12 Six days before the Passover feast, Jesus journeyed to the village of Bethany, to the home of Lazarus who had recently been raised from the dead, 2 where they hosted Him for dinner. Martha was busy serving as the hostess, Lazarus reclined at the table with Him, 3 and Mary took a pound of fine ointment, pure nard (which is both rare and expensive), and anointed Jesus’ feet with it; and then she wiped them with her hair. As the pleasant fragrance of this extravagant ointment filled the entire house, 4 Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples (who was plotting to betray Jesus), began to speak.
Judas Iscariot: 5 How could she pour out this vast amount of fine oil? Why didn’t she sell it? It is worth nearly a year’s wages;[a] the money could have been given to the poor.
6 This had nothing to do with Judas’s desire to help the poor. The truth is he served as the treasurer, and he helped himself to the money from the common pot at every opportunity.
Jesus: 7 Leave her alone. She has observed this custom in anticipation of the day of My burial. 8 The poor are ever present, but I will be leaving.
9 Word spread of Jesus’ presence, and a large crowd was gathering to see Jesus and the formerly deceased Lazarus, whom He had brought back from the dead. 10 The chief priests were secretly plotting Lazarus’s murder since, 11 because of him, many Jews were leaving their teachings and believing in Jesus.
12 The next day, a great crowd of people who had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem; 13 so they gathered branches of palm trees to wave as they celebrated His arrival.
Crowds (shouting): Hosanna!
He who comes in the name of the Lord is truly blessed[b]
and is King of all Israel.
14 Jesus found a young donkey, sat on it, and rode through the crowds mounted on this small beast. The Scriptures foretold of this day:
15 Daughter of Zion, do not be afraid.
Watch! Your King is coming.
You will find Him seated on the colt of a donkey.[c]
16 The disciples did not understand any of this at the time; these truths did not sink in until Jesus had been glorified. As they reflected on their memories of Jesus, they realized these things happened just as they were written. 17 Those who witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus enthusiastically spoke of Jesus to all who would listen, 18 and that is why the crowd went out to meet Him. They had heard of the miraculous sign He had done.
His followers may suspect during their time with Jesus that He is more than a man, but it takes the power and glory of the resurrection to convince them completely that Jesus is divine. When they see Him, touch Him, and hear the sound of His voice thunder in their souls, the disciples know they are face-to-face with God’s immense glory, the unique Son of God. Reading and rereading the Scriptures in light of their experiences of Him, it becomes clear that Jesus’ life and story are the climax of God’s covenants with His people.
Pharisees (to one another): 19 Our efforts to squelch Him have not worked, but now is not the time for action. Look, the world is following after Him.
20 Among the crowds traveling to Jerusalem were Greeks seeking to follow God and worship at the great feast. 21-22 Some of them came to Philip with an important request.
Greek Pilgrims (to Philip): Sir, we are hoping to meet Jesus.
Philip, a disciple from the Galilean village of Bethsaida, told Andrew that these Greeks wanted to see Jesus. Together Andrew and Philip approached Jesus to inform Him about the request.
Jesus (to Philip and Andrew): 23 The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth: unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it remains a solitary seed. But when it is planted, it produces in death a great harvest. 25 The one who loves this life will lose it, and the one who despises it in this world will have life forevermore. 26 Anyone who serves Me must follow My path; anyone who serves Me will want to be where I am, and he will be honored by the Father. 27 My spirit is low and unsettled. How can I ask the Father to save Me from this hour? This hour is the purpose for which I have come into the world. But what I can say is this: 28 “Father, glorify Your name!”
Suddenly a voice echoed from the heavens.
The Father: I have glorified My name. And again I will bring glory in this hour that will resound throughout time.
29 The crowd of people surrounding Jesus were confused.
Some in the Crowd: It sounded like thunder.
Others: A heavenly messenger spoke to Him.
Jesus: 30 The voice you hear has not spoken for My benefit, but for yours. 31 Now judgment comes upon this world, and everything will change. The tyrant of this world, Satan, will be thrown out. 32 When I am lifted up from the earth, then all of humanity will be drawn to Me.
33 These words foreshadowed the nature of His death.
Crowd: 34 The law teaches that the Anointed is the One who will remain without end. How can You say it is essential that the Son of Man be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man You are talking about?
Jesus: 35 Light is among you, but very soon it will flicker out. Walk as you have the light, and then the darkness will not surround you. Those who walk in darkness don’t know where they are going. 36 While the light is with you, believe in the light; and you will be reborn as sons and daughters of the light.
After speaking these words, Jesus left the people to go to a place of seclusion. 37 Despite all the signs He performed, they still did not believe in Him. 38 Isaiah spoke of this reality, saying,
Lord, who could accept what we’ve been told?
And who has seen the awesome power of the Lord revealed?[d]
39 This is the reason they are unable to believe. 40 Isaiah also said,
God has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts
So that their eyes cannot see properly
and their hearts cannot understand
and be persuaded
by the truth to turn to Me
and be reconciled by My healing hand.[e]
41 Isaiah could say this because he had seen the glory of the Lord with his own eyes and declared His beauty aloud. 42 Yet many leaders secretly believed in Him but would not declare their faith because the Pharisees continued their threats to expel all His followers from the synagogue; 43 here’s why: they loved to please men more than they desired to glorify God.
Jesus (crying out before the people): 44 Anyone who believes in Me is not placing his faith in Me, but in the One who sent Me here. 45 If one sees Me, he sees the One who sent Me. 46 I am here to bring light in this world, freeing everyone who believes in Me from the darkness that blinds him. 47 If anyone listening to My teachings chooses to ignore them, so be it: I have come to liberate the world, not to judge it. 48 However, those who reject Me and My teachings will be judged: in the last day, My words will be their judge 49 because I am not speaking of My own volition and from My own authority. The Father who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and speak. 50 I know His command is eternal life, so every word I utter originates in Him.