Study Guide

Gospel of John Chapter 12

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Chapter 12

Dinner and Death

  • Six days before Passover is going to start, Jesus heads back down to Bethany to stay with Lazarus and his sisters. They host a dinner party in his honor. Fancy.
  • After dinner, Mary takes a huge jar of very expensive perfume and pours it all over Jesus's feet. Then she wipes his feet with her hair. Guess she couldn't find a towel.
  • Judas suddenly pipes in: Why is this perfume being wasted like this? They could have sold it and raised tons of money to give to the poor.
  • Of course, the gospel tells us, Judas doesn't really care about the poor. In fact, he is in charge of the money the disciples give to the poor and steals from this stash all the time. Major jerk alert.
  • Jesus defends Mary, explaining that she has anointed him with perfumes because he will be buried soon. Poor Jesus. He died for the sins of the world and all he got was some lousy perfume.
  • Later, other people figure out that Jesus is in Bethany, and they start coming to see him. Everyone wants to catch a glimpse of the guy who raised Lazarus from the dead.
  • Speaking of Lazarus, the religious authorities have decided that while they're at it, they're going to kill him, too. After all, it's kind of his fault that people are so worked up over Jesus, right?

Palm Sunday

  • The next day, the people hear that Jesus has come to Jerusalem for Passover. He just couldn't stay away.
  • They pull branches from palm trees and yell "Hosanna!" as he enters the city. No point in trying to keep a low profile now.
  • The religious authorities watch all this and are convinced that the whole world has gone Jesus-crazy.

The Voice

  • In Jerusalem, Jesus explains to the people that he's going to die. Bummer. But to be fair, we knew that already.
  • And anyway, it's okay. He tells them that a grain of wheat is just a single grain until it is placed in the earth and dies. Then, in death, it creates food. Yes, it's time for more metaphors.
  • If you love living too much, you will die, he explains. But if you don't care much what happens, you will live forever. Reverse psychology gets death every time.
  • Is Jesus worried about this? Yeah. But, he knows he can't escape death and disobey God. Jesus always takes his Father's advice.
  • Suddenly, God's voice speaks to the group. God tells them that Jesus is right. Everything is going to be fine.
  • The people are a little confused, but Jesus tells them not to worry. God told them exactly what they needed to hear. 
  • The light is going out pretty soon, Jesus explains. And people better recognize it before they're plunged into darkness. Spooky.

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