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JOHN 12 Sermon

Deity of Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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REMINDER OF WHY JOHN WROTE

Deity of Christ

a cave—the cavity, natural or artificial, of a rock. This, with the number of condoling visitors from Jerusalem, and the costly ointment with which Mary afterwards anointed Jesus at Bethany, all go to show that the family was in good circumstances.

Pastor in Asia Minor (at the church where Jesus’ mother went)

Six days (Saturday) before the Crucifixion

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, the one Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for Him there; Martha was serving them, and Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him.

Dinner implies that the meal was late afternoon, and reclining implies that it was more of a banquet than a regular meal
While the Jewish leaders were plotting to slay Christ, His friends were throwing Him a banquet.
indicates it was in the home of Simon.

Martha represents working for Christ; Mary speaks of worship (in the Gospels, she is always found at Jesus’ feet); and Lazarus speaks of our walk and witness.

3 Then Mary took a pound of fragrant oil—pure and expensive nard—anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped His feet with her hair. So the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

The ointment Mary used would cost a year’s wages for a common laborer. Mary had saved it to anoint Christ and show her love. How much better it is to show love to people before they die! She could have used this ointment on her own brother when he died, but she saved her best for Christ. Whenever a believer shows love to Christ, there is always a critic who will complain.

The pound of oil or nard was a large amount; it would have been imported from India
Attending to the feet of guests was a servant’s duty, so Mary’s actions showed humility and devotion
Using her hair was remarkable because Jewish women rarely unbound their hair in public

4 Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot (who was about to betray Him), said, 5 “Why wasn’t this fragrant oil sold for 300 denarii i and given to the poor?” 6 He didn’t say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the money-bag and would steal part of what was put in it.

300 Denarii was a years wage

Mary’s example of devotion is one we should follow. She gave her best; she gave lavishly; she gave in spite of criticism; she gave lovingly. Christ honored her for her worship (see Mark 14:7) and defended her from Satan’s attacks.

7 Jesus answered, “Leave her alone; she has kept it for the day of My burial. 8 For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”

The Decision to Kill Lazarus

9 Then a large crowd of the Jews learned He was there. They came not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus the one He had raised from the dead. 10 Therefore the chief priests decided to kill Lazarus also 11 because he was the reason many of the Jews were deserting them and believing in Jesus.

Why not just believe....why continue to try to kill Jesus?

The Triumphal Entry

12 The next day, when the large crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 they took palm branches and went out to meet Him. They kept shouting: “Hosanna! He who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One s—the King of Israel!”

14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written: 15 Fear no more, Daughter Zion. Look, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt. x

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first. However, when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. 17 Meanwhile, the crowd, which had been with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify. 18 This is also why the crowd met Him, because they heard He had done this sign.

19 Then the Pharisees said to one another, “You see? You’ve accomplished nothing. Look—the world has gone after Him!”

Jesus Predicts His Crucifixion

20 Now some Greeks were among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 So they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and requested of him, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.”

22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus replied to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

24 “I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop. k 25 The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me. Where I am, there My servant also will be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

27 “Now My soul is troubled. What should I say—Father, save Me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name!” t

Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again!”

29 The crowd standing there heard it and said it was thunder. Others said that an angel had spoken to Him.

30 Jesus responded, “This voice came, not for Me, but for you. 31 Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 As for Me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to Myself.” 33 He said this to signify what kind of death He was about to die.

34 Then the crowd replied to Him, “We have heard from the scripture that the Messiah will remain forever. So how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

35 Jesus answered, “The light will be with you only a little longer. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn’t overtake you. The one who walks in darkness doesn’t know where he’s going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light so that you may become sons of light.” Jesus said this, then went away and hid from them.

At His birth, Gentiles came from the east; now at His death, Gentiles come once again. Why does John mention them at this point? Because the King has now been rejected by Israel. The Jews had said, “We want to see a sign!” (Matt. 12:38, NKJV); but the Gentiles said, “We want to see Jesus!” Philip had a Greek name, so the visitors wanting to see Jesus came to him; and he took the matter to Andrew, who also had a Greek name. (Note: whenever you find Andrew in John’s Gospel, he is bringing somebody to Jesus: see 1:40–42, 6:8–9, and 12:22. What an example as a soul-winner!)

Christ had to be lifted up so that “all peoples” (v. 32, NKJV) (Jews and Gentiles) could be drawn to Him. This does not mean all people without exception, but all people regardless of race. Christ again mentions “the hour” (vv. 23, 27). He first referred to it in 2:5; and again it is mentioned in 7:30, 13:1, and 17:1. It is the hour of His death, but He calls it the hour of His glory! Note that Christ invites “anyone” (v. 26). The ground is level at the foot of the cross; neither Jew nor Gentile has any special advantage. “All have sinned … there is none righteous” (Rom. 3:23, 10). God has condemned all to be under sin so that He might have mercy on all (Rom. 11:32).

Jesus Predicts His Crucifixion

20 Now some Greeks were among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 So they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and requested of him, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.”

22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus replied to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

24 “I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop. k 25 The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me. Where I am, there My servant also will be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

27 “Now My soul is troubled. What should I say—Father, save Me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name!” t

Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again!”

29 The crowd standing there heard it and said it was thunder. Others said that an angel had spoken to Him.

30 Jesus responded, “This voice came, not for Me, but for you. 31 Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 As for Me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to Myself.” 33 He said this to signify what kind of death He was about to die.

34 Then the crowd replied to Him, “We have heard from the scripture that the Messiah will remain forever. So how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

35 Jesus answered, “The light will be with you only a little longer. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn’t overtake you. The one who walks in darkness doesn’t know where he’s going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light so that you may become sons of light.” Jesus said this, then went away and hid from them.

Jesus Predicts His Crucifixion

20 Now some Greeks were among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 So they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and requested of him, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.”

22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus replied to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

24 “I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop. k 25 The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me. Where I am, there My servant also will be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

27 “Now My soul is troubled. What should I say—Father, save Me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name!” t

Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again!”

29 The crowd standing there heard it and said it was thunder. Others said that an angel had spoken to Him.

30 Jesus responded, “This voice came, not for Me, but for you. 31 Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 As for Me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to Myself.” 33 He said this to signify what kind of death He was about to die.

34 Then the crowd replied to Him, “We have heard from the scripture that the Messiah will remain forever. So how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

35 Jesus answered, “The light will be with you only a little longer. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn’t overtake you. The one who walks in darkness doesn’t know where he’s going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light so that you may become sons of light.” Jesus said this, then went away and hid from them.

12:28 - this was one of only 3 times during Jesus’ earthly ministry when a heavenly voice attested to His identity (baptism and transfiguration ,
12:29 - God’s revelation through thunder and angels was well documented in the OT; Abraham, Moses, Elijah and Daniel

Isaiah’s Prophecies Fulfilled

37 Even though He had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in Him. 38 But this was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet, who said:

Lord, who has believed our message?

And who has the arm of the Lord

been revealed to? s

39 This is why they were unable to believe, because Isaiah also said:

40 He has blinded their eyes

and hardened their hearts,

so that they would not see with their eyes

or understand with their hearts,

and be converted,

and I would heal them. x

41 Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory and spoke about Him.

42 Nevertheless, many did believe in Him even among the rulers, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, so they would not be banned from the synagogue. 43 For they loved praise from men more than praise from God. d

12:43 - what a sad comment
The nation of Isreal had seen, and yet they continually responded with unbelief or outright disdain

Apostle John explains why Christ hid Himself and why the Jews were condemned.

To begin with, they had rejected the evidence (v. 37). The light had been shining, but they refused to believe and follow the light. Note the terrible results of repeatedly rejecting Christ’s Word (vv. 37–41):

(1) They would not believe (v. 37) though they had seen the evidence for His divine Sonship.

(2) They could not believe (v. 39) because their hearts became hard and their eyes blind.

(3) Therefore, God said, “They should not believe” (v. 39) because they had spurned His grace!

Isaiah 53:1 had foretold their unbelief, and Isa. 6:10 their hardness of heart. Note that John 12:40, which quotes Isa. 6:10, states that God blinds the eyes and hardens the hearts of those who persist in rejecting Christ! This verse is found seven times in the Bible, and each time it speaks of judgment: Isa. 6:10; Matt. 13:14; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; John 12:40; Acts 28:26; and Rom. 11:8. It is a repeated warning that reminds the unsaved not to take their spiritual opportunities lightly. “While you have light, believe in the light!” (v. 36) “Seek the Lord while He may be found” (Isa. 55:6, NIV).

A Summary of Jesus’ Mission

44 Then Jesus cried out, “The one who believes in Me believes not in Me, but in Him who sent Me. 45 And the one who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me would not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears My words and doesn’t keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects Me and doesn’t accept My sayings has this as his judge: The word I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a command as to what I should say and what I should speak. 50 I know that His command is eternal life. So the things that I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”

We have noted before that John presents the conflict between light and darkness. Light symbolizes salvation, holiness, life; darkness stands for condemnation, sin, death. John speaks of four different kinds of darkness:

(1) Mental darkness (John 1:5–8, 26). The minds of sinners are blinded by Satan (2 Cor. 4:3–6), and they cannot see spiritual truths.

(2) Moral darkness (John 3:18–21). The unsaved love sin and hate the light.

(3) Judicial darkness (John 12:35–36). If men don’t obey the light, God sends the darkness and Christ hides from them.

(4) Eternal darkness (John 12:46). To “abide” in darkness means to live in hell forever.

In vv. 42–50, John quotes Christ and shows why many people reject the light. Some reject Christ because of the fear of man (vv. 42–43). Rev. 21:8 lists the kind of people who will go to hell, and at the head of the list are the fearful. In v. 48 Christ states that rejecting the Word of God leads to condemnation. Salvation comes through the Word (John 5:24); and the very Bible that men reject today will be part of the evidence against them at the judgment.

This chapter closes John’s record of Christ’s public ministry. It is a solemn chapter. It reminds us again that we dare not trifle with spiritual opportunities. The light will not always be shining; Christ will some day hide Himself from those who have no concern for His salvation or His Word. Proverbs 1:20–33 is a good warning to heed.

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