With the “Book of Signs” ending in John 11, the “Book of Glory” immediately commences with the appropriate anointing of a new kind of King, Christ Jesus. The King, that is, we have already learned so much about thus far in John, and who caused such a ruckus with His latest miracle that He “no longer walked openly among the Jews (Jn. 11:54).” This was a new phase in Jesus’ ministry, and it would proceed quickly to its ultimate end: the Cross. But not before Jesus received the pomp and circumstance He was due to kick off this moment in John 12:3 (ESV):
Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Shortly thereafter, we witness the winds of change in in John 12:12-13 (ESV):
The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’
Jesus’ triumphal entry into His Passion week begins in earnest, and nothing will keep Him from accomplishing His will. But His mission comes with a challenge for all of us who choose to follow Him. And for many people, this call upon their life can be a haunting request—ultimately leading them to a decision about who they will serve. Who will get our loyalty: The world and all that it offers, or God and God alone? There is no in-between. We are to either walk in the light or remain lost in darkness forever. Thankfully, Jesus provides all the guidance we need by brightly shining His spotlight on the path that lies before us.
The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light. (Jn. 12:35-36)
Ironically, though the light is obvious, not everyone is willing to follow where it leads. Jesus has more He wants to show us as we venture through the second half of the Gospel of John. He is not done with the statements He needs to make about Himself, nor has He finished fulfilling what He came to do. Consider, again, something else we find in John 12:
Whoever believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And whoever sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. (Jn. 12:44-47, ESV)
This is where we find ourselves this coming week, and through Jesus’ continued movement toward the Cross, we will see God’s glory shine brighter still … every step of the way.
QUESTIONS TO PONDER AS YOU STUDY:
- What is Jesus getting at when He tells Judas Iscariot this in John 12:8 (ESV): “The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have Me.” Why does He communicate this concept the way that He does in this first scene of John 12?
- What do you find most interesting about Jesus’ “triumphal entry?”
- What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus based on what we read in John 12:20-26?
- Describe Jesus’ connection with God the Father, and what it entails, in John 12:27-36 and John 12:44-50?
- What do you think keeps people in “unbelief” when it comes to Jesus and who He is? How did you come to faith in Jesus, if indeed you have?
Our study of the GOSPEL OF JOHN in review: