12 Six days before the Passover ceremonies began, Jesus arrived in Bethany where Lazarus was—the man he had brought back to life. 2 A banquet was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus sat at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took a jar of costly perfume made from essence of nard, and anointed Jesus’ feet with it and wiped them with her hair. And the house was filled with fragrance.
4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples—the one who would betray him—said, 5 “That perfume was worth a fortune. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor, but he was in charge of the disciples’ funds and often dipped into them for his own use!
7 Jesus replied, “Let her alone. She did it in preparation for my burial. 8 You can always help the poor, but I won’t be with you very long.”
9 When the ordinary people of Jerusalem heard of his arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus—the man who had come back to life again. 10 Then the chief priests decided to kill Lazarus too, 11 for it was because of him that many of the Jewish leaders had deserted and believed in Jesus as their Messiah.
12 The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city, and a huge crowd of Passover visitors 13 took palm branches and went down the road to meet him, shouting, “The Savior! God bless the King of Israel! Hail to God’s Ambassador!”
14 Jesus rode along on a young donkey, fulfilling the prophecy that said: 15 “Don’t be afraid of your King, people of Israel, for he will come to you meekly, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”
16 (His disciples didn’t realize at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy; but after Jesus returned to his glory in heaven, then they noticed how many prophecies of Scripture had come true before their eyes.)
17 And those in the crowd who had seen Jesus call Lazarus back to life were telling all about it. 18 That was the main reason why so many went out to meet him—because they had heard about this mighty miracle.
19 Then the Pharisees said to each other, “We’ve lost. Look—the whole world has gone after him!”
20 Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem to attend the Passover 21 paid a visit to Philip,[a] who was from Bethsaida, and said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” 22 Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus.
23-24 Jesus replied that the time had come for him to return to his glory in heaven, and that “I must fall and die like a kernel of wheat that falls into the furrows of the earth. Unless I die I will be alone—a single seed. But my death will produce many new wheat kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. 25 If you love your life down here—you will lose it. If you despise your life down here—you will exchange it for eternal glory.
26 “If these Greeks[b] want to be my disciples, tell them to come and follow me, for my servants must be where I am. And if they follow me, the Father will honor them. 27 Now my soul is deeply troubled. Shall I pray, ‘Father, save me from what lies ahead’? But that is the very reason why I came! 28 Father, bring glory and honor to your name.”
Then a voice spoke from heaven saying, “I have already done this, and I will do it again.” 29 When the crowd heard the voice, some of them thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him.
30 Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 The time of judgment for the world has come—and the time when Satan,[c] the prince of this world, shall be cast out. 32 And when I am lifted up on the cross,[d] I will draw everyone to me.” 33 He said this to indicate how he was going to die.
34 “Die?” asked the crowd. “We understood that the Messiah would live forever and never die. Why are you saying he will die? What Messiah are you talking about?”
35 Jesus replied, “My light will shine out for you just a little while longer. Walk in it while you can, and go where you want to go before the darkness falls, for then it will be too late for you to find your way. 36 Make use of the Light while there is still time; then you will become light bearers.”[e]
After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them.
37 But despite all the miracles he had done, most of the people would not believe he was the Messiah. 38 This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted: “Lord, who will believe us? Who will accept God’s mighty miracles as proof?”[f] 39 But they couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said: 40 “God[g] has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts so that they can neither see nor understand nor turn to me to heal them.” 41 Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he made this prediction, for he had seen a vision of the Messiah’s glory.
42 However, even many of the Jewish leaders believed him to be the Messiah but wouldn’t admit it to anyone because of their fear that the Pharisees would excommunicate them from the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
44 Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are really trusting God. 45 For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. 46 I have come as a Light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer wander in the darkness. 47 If anyone hears me and doesn’t obey me, I am not his judge—for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. 48 But all who reject me and my message will be judged at the Day of Judgment by the truths I have spoken. 49 For these are not my own ideas, but I have told you what the Father said to tell you. 50 And I know his instructions lead to eternal life; so whatever he tells me to say, I say!”
- John 12:21 Philip. His name was Greek, though he was a Jew.
- John 12:26 If these Greeks, literally, “If any man.”
- John 12:31 Satan, literally, “the prince of this world”; see 2 Corinthians 4:4 and Ephesians 2:2; 6:12.
- John 12:32 on the cross, implied.
- John 12:36 light bearers, literally, “sons of light.”
- John 12:38 Who will accept God’s mighty miracles as proof? literally, “To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1).
- John 12:40 God, literally, “He.” The Greek here is a very free rendering, or paraphrase, of Isaiah 6:10.