John  ◦   Chapter 12

1Six days prior to the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus (the man Jesus raised from the dead) lived.2There, Simon the leper, whom Jesus had healed, gave a banquet in honor of Jesus. Martha catered the dinner, and her brother Lazarus was one of the guests reclining at the table near Jesus.3Then Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, took a pint of pure nard worth a year's wages and poured it on Jesus' feet, and then wiped his feet with her hair. Suddenly, the room was filled with the intensely sweet aroma of the perfume and everyone realized what Mary had done.

4But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who later betrayed him, was irritated by Mary's gift to Jesus, and objected:5"This woman doesn't value the less fortunate, but tries to promote herself with expensive gifts. If she cared more about others than herself, she would have sold the perfume and given the money to the poor. It was worth more than a year's wages."6Judas said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was selfish and motivated by greed; and as keeper of the moneybag, he would help himself to what was in it.

7"Leave her alone and don't criticize this beautiful thing she has done," Jesus commanded. "She has understood my mission, and with perfume costing all that she had, has anointed me for burial.8The poor will always be here for you to minister unto, but you will not always have me with you."

9Meanwhile, word had spread that Jesus and Lazarus were at Simon's house, and a large crowd began to gather.10The chief priests realized that Lazarus was a compelling witness to the healing power of Jesus, so they began to plot to kill Lazarus as well,11as — because of him — many Jews were no longer listening to the Jewish religious leaders but were putting their trust in Jesus.

12The next day, the great crowd gathering for the Passover Feast heard that Jesus was entering Jerusalem riding on a colt — the symbol of a king.13They became excited and took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting: "Save us, O King! Deliver and heal us, O Messiah!" "Worthy of all praise is he who comes in the full and perfect character of the Lord!" "Worthy of all adoration is the King of Israel!"

14Jesus rode upon a young donkey — as it is written:

15"Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king and deliverer is coming, seated on a donkey's colt."

16The disciples didn't understand at all what was happening. Only after Jesus arose from the dead, and his true nature and character were fully revealed, did they realize that the entire Scriptures were written about him, and that the Scriptures were fulfilled in him.

17The crowd that saw Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, and who watched Lazarus rise from the dead, told everyone about the miracle.18Because of their enthusiastic testimony, huge crowds went out to meet Jesus.19When the Pharisees saw this, they said to one another, "Look at this! Everyone in the world is following Jesus. Our plots and planning are not turning the people back to us — we are losing our influence and status; we are going nowhere!"

20Now, some Greeks who had come to worship at the Feast21came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked, "Sir, we would sure like to see Jesus. Would it be possible to meet him?"22Philip went and told Andrew, and the two together went and told Jesus.

23Jesus replied, "It is now time for the Son of Man to have his character and nature fully revealed.24I tell you the clear truth, unless a kernel of wheat gives itself up to be buried and die, it will remain a lone and solitary seed. But if it surrenders itself and dies, it produces many seeds.25The person who practices the principle of survival-of-the-fittest, and loves their own life so much that they will kill in order to preserve it, will ultimately destroy themself and lose their life. But the person who loves others more than themself and is willing to give their life freely so that others may live, is back in harmony with the principles of love upon which life is based, and will preserve their life and live eternally.26Whoever wants to serve with me in my healing ministry must practice my methods, value my principles, and follow my ways. All those who serve with me will be with me where I am. My Father will fully heal, restore and exalt all those who truly serve with me in this way.

27 "My heart is heavy, but what shall I say? 'Father, deliver me from this hour'? No! My entire purpose for being here is to come to this very hour.28Father, may your true character and nature be fully revealed and may Satan's lies about you be fully exposed!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have revealed my true character and nature, and will reveal it again."29The crowd, with their darkened minds, couldn't understand the voice; some thought it was thunder, but others thought that an angel had spoken to him.

30Jesus said, "This voice was to strengthen your faith, not mine.31Now is the time for the infection of selfishness and sin in this world to be fully diagnosed and revealed as destructive; now, Satan — the prince of this selfish world — will be driven out into the open, out of the shadows, out from behind his lies and distortions about God and God's methods, out where all can see him as the murderer he truly is, and thus out of the hearts of all who love me.32When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all intelligences throughout the universe to me."33By saying this, he was revealing the kind of death he was going to face.

34The crowd spoke up and questioned Jesus: "We have heard from the Scriptures that the Messiah will deliver us and establish a kingdom here forever, so how can you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up?' And who is this 'Son of Man?'"

35Then Jesus told them, "You are going to have the light of my life revealing the truth of God’s character, methods and principles just a little while longer. Incorporate the light of truth into your lives while you still comprehend it, before the darkness of Satan’s lies so blinds you that you can no longer tell the truth from a lie. Those who make choices based on lies, distortions and feelings rather than on the truth, damage their minds and can no longer tell where they are going.36Put your trust in the light of truth while your faculties can still see and understand it, so that you may be healed and restored fully into God's enlightened children." When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from the crowds.

37Even though Jesus had performed so many miracles before their eyes, spoken the word of truth in their hearing, and lived a life of selfless love in their presence, they still refused to trust him.38This was in harmony with the prophecy of Isaiah: "Lord, who has believed our message, and to whom has the ambassador of the Lord been revealed?"

39Isaiah tells elsewhere the reason they would not believe.

40"Their minds have been blinded by their rejection of truth, their hearts have been deadened by their selfish pursuits, therefore they neither see the truth with their minds nor understand it with their hearts, or will they turn from their evil ways; for if they did, I would heal them."

41Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' true character, methods and principles, and spoke about him.

42Yet while the crowds were rejecting him, many others, even among the leaders, trusted in him. But because of the threats and malice of the Pharisees, they would not confess their allegiance openly for fear of being denied access to the temple.43This is because they loved the praise and admiration from men more than praise from God.

44Then Jesus proclaimed: "When a person trusts in me, they do not trust in me only, but also in the Father who sent me.45When they look at me, they see the Father who sent me, because the Father and I are one.46I have come into the world as the Father's ambassador–to bring the light of truth about the Father into the world so that all those who trust in me will be healed and have their minds and hearts set free from the darkness of Satan's lies and the domination of Satan's methods of selfishness.

47"As for the person who hears my words and sees all the truth I have revealed but does not apply it to their life, I do not speak against them. I did not come into the world to condemn it, but to bring the only Remedy to sin and selfishness in order to heal and save the world.48There is an accounting — a reckoning, a final conclusion — for the one who does not value the principles and methods I have revealed; the reality of their own condition will condemn them in the last day. By rejecting me — the only Remedy — their infected selfish state is fatal, and the truth of their unhealed terminal condition will be their judge.49I did not speak words to promote myself, but spoke only the truth necessary to reveal the Father who sent me.50I know that his methods and principles are the basis of life, and they result in eternal life. So whatever I say is exactly what the Father would say if he were here, because he has told me the exact truth to reveal."