My soul is troubled and deeply distressed; what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour [of trial and agony]’? But it is for this [very] purpose that I have come to this hour [this time and place]. 28 [Rather, I will say,] ‘Father, glorify (honor, extol) Your name!’” Then a [d]voice came from heaven saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd of people who stood nearby and heard the voice said that it had thundered; others said, “An angel has spoken to Him!” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31 Now judgment is upon this world [the sentence is being passed]. Now the ruler of this world (Satan) will be cast out. 32 And I, if and when I am lifted up from the earth [on the cross], will draw all people to Myself [Gentiles, as well as Jews].” 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die. 34 At this the crowd answered Him, “[e]We have heard from the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; how then can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”(E) 35 So Jesus said to them, “The Light is among you [only] a little while longer. Walk while you have the Light [keep on living by it], so that darkness will not overtake you. He who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going [he is drifting aimlessly]. 36 While you have the Light, believe and trust in the Light [have faith in it, hold on to it, rely on it], so that you may become sons of Light [being filled with Light as followers of God].”
Jesus said these things, and then He left and hid Himself from them. 37 Even though He had done so many signs (attesting miracles) right before them, yet they still did not believe and failed to trust Him— 38 This was to fulfill what Isaiah the prophet said: “Lord, who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm (the power) of the Lord been shown (unveiled, revealed)?”(F) 39 Therefore they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, 40 “He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, to keep them from seeing with their eyes and understanding with their heart and being converted; otherwise, I [their God] would heal them.” 41 Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory and spoke about Him.(G) 42 Nevertheless, even many of the leading men believed in Him [as Savior and Messiah], but because of the Pharisees they would not confess it, for fear that [if they acknowledged Him openly] they would be put out of the synagogue (excommunicated); 43 for they loved the approval of men more than the approval of God.
44 But Jesus loudly declared, “The one who believes and trusts in Me does not believe [only] in Me but [also believes] in Him who sent Me. 45 And whoever sees Me sees the One who sent Me. 46 I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes and trusts in Me [as Savior—all those who anchor their hope in Me and rely on the truth of My message] will not continue to live in darkness. 47 If anyone hears My words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but to save the world. 48 Whoever rejects Me and refuses to accept My teachings, has one who judges him; the very word that I spoke will judge and condemn him on the last day. 49 For I have never spoken on My own initiative or authority, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment regarding what to say and what to speak.(H) 50 I know that His commandment is eternal life. So the things I speak, I speak [in accordance with His exact instruction,] just as the Father has told Me.”
- John 12:3 There were two anointings of Jesus. This one in Bethany by Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Matt 26:7; Mark 14:3), and the other in the area of Galilee by an unnamed woman (Luke 7:37, 38).
- John 12:3 This was a thick, scented oil obtained from the root of a flowering plant grown in the Himalayas of Tibet and in the northern regions of India and Nepal.
- John 12:5 I.e. about a year’s wages for an ordinary workman.
- John 12:28 See note Matt 3:17.
- John 12:34 At this time the crowd does not understand that Jesus is speaking about His approaching crucifixion and resurrection.