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An act of love as the end approaches

12 1-5 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, the village of Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead. They gave a supper for him there, and Martha waited on the party while Lazarus took his place at table with Jesus. Then Mary took a whole pound of very expensive perfume and anointed Jesus’ feet and then wiped them with her hair. The entire house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot (the man who was going to betray Jesus), burst out, “Why on earth wasn’t this perfume sold? It’s worth thirty pounds, which could have been given to the poor!”

He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was dishonest, and when he was in charge of the purse used to help himself to the contents.

7-8 But Jesus replied to this outburst, “Let her alone, let her keep this for the day of my burial. You have the poor with you always—you will not always have me!”

9-11 The large crowd of Jews discovered that he was there and came to the scene—not only because of Jesus but to catch sight of Lazarus, the man whom he had raised from the dead. Then the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus as well, because he was the reason for many of the Jews’ going away and putting their faith in Jesus.

Jesus experiences a temporary triumph

12-13 The next day, the great crowd who had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming into Jerusalem, and went to meet him with palm branches in their hands, shouting, “God save him! ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’, God bless the king of Israel!”

14-15 For Jesus had found a young ass and was seated upon it, just as the scripture foretold—‘Fear not, daughter of Zion: behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt’.

16 (The disciples did not realise the significance of what was happening at the time, but when Jesus was glorified, then they recollected that these things had been written about him and that they had carried them out for him.)

17-19 The people who had been with him, when he had summoned Lazarus from the grave and raised him from the dead, were continually talking about him. This accounts for the crowd who went out to meet him, for they had heard that he had given this sign. Seeing all this, the Pharisees remarked to one another, “You see?—There’s nothing one can do! The whole world is running after him.”

20-21 Among those who had come up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They approached Philip with the request, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.”

22 Philip went and told Andrew, and Andrew went with Philip and told Jesus.

23-26 Jesus told them, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you truly that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains a single grain of wheat; but if it does, it brings a good harvest. The man who loves his own life will destroy it, and the man who hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. If a man wants to enter my service, he must follow my way; and where I am, my servant will also be. And my Father will honour every man who enters my service.

27-28 “Now comes my hour of heart-break, and what can I say, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very purpose that I came to this hour. ‘Father, honour your own name!’” At this there came a voice from Heaven, “I have honoured it and I will honour it again!”

29 When the crowd of bystanders heard this, they said it thundered, but some of them said, “An angel spoke to him.”

30-33 Then Jesus said, “That voice came for your sake, not for mine. Now is the time for the judgment of this world to begin, and now will the spirit that rules this world be driven out. As for me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all men to myself.” (He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.)

34 Then the crowd said, “We have heard from the Law that Christ lives for ever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be ‘lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

35-36a At this, Jesus said to them, “You have the light with you only a little while longer. Go on while the light is good, before the darkness come down upon you. For the man who walks in the dark has no idea where he is going. You must believe in the light while you have the light, that you may become the sons of light.”

36b-38 Jesus said all these things, and then went away, out of their sight. But though he had given so many signs, yet they did not believe in him, so that the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled, when he said, ‘Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’

39-40 Thus, they could not believe, and he hardened their heart: ‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes and understand with their heart, lest they should turn, so that I should heal them’.

41-43 Isaiah said these things because he saw the glory of Christ, and spoke about him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities did believe in him. But they would not admit it for fear of the Pharisees, in case they should be excommunicated. They were more concerned to have the approval of men than to have the approval of God.

44-50 But later, Jesus cried aloud, “Every man who believes in me, is believing in the one who sent me; and every man who sees me is seeing the one who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that no one who believes in me need remain in the dark. Yet, if anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him—for I did not come to judge the world but to save it. Every man who rejects me and will not accept my sayings has a judge—at the last day, the very words that I have spoken will be his judge. For I have not spoken on my own authority: the Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and what to speak. And I know that what he commands means eternal life. All that I say I speak only in accordance with what the Father has told me.”