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THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
THE KING ARRIVES IN GOD’S NAME
[“The Hour Has Come”]
Key Word: Faith
John 12:1-8 – Complaint as Jesus Prepared for Burial
JN12:1 Now six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, the person Jesus raised up from among the dead.
JN12:2 So they made supper there for Jesus, and Martha was serving, while Lazarus was reclining together with him.
JN12:3 Then Mary took a pound of perfumed oil, costly genuine nard.638
She oiled the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair. The whole house was filled with the scent of the perfumed oil.
Costly genuine nard: Or, spikenard. Compare Mark 14:3.
one of Jesus’ disciples, the one about to turn him in, Judas Iscariot, was saying:
JN12:5 “Why was this three hundred denarii639
of perfumed oil not sold and [the money] given to the poor?”
Three hundred denarii: About the year’s wages of a laborer.
said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but rather because he was a thief640
and used to steal from the money box641
He was a thief: Only John reveals this fact. Compare John 13:29.
Money box: Or, money-bag, purse. Jesus and his disciples saved money to give to the poor.
JN12:7 So Jesus said:
“Leave her alone! She did this so that she might observe the day of my burial.JN12:8Foryou always have the poor among you,
[Deuteronomy 15:11] but me you will not always have.”642
But me you will not always have: Compare Matthew 26:11; Mark 14:7.
John 12:9-11 – The Plan to Kill Lazarus
JN12:9 Now the large crowd from among the Jews knew that Jesus was there, and they came not just because of Jesus, but so that they might also see Lazarus, the person Jesus raised up from the dead.
JN12:10 But, the chief priests took counsel so that they also might kill Lazarus,643
Also might kill Lazarus: One wonders why the other Gospels do not mention this extraordinary event. One reason could be the danger
to Lazarus while he was still alive. The other Gospels were likely completed between 48-66 AD. John writes so late, Lazarus is probably now dead and no such danger exists.
many of the Jews were going there and were beginning to believe in Jesus.
John 12:12-16 – Look! Your King Is Coming!
JN12:12 The next day the large crowd644
that had come to the festival heard Jesus had arrived in Jerusalem.
The large crowd: There is language and imagery here similar to that Large Crowd in Revelation 7:9. It is important to note that this
was not the Festival of Booths, but a few days before Passover. The persons among the crowd were largely disciples of Jesus according to Luke 19:37-40. Compare Matthew 21:8; Mark 11:8.
crowd] took palm tree branches and went out to meet Jesus. They were crying out: “Hosanna!
Blessed is the One coming in YHWH’s Name,645
[Psalm 118:25] even the King of Israel!”
Blessed is the One coming in YHWH’s Name: The crowd shouts, repeating Psalm 118:25, a Messianic prophecy from the Hallel Psalms,
later to be sung at the Passover. The Greek KYRIOU may allow for the assumption that the Tetragram was originally here. The name Yehowah occurs in the Hebrew Text of Psalm 118:25. Whether these Jewish disciples of Jesus actually uttered the Divine Name is unknown. If we let Josephus be the judge, they did not, but said “Lord” instead.
JN12:14 Now when Jesus had found a young donkey, he say down upon it, just as it had been written,
JN12:15“Fear not, daughter of Zion! Behold! Your King is coming, sitting upon a donkey’s colt.”646
Your King is coming, sitting upon a donkey’s colt: John quotes Zechariah 9:9.
JN12:16 (At first Jesus’ disciples did not realize these things, but [after] Jesus was glorified, then they remembered647
that these things had been written regarding him, and that these things actually occurred.)
They remembered: Compare John 14:26. [Luke
John 12:17-19 – “The World Has Gone after Him”
JN12:17 Then the crowd that attended Jesus – those with him when he had called Lazarus out from the memorial tomb, raising him from the dead – continued to testify about it.
JN12:18 As a result the crowd meeting Jesus also heard about the sign Jesus had performed.
JN12:19 However, the Pharisees told one another: “You notice you are not accomplishing anything!648
Look! The whole world of humankind is following him!”
You notice you are not accomplishing anything: Or, profiting nothing, not getting anywhere.
John 12:20-22 – Greeks Want to See Jesus
JN12:20 Now there were some Greeks among those coming up to worship649
at the festival.
Some Greeks among those coming up to worship: These may have been uncircumcised Greeks who wanted to worship among the Jews, similar
to Cornelius. [Acts 10:1] They also may have been proselytes like the Ethiopian eunuch mentioned in Acts 8:27.
JN12:21 These approached Philip, the [disciple] from Bethsaida in the land of
Galilee, and they asked him, saying: “Sir,650
we wish to see Jesus.”
Sir: Or, lord, master. The Greek is the same as the address of Master when speaking of Jesus.
JN12:22 Philip arrived and told this to Andrew, and then both Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
John 12:23-28 – “The Hour Has Come”
JN12:23 However, Jesus answered them, saying:
“The hour has arrived so thatthe Son of Humankind may be glorified.651
The hour has arrived so that the Son of Humankind may be glorified: The execution of Jesus was only a few days away with much to do. In a way, the Greeks have shown up too late. Later Jesus assures that after he has been “lifted up” he “will call all kinds of people” – including Greeks. When Jesus says, ‘the Son of Humankind may be glorified,’ he alludes to exactly what was foretold in Daniel 7:13. The word “glorified” includes his resurrection, ascension to heaven, and his enthronement as King. [Psalm 2:6, 7; Ephesians 1:19-21]
JN12:24I tell you this truth: Unless a kernel of wheat652 fall into the earth and die, it remains only [a single grain]. But, if it dies, it bears much fruit.653
A kernel of wheat: Compare Paul’s analogy at 1 Corinthians 15:36.
If it dies, it bears much fruit: An allusion to the thousands of disciples – among Jews and non-Jews [including the Greeks] – following the resurrection
JN12:25The person that loves his soul is going to lose it,654 but the person hating his soul655 in the
world of humankind will safeguard it unto endless Life.656
Loves his soul is going to lose it: Or, loves himself. Jesus must have himself in mind to some extent, a well as his disciples. For
in those dangerous hours weak human nature would seek to preserve their own lives.
Hating his soul: Or, BAS: he has no care for his life in this world; KNX: he who is an enemy to his own life. The word “hate” may carry the idea of “loving less” oneself with regarding to benefits which might accrue through worldly means. [Compare Matthew 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24.]
Safeguard it unto endless Life: Or, keep it, preserve it.
JN12:26If ever anyone serves me,657 let them continue to follow me; and, where I am there also will be my servant.658 Whenever anyone serves me the Father will honor them.
Serves me: Or, ministers.
Where I am there also will be my servant: Or, WMS: my servant must go wherever I go. Where the Master is, there the servant will also be.
JN12:27Nowmy soul is troubled,659
[Psalm 6:3] and what should I say? Father, save me from this hour!660
However, for this reason I have come to this hour.
My soul is troubled: Or, distressed, in turmoil. Jesus uses the language of Psalm 6:3. [Matthew 26:38; Mark 14:34] As the hour approaches
Jesus’ nervous tension must increase with the knowledge he will die, and that torturously.
me from this hour: Jesus is so close to his Father that he may change from conversation with others to that with his Father.
JN12:28Father,glorify Your Name!”661
Then, a voice came out of the Sky:662
“I have glorified [my Name],663
and shall glorify it again!”664
A voice came out of the Sky: Or, from heaven. This is the third of three times God’s voice is heard, always in the presence of Jesus. First, at his baptism, where
it is likely only John heard the Voice. [Matthew 3:17; Luke 3:22] Second, at the Transfiguration, where Peter, John, and James hard the Voice. [Luke 9:28, 35; 2 Peter 1:17]
I have glorified [my Name]: Literally, this is “I glorified.” Compare Exodus 3:14, 15; 6:3; 9:16]
Glorify it again: This will occur upon the conquest of Christ’s death and resurrection. [John 13:31, 32; 17:1] And in a most glorious way upon the raising of the Church to heaven. [Revelation
15:2-4] The Name will be glorified when Christ’s Kingdom absorbs the world as its territory or realm. The Name will be glorified when Satan and all the wicked are destroyed forever. [Revelation 20:7-14]
John 12:29-36 – “I Will Draw All Persons”
JN12:29 As a result, the crowd standing around heard it665
and were saying: “It has thundered!” Others were saying: “An angel has spoken to him!”
Heard it: Compare Acts 9:7.
JN12:30 Jesus answered and said:
“This Voice has occurred, not because of me, but because of all of you.JN12:31Now is [a time for] a judgment of this world of humankind.666Now the ruler of the world of humankind will be expelled outside.667
Now is a judgment of this world of humankind: Or, TCN: this world is on trial; RIE: the day of judgment for the world is here; MOF:
now is this world to be judged. This was a time of judgment upon the Jewish world centered around Israel and Jerusalem. At about this same time in Luke 19:44 Jesus mentions “the appointed time of your inspection.” And then again later foretells
upon the Jews, “because these are days of vengeance.” [Luke 21:22] These people will not be raised in some future probationary period during the Thousand Years to determine their judgment, for it is “now” and that “adulterous generation” had much to answer for. [Mark 8:38] At the end of the Thousand Years these will be raised to the Last Judgment and then experience everlasting condemnation. [Hebrews 6:1-3; 9:25-27; Revelation 20:12-14]
JN12:32And I – if elevated high above the earth668
I shall draw all [kinds of] persons toward myself.”669
If elevated high above the earth: Or, lifted up from the earth. Compare notes on John 8:28. John himself explains this relates to
the execution of the Nazarene. It is possible, in the context of the glorification of the Son of Humankind in fulfillment of Daniel 7:13, that the exaltation upon Christ’s ascension may also be included. [Acts 1:9-11; Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 12:5]
I shall draw all [kinds of] persons toward myself: Or, the whole creation, everyone, all men. It is likely Jesus has the Greeks in mind
who previously wished to have an audience with him.
JN12:33 (However, Jesus was saying this to indicate the type of death he was about to die.670)
The type of death he was about to die: Or, pointing to the sort of, signifying what death. That is, his suffering body raised up on a tree at his execution. [John 18:32; Acts 5:30]
JN12:34 So then the crowd responded: “We heard from the Law that the Christ is remaining throughout all periods of time.671
How come you say it is necessary that the
Son of Humankind
be elevated? Who is this
Son of Humankind?”672
Christ is remaining throughout all periods of time: Or, forever, the Age. Some Jews had misapplied Daniel 7:13, just as modern Christians,
to his Messianic coming to the earth, rather than what it actually portrays – his ascension to heaven.
is this Son of Humankind: Daniel 7:13 is truly “sealed” as the angel instructed until “the time of the end” of the Jewish Temple Age. It is only with Jesus and the revelation given to him by The God that Daniel is unsealed. [Daniel
12:4, 9; Revelation 1:1; 5:1ff]
JN12:35 Therefore, Jesus said to them:
“The Light among all of you is for a brief time.673Continue to walk as long as you have the Light, so that darkness does not overtake you.674For the person in the darkness has no idea where he is going.
The Light among all of you is for a brief time: Or, a little while longer. As explained earlier Jesus is that Light, and this “brief
time” is but a few days.
So that darkness does not overtake you: Or, come upon you. Possibly an echo
of Jeremiah 13:15.
JN12:36As long as you have the Light, continue to believe in that Light, so that you may become Sons of Light.”675
Jesus spoke these things and then left and hid from them.
Sons of Light: Or, children of light. Some will be tempted to see Essene
influence here. [Ephesians 5:8]
John 12:37-43 – The Reason for Unbelief
JN12:37 Despite having performed all of these signs in their presence, [the Jews] were not believing in Jesus.
JN12:38 This was so in order that Isaiah the prophet’s word might be fulfilled, which said:
“YHWH, who believed the thing we heard?676 And to whom was YHWH’s
JN12:39 This was the reason they were not able to believe, because again Isaiah said:
JN12:40“He has blinded their eyes,677 and hardened their heart, so that they might not see with their eyes, and mentally perceive with their heart and be converted, and I should [then] heal them.”
[Isaiah 6:10 LXX]
He has blinded their eyes: John also quotes Isaiah 6:10 which speaks of Yehowah and the Israelites disbelief. John’s language
is very similar to the LXX.
JN12:41 Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory and spoke about Him.678
Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory and spoke about Him: Many, including some Trinitarians, wish these words to be applied to Jesus the Nazarene. However, the context has previously discussed the glorification of Gods Name. John goes on to refer to God’s glory at the end of the paragraph. Therefore, the “Him” is the Father, and not the Son himself.
JN12:42 Despite this, of course, many of the [Jewish] rulers believed in Jesus,679
but because of the Pharisees they would not confess Jesus so that they might not become expelled from the synagogue.680
Many of the [Jewish] rulers believed in Jesus: Nicodemas was among these. [John 3:1ff] These secret believers later became visible.
[Acts 6:7] What else would move them out of the darkness into the light but the evidence of Christ’s resurrection?
Expelled from the synagogue: Compare John 7:13; 9:22; 16:2. Fear of men is one of the Devil’s greatest tools. [Proverbs 29:25]
JN12:43 For they loved the glory of humans rather
than even the glory of The God.681
They loved the glory of humans rather than even the glory of The God: A terrible human weakness. [John 5:44]
John 12:44-50 – “I Came Not to Condemn”
JN12:44 Now Jesus cried out and said:
“The person believing in me not only believes in me, but also in the One who sent me.682
Also in the One who sent me: Two persons: one Jesus the Nazarene, and the other The God, the Father.
JN12:45Also, the person beholding me is beholding the One who sent me.683
Beholding me is beholding the One who sent me: Or, sees. See notes on John 14:9.
JN12:46I have come as a Light unto the world of humankind, so that everyone continuing to believe in me should not remain in the darkness.JN12:47And if ever anyone should hear my Sayings, and not keep them,684 I am not condemning them.685 For I came not so that I may condemn the world
of humankind, but so that I might save the world of humankind.686
Hear my Sayings, and not keep them: Or, words, message. It is not enough to just hear the Sayings of the Nazarene Master. Such must
all be kept, observed, or obeyed.
I am not condemning them: Or, judge. BEC: I don’t condemn. The Greek
may be either judge or condemn. The Father has given judgment to His Son so it is more likely the word “condemn” is meant. Condemnation follows a future judgment. It is also possible that Jesus means that even if a person does not accept his words,
he does not judge or criticize. The time for judgment, and then condemnation, is in the future. [Matthew 12:35, 36]
That I might save the world of humankind: Christ was not sent to render a blanket condemnation of the entire world of humanity, but rather, as the agency of salvation to those in the world who would accept his teachings, continue to believe in him, and obey his commandments. Nowhere in the Bible does the world end. Rather, world rule is transferred to Christ at his Parousia. [Revelation 11:15-18] Then judgment follows.
JN12:48The person disregarding me,687 and refusing to accept my Sayings, has that One judging them.688 The Word that I spoke will judge that person in the Last Day.689
Has the One judging them: Or, KNX: has a judge appointed to try him. It is possible this is a way of referring to his future position as judge. [2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-13]
The Word that I spoke will judge that person in the Last Day: At the very least Jesus has in mind those Jews who heard his message. Others
would one day hear this same message through future disciples. [John 17:20] See notes elsewhere on Last Day. [John 6:40, 44, 54; 11:24]
did not speak from my own originality,690 but the Father is the One who sent me [and He] has given
me a commandment691 regarding what I should say and what I should speak.
I did not speak from my own originality: Or, of myself, my own accord, my own initiative, my own authority, my own impulse. Compare
notes on John 5:19ff.
The One who sent me has given me a commandment: Or, instruction, orders. No one can
give God a command or order. The Son is not equal to the Father, and the Son is not called “God” during his human existence.
JN12:50Also, I know that
His commandment means endless Life.692 Therefore, whatever I speak is just as my Father has spoken
to me693 – thus I continue to speak.”
I know that His commandment means endless Life: This would include Jesus, who must also keep God’s commandment in order to have everlasting life. On the word commandment see notes
on 1 John 3:23.
Just as my Father has spoken to me: This would have included his pre-existence.
Review Questions on Chapter Twelve
Who complains about Mary’s use of perfumed oil and why?