John 12

John 12:1

Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.

Lazarus of Bethany was a dear friend of Jesus (John 11:3, 36).

John 12:13

took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel.”

The King of Israel. Many people in scripture recognized Jesus as a king. These people included the magi (Matt. 2:2), the disciples (Luke 19:38), the palm-waving people of Jerusalem (John 12:13), Paul and Silas (Acts 17:7), the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:32-33), and the seventh angel (Rev. 11:15). However, during his earthly ministry, Jesus rarely referred to himself in such royal terms (see verse 15).

John 12:15


Behold, your king. This was one of those rare occasions where Jesus referred to himself as a king. See entry for Matt. 21:5.

John 12:25

“He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

(a) His life. There are two different words for life in this verse. The original word for the first life (psuchē) usually refers to soul-life. (The word psychology comes from the word psuchē.) It is the life we inherit from Adam. It is the life of the flesh.

(b) Loses it. Live for the appetites of the flesh and you will lose your true self. Run after the inferior pleasures of the world and you will lose your soul. What profit is that (Matt. 16:26)?

(c) Hates his life. To hate your life is to live without care and making no provisions for the flesh, not because you are ascetic, but because you have found a greater Supply. “Do not worry about your life (psuche) – your Father will take care of you” (Matt. 6:25).

(d) Life eternal. The original word for life (zoe) is commonly described as spirit life. This is the life that God has. When Jesus says he is the life, he is referring to zoe-life of the spirit (John 14:6). The eternal life we receive from God is not more of the same old thing but something completely new. See entry for New Life.

John 12:28

“Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

(a) Father, glorify Your name. Before Jesus, no one called God Father. After Jesus, every Christian did. The name that Jesus wants glorified is not God but Father.

The first time Jesus called God “Father” in public, he said “Our Father in heaven” (Matt. 6:9). When you pray, you are not just praying to the Almighty Creator and the Ancient of Days. You are praying to our heavenly Father who cares for you and knows your needs (Matt. 6:31–32). Abba Father is the name of God who loves you as much as he loves Jesus (John 17:23).

(b) I have both glorified it. To glorify means to magnify, honor, and extol. Jesus says, “God, make your Father-heart widely known.” And the Father replies, “I’m doing it right now, through you Son.”

John 12:34

The crowd then answered Him, “We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

The Law. The crowd is quoting from Psalm 89:36-37 or Isaiah 9:6-7 or Micah 4:7. The Psalms and the prophets do not form part of the Law of Moses or the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). The crowd is referring to the Hebrew Scriptures or the Old Testament. For similar examples, see John 10:34, 15:25, and 1 Cor. 14:21.

John 12:46

“I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.

Light. The Light of the world and the Light of Life and the Light of men and the True Light are all names for Jesus (John 1:4, 9, 8:12, 9:5).

Adam’s fallen race lives in the valley of the shadow of death. Into this dark valley comes Jesus with the bright and shining revelation that God offers us a new life.


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