Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter Soul Prep Day 12

As I began reading John 12, I went back just to set the scene, and read the last part of chapter 11. I hadn't seen before that it was Caiaphas the high priest who was really the instigator of the plot to kill Jesus. I've read it before, but it just kind of struck me this time.

As I've mentioned before, timing is very important to John. So, the opening verse of Ch12 begins the countdown...6 days to the Passover. The rest of John's book will deal with the final week of Jesus' life.

Another thing I hadn't really noticed before was that the event where Mary pours perfume on Jesus' feet was actually a dinner given in honor of Jesus. I presume that it was a way of thanking him for raising Lazarus from the dead, since they were in Bethany (where Lazarus lived).

One of Jesus' most troubling statements happens in John 12:8. I've read plenty of commentary on it, but none is all that satisfying. I'm just not sure exactly what Jesus is trying to communicate. Perhaps the easiest explanation is the best one: Jesus meant exactly what he said.

And another thing I saw this time that hadn't registered with me was that Lazarus was also an assassination target (v.10)

Note the incredible indictment against the Pharisees in v.42-43. Wow! "for they loved praise from men more than praise from God." This is also a word for us. It begs the question, "Who am I trying to impress...God or people?"

My final comment about John 12 - and it is a fascinating chapter - is about an unanswered question. Some Gentiles try to see Jesus in v.20. Word is passed up the chain of command, if you will, until the request is made of Jesus.

But he never answers the question. It's very interesting and leaves a lot to our imagination to read between the lines.

Tomorrow, we clean feet and have the Last Supper.


Ginger said...

There was really a lot going on in this chapter....

I agree with your comments about v42-43. How many Christians today are like that? They believe, but they are still worried about praise from others. It makes me wonder how often I do that...

Also, v 27-28 is where I think you can really start to see the stress Jesus is feeling about what is to come. Even though he knows what the outcome will be, he is still fully human and would feel fear..especially about the torment and death he is facing...and bearing the burden of EVERYONE's sins. He has to have "self-talk" [27 "Now my heart is troubled, and what shal I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!"] He also has to have time to pray and prepare. I see this at the end of v 36, where Jesus went and hid. I can imagine that he needs most of his energy to pray and prepare himself for what is coming. HOW GREAT HIS LOVE MUST BE FOR US!!!

Last, I was struck by how similiar the end of v47 is to John 3:17"...For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it."

Brian C. Hughes said...

Loved your comments, Ginger. You showed me some things I hadn't seen before with Jesus needing so much energy just to pray.

And, you are picking up on common themes in John with your last note - well done!