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Gospel of John - Chapter Twelve
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We saw in chapter 11 that Jesus raised Lazarus, who had been dead four days, from the dead. This work proved that Jesus had the power of life. In this chapter, 12, we see that as Lazarus walked around alive, it created a problem for the enemies of Christ.
This is at the close of Jesus' earthly ministryHe only has six more days to live because He will be slain as the passover Lamb for His people at the proper time, v. 1.
1. Jesus frequently spent time with these three, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. While here, what does Mary do, v. 3?
a. Which disciple objected to what Mary did, vv. 4, 5?
b. Why did he object, v. 6?
(300 pence was about a year's wage for a working man.)
Note this disciple: He appeared to be concerned with the poor as he spoke great, swelling words in defence of the poor, yet his actions proved otherwise. The news programs of our day are full of similar reportspeople profess to be concerned for the poor and down-trodden, yet we hear who they are really concerned about. They lobby the government for more money, yet very little gets to the poor.
This is a case for volunteer agencies, e.g, church sponsored programs for those in need. A very high percentage of the funds get to those in need. When you have centralized control (e.g., HUD), a huge amount is lost to fraud and waste. I read somewhere that there is enough money "thrown at" poverty to provide every person below the poverty level with a yearly check for over $20,000, if all of the bureaucrats handling the money were removed. We see in John 12:6, that the reason this disciple was so concerned about the poor; his concern was not for the welfare of the poor, but for his own welfare. HE HAD GOOD WORKS and BAD MOTIVES.
2. Why did Mary do this, v. 7?
Evidently Mary is the only one who understood that Christ was now moving toward His death.
a. What does Jesus tell this disciple, vv. 7, 8?
3. Why did many come to where Jesus was, v. 9?
a. What did this cause the rulers of the Jews to do, v. 10?
4. The next day, Jesus goes to Jerusalem to the feast of the passover. How do the people greet Him, vv. 12- 15. (A more detailed description of this event is given in Mk. 11:1-11; Matt. 21:1-17; Lk. 19:29-44)?
As we have seen, Jesus is the rightful King (Ruler) of His people. Here we see Jesus presenting Himself as that King, v. 15 (Isa. 62:11; Zech. 9:9). What Jesus does here cannot be understood by the natural man; not even the disciples understood this until after the resurrection, v. 16.
a. We do see people here honoring Him as the King, v. 13. But why did they do honor Him, vv. 17, 18?
b. How did the official representatives of the Jews react (see Jn. 1:11) v. 19?
5. V. 20, we see that there were non-Jews (Greeks) who desired to worship God. How did they put their desire into action (remember chp. 4:20-24) v. 20?
a. They heard about Jesus; therefore, what do they desire, V. 21?
b. Jesus does not seem to really answer them. Rather, what does He say, v. 23?
c. Up to this time, those who desired to kill Him were unable to do anything. Why, Jn. 2:4; 7:30; 8:30?
6. What does the Lord say must take place before much fruit can be produced, v. 24?
a. He follows this with an exhortation that His followers must also do what to their own desires, vv. 24, 25?
b. As they do the above and trade their desires (life) for His desires, what will the Father do for them, v. 26?
c. Christ goes on with His illustration. As He has laid aside His desire (life) for the Fathers's desires for Him, what is going to happen, (Matt. 5:16) v. 28?
(This is important. We would normally think that life would glorify the Father, but that is not what is said here.)
7. Jesus is moving quickly toward His death upon the cross. There are going to be three immediate results of His death, burial and resurrection. What are they. v. 31 [Jn. 16:11]? 1.)
2.) (See Lk. 10:18)
3.) V. 32
V. 32, Christ tells His disciples that He is going to die on the crosslifted up (Jn. 3:14).
Vv. 34-36, His sayings were not understandable to the natural man.
8. Even though He did many miracles, did they believe on Him, v. 37?
Vv. 39-41, is a strong, dogmatic statement that cannot be avoided.
9. Many of the rulers did believe on Him. Why would not they openly profess their faith in Christ, vv. 42, 43?
Vv. 44-50, Christ restates what He has said so many times in the past three and a half years.
Some concluding points: The people honored Him because of His miracles, not because of who He wasthe Son of God, King of kings and Lord of lords. Why do we honor Him? Second, many of those who did believe him were fearful of being identified with Him; many today fit within this category. These men would not fit within the description of a disciple as given in vv. 24-28. Would we?
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