Episode #80. Today we’ll read John chapter 12 together: Mary prepares Jesus’ body for burial; the Triumphal entry for the last time; and Isaiah’s prophecies are fulfilled.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #80. Today we’ll read John chapter 12 together: Mary prepares Jesus’ body for burial; the Triumphal entry for the last time; and Isaiah’s prophecies are fulfilled.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
I thought of one of my favorite books today. It’s called One Thousand Gifts and is an excellent exposition on gratitude. At one point the author, Ann Voskamp, talks about receiving blessings – what we call good – from God’s hand and then rejecting suffering and trials – what we call bad – from that same hand. She reminds us that the book of James tells us that all good things come from above. Therefore, if all things coming from God are good, we must change our definition of good and bad, and just look for God. It bothers me that I am so quick sometimes to judge God’s gifts. Do you struggle with that too? I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book and follow along with Ann as she seeks to list 1000 things in her life to be grateful for. There’s a link to her book on my Marketplace page at liftinghervoice.com. If you use that link, I get a little commission that helps offset the costs of the podcast. Thanks for that in advance.
John Chapter 12: 1 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. 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. 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 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. 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.” 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 also kill Lazarus, 11 because he was the reason many of the Jews were deserting them and believing in Jesus. 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 ! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord -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. 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!” 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 into the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop. 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!” 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, “An angel has 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 law 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. 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? 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. 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. 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.”
This chapter is a perfect example of why John is different from the other Gospels. The stories told in chapter 12 – Mary anointing Jesus’ feet, Judas’ accusation of waste, the Pharisees’ jealousy of Jesus, the fulfillment of 700-year-old prophecies – sound different from the previous recitations. John exposes more darkness, more depravity. We find out that Judas was a thief. He didn’t care about the poor…he just wanted to make sure there was plenty of money in the chest to steal. And we’ve suspected all along that the Pharisees were megalomaniacs, but their hunger to maintain power has gone beyond Jesus. Now they’re turning on each other and planning to kill Lazarus too, just so the people couldn’t lay eyes on the one whom Jesus raised from the dead. All because they think that killing him will take the spotlight off of Jesus and secure their positions. They’re out of control! John’s Gospel points out all of this behind-the-scenes stuff. It’s like he picks up the turtle to examine the underbelly…things that can’t immediately be seen at first glance or from the surface. And as he writes, we begin to connect the dots. The human race needs a Savior. They did then and we still do today. Let’s pray. Dear Jesus, my heart breaks that there was no other way for us to come to the Father except by Your sacrifice. You took upon Yourself the wrath of God for our sins. We can only say ‘thank You, Lord,’ and then surrender to Your sanctifying care. Soften our hearts to this, Holy Spirit. Help us to repent of the sin that draws us. Strengthen our hunger – our yearning – for Your presence. We give You the glory for it all. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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