Anointing and Triumphant Entry - by Jeff Byerley
The Study - John 12:1-19 Anointing and Triumphant Entry
12:1-8 Anointing at Bethany
This was six days before the Passover (v.1).
Jesus came to the home of Martha, Mary & Lazarus at Bethany.
Bethany was one of the authorized towns that numerous Passover pilgrims could stay at.
We were struck by the loving welcome given to Jesus by this family.
Martha served, Lazarus gave table fellowship and Mary anointed Jesus' feet with very expensive perfume.
The thief and later betrayer, Judas Iscariot, did not give a loving response.
Jesus defended Mary as the anointing was a fitting gesture for his burial.
Jesus made the point that we always will have the poor but not his physical presence.
This is an extra inspiration for us to help the poor .
12:9-11. The Chief Priests' Resistance and its application to us:
As a result of Jesus' raising Lazarus, many came to see Lazarus (v.9) and believe in Jesus (v.11).
Yet the chief priests plotted to kill both Jesus and Lazarus.
The chief priests were Sadduccees and taught that there was no resurrection.
That Lazarus had been resurrected by Jesus, was a stinging rebuke of their teaching and positions.
Lazarus, just being alive was a confronting insult to the chief priests.
So they plotted to kill them both.
But Jesus had already raised Lazarus from the dead!
Clearly the power of God was at work in their lives.
How wicked, foolish and futile was these leaders' efforts to try and thwart God's plan (Psalm 2).
But this is true of the resistance to our witness.
We have been resurrected from a life where we were dead in our trespasses" (Eph.2.1).
Just being alive as Christians, we are a stinging rebuke to those who oppose Christ.
"To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death,
and to the other the aroma of life leading to life." (2 Cor 2:16).
12:12-19 Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem.
Jesus received a great welcome from the crowd at Jerusalem.
The words the crowd used were the Messianic greeting from Psalm 118:25-26.
The word "Hosanna" means "Save now".
"Save now, I pray, O Lord;
O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We have blessed you from the house of the Lord."
It was also a prophesy that the Savior would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey's colt. (Zechariah 9:9).
It was no war horse that Jesus rode but a donkey's colt, fitting for the Prince of peace!
The resurrection miracle had made Jesus an outlaw as far as the religious leaders were concerned.
If he dared to come to Jerusalem, they believed he would keep himself hidden.
What a shock to see him riding in bold as brass as the King!
Moreover, he had support of all the crowd.
They spoke among themselves that all their efforts were in vain.
Ironically they said “Look, the world has gone after him!” (v.19).
We shall see next week how this was proving true.
Apparently John must have found this out from his priestly family connections.
What a contrast to what was to follow as the crowd turned against him.