December 1, 2013
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
John 12 Highlights
• Begins Jesus’ final week
• He is anointed in Bethany by Mary
• He is welcomed in Jerusalem – Palm Sunday
• His last 2 sermons to the outside world
• Speaks only to closest followers in following Chapters of John
• No miracles performed in Chapter 12
John’s Writing Focus
• Passion Week begins in Chapter 12
• This single week covers John 12 – John 20
• This week (Jesus’ Passion-Resurrection) covers almost ½ of John’s Gospel
Others Honor Jesus in John 12
• Mary anoints Jesus’ feet
• Common people honor Jesus with palms
• The Greeks inquire
• God the Father speaks from heaven
• Old Testaments prophets had foretold
• Honored that some chief rulers believed him
• He claimed honor to himself, by asserting his divine mission
Focus of Today’s Lesson
• Jesus’ Bethany Anointing
• John 12:1-11
• Jesus’ Sermon Cry of Transparency (His Last Words to the World)
• John 12:44-50
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived,
whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’
honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table
• Only 2 miles from Jerusalem
• Lazarus’ family believers in Jesus
• Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead a few months earlier
• Jewish leaders after Jesus
• Jesus spent his last week here with Lazarus, Mary and Martha
Have You Ever?
• …loved someone so much that you gave them an extraordinary gift?
• …given the most valuable thing you had away to someone to show
• …truly shown someone how much you love and appreciate them?
• MARY DID THIS FOR JESUS!
3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she
poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was
filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
• Mary in this story is Lazarus’ sister and not Mary Magdalene
Anointing of Jesus’ Feet
• An act of great devotion and humility
• Attending someone’s feet was servant’s job.
• Rabbi’s disciple was a servant to the teacher, but not required to
attend teacher’s feet.
• John the Baptist said he was not worthy to untie Jesus’ sandal strap,
meaning he was lower than a disciple.
• Oil was usually poured on head instead of feet
• Psalm 23
• Oil on head interpreted as royal anointing
• Samuel anointed Saul and David
• Feet were anointed usually on the dead
• Jesus enters Jerusalem as king anointed for burial
• Women did not usually unbind their hair in public, as Mary did here
Pint of Pure Nard
• Oil comes from root (rhizome) of plant
• Also known as spikenard or muskroot
• Came from distant India or East Asia
• American spikenard plant (medicinal)
• Expensive to own
4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him,
objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the
poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared
about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he
used to help himself to what was put into it.
• 7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save
this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor
among you, but you will not always have me.”
• Thoughts to ponder –
• Giving special gifts now to those we love
• Why will we always have the poor among us?
Giving Gifts Now
• Mary gave an extravagant gift early
• Only justification was love she felt for Jesus
• There are times in life for extravagant gifts
• There is always a Judas whispering in our ear that we should be practical.
• The extravagant gift could be a kind word or encouragement instead of
• Don’t wait to show your love to others
God’s Greatest Gift
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still
sinners, Christ died for us.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
“You will always have the poor…”
• What is the definition of poor?
-Having little money or few possessions
-Unable to meet your basic needs
• Poverty is a matter perspective.
• Comparison by Rotary International 2013
Who Are The Poor?
Gross National Per-capita Income
• Afghanistan - $1,140
• Botswana - $14,550
• Cambodia – $2,230
• Finland - $37,670
• India - $3,590
• Rwanda - $1,270
• United States - $48,820
Who Are The Poor?
Children Under 5 Years Mortality Rate
• Afghanistan – 101 per 1,000
• Botswana – 26 per 1000
• Cambodia – 43 per 1,000
• Finland – 3 per 1000
• India – 61 per 1,000
• Rwanda – 54 per 1,000
• United States – 8 per 1,000
What Was Jesus Saying?
8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always
• The opportunity to serve Him in a tangible or physical way would not last
• Ministry to the poor will always be in demand.
• We will have always have poor and disadvantaged people because we live
in a “fallen” world.
John 12: 9-11
9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and
came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised
from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well,
11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and
believing in him.
12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that
Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went
out to meet him, shouting,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
A Royal Greeting – Palm Branches
• Estimated Passover attendance at this time was 2.7 million Jews per
• Tradition began in 2nd century BC to celebrate Simon Maccabaeus’ driving
the Seleucids out of Jerusalem
• Jews celebrated this victory with a parade and music and waving of palm
• Flags today are what palms were then
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:
15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a
16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was
glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and
that these things had been done to him.
A Lowly Donkey
• Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a small donkey and not a royal horse.
• John quotes Zechariah 9:9 to explain the fulfillment of this prophecy.
• The disciples did not understand this until after the resurrection.
17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb
and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many
people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to
meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us
nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
Summary of Verses
• Certain Greeks ask to see Jesus…?
V. 23-24 Jesus announces, “The hour has come that the Son of man should
be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground
and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” He
said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. (Verse 32)
Summary of Verses
• The crowd asks, “Who is this ‘Son of Man’ who will be lifted up?
35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while
longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you.
Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. 36 Believe
in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of
light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.
Jesus Proclaimed Earlier
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the
world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the
light of life.”
• Jesus continually uses the contrast of light and darkness to describe
Summary of Verses
• The Jews continue in their unbelief.
• John quotes Isaiah’s prophecy about their unbelief.
• Even some who believed did not confess it publically because of fear of
being put out of the synagogue.
• They loved praise from men more than praise from God-(a condemning
• Jesus’ last public sermon to a large group
• Other words that follow were addressed only to disciples and individuals
• Upper Room Discourses
• What would be Jesus’ last words?
44 Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me
only, but in the one who sent me. 45 The one who looks at me is seeing the
one who sent me.
• Jesus is God’s autobiography
• To hear Jesus is to hear God in Word
• To see Jesus is to see God in action
• Jesus is transparent to God.
John 12:46 - Jesus’ Light
John 12:46 - Jesus’ Light
46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in
me should stay in darkness.
• Jesus wants us to have clarity in our lives.
• This was the office of Christ, to make all things clear.
• What does a life of darkness possess?
• What does a life of light possess?
John 12:47 - Jesus’ Grace
47 “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that
person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.
• Jesus’ purpose in His 1st coming was to make atonement for our sins.
• When He returns again, He will judge.
• Jesus is the only judge.
John 12:48 - Jesus’ Truth
48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my
words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.
• At the judgment, people will be judged by Jesus on how they responded to
• John describes this judgment in Revelation
John 12:49 –Jesus Is the Word
49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded
me to say all that I have spoken.
• When we read Jesus’ words, we are reading the very words of the Creator
of the universe.
50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just
what the Father has told me to say.”
• Jesus’ words are exactly what God told Him to say.
• These verses are Jesus’ final plea to the world to believe in Him as God’s
• When you see and hear me (Jesus), you are seeing and hearing God.
• When you are seeking God, you are seeking Me (Jesus).