John 12: In this chapter, the time of Yeshua has come. He is going to publicly reveal Himself as Messiah. He is going to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey in fulfillment of prophecy. This is the time Yeshua knew was coming.
But before He makes this public proclamation, He is going to visit the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. While there are plans to kill Yeshua in Jerusalem, there is a party for Him in Bethany.
(John 12:1 NASB) Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
(John 12:2 NASB) So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him.
(John 12:3 NASB) Mary therefore took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
John 12:3: We are told in the other Gospels that Mary anointed his head with the perfume also
(Matt. 26:6-13). Mary’s act was one of utter humility. She was exceedingly grateful for Yeshua bringing her brother back to life. She was fully aware and in awe of Messiah.
(John 12:4 NASB) But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said^,
(John 12:5 NASB) “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii, and given to poor people?”
(John 12:6 NASB) Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.
John 12:6: When Judas betrays Yeshua for 30 pieces of silver, he is totally acting in character. Judas loves money far more than he loves Elohim. Judas saw the great signs and heard the very Words of Elohim. But he does not care. He wanted the money from this perfume to put in his own pocket.
Three hundred denarii was the amount of the annual wage of the average laborer in that day. Today it might be the equivalent of over $25,000. This perfume came out of India. The herbs for it came from the Himalaya Mountains and made a very strong perfume. Mary had kept this in an alabaster box. Why did she save it? She probably wanted it used on her body when she died. But she saw a much better use for that perfume.
(John 12:7 NASB) Jesus therefore said, “Let her alone, in order that she may keep it for the day of My burial.
John 12:7: Yeshua told them to let her keep it until the day of His burial. Yeshua says for her to keep it until the day of His burial. This was a clear declaration to the disciples that He knew He would soon die.
(John 12:8 NASB) “For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have Me.”
John 12:8: The poor will always be with us. Yeshua is merely quoting Torah once again (Deut. 15:11). Why will the poor always be in the land? So we have the chance to show the love of Elohim to others.
(John 12:9 NASB) The great multitude therefore of the Jews learned that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead.
John 12:9: The multitudes came to see Lazarus as well as Yeshua. Word of that miracle spread throughout the people for a long ways. This does help explain the huge crowd greeting Him.
Many of the people there were probably curiosity seekers wanting to see the one who came back from being dead for four days and the One who performed the miracle.
(John 12:10 NASB) But the chief priests took counsel that they might put Lazarus to death also;
John 12:10: The Pharisees had plans of totally cleaning house. They were going to kill Lazarus also. They were going to destroy Messiah and all evidence that points to Him. The disciples were probably on that list also.
It seems insane that they would want Yeshua killed knowing full well who He is and the signs He has done (Ecc. 9:3).
(John 12:11 NASB) because on account of him many of the Jews were going away, and were believing in Jesus.
John 12:11: The people of that day did not dispute the signs that Yeshua performed. They witnessed them with their own eyes and knew them to be true. These signs verified who He was and this caused many to entrust Yeshua. That was intolerable to the power hungry religious leaders.
(John 12:12 NASB) On the next day the great multitude who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
(John 12:13 NASB) took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet Him, and began to cry out, “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel.”
John 12:13: “Hosanna” is a transliteration of the Hebrew word. It means “oh save, we pray.” The people are quoting Psalm 118:25-26. They are calling Him the “King of Israel.” It is as if they see Him as a manifestation of Elohim Himself (Isa. 44:6, Zeph. 3:16).
(John 12:14 NASB) And Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written,
(John 12:15 NASB) “FEAR NOT, DAUGHTER OF ZION; BEHOLD, YOUR KING IS COMING, SEATED ON A DONKEY’S COLT.”
John 12:15: Yeshua is publicly presenting Himself as the King of Israel riding on a donkey. This was done to fulfill prophecy (Zech. 9:9). Yeshua came to make full the prophecies spoken of in the Old Testament (Matt. 5:17-19).
(John 12:16 NASB) These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.
John 12:16: Keep in mind that John is writing these things many years later. He probably wrote this Gospel 50 years or more after these events happened. They did not understand until after Yeshua was glorified. These things were concealed from them by the Spirit of Elohim (Luke 9:44-45, 18:31-34).
(John 12:17 NASB) And so the multitude who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, were bearing Him witness.
(John 12:18 NASB) For this cause also the multitude went and met Him, because they heard that He had performed this sign.
John 12:18: Many of people are testifying of the miraculous sign of Yeshua raising Lazarus from the dead. This was prophesied also (Psalm 145:6-7).
(John 12:19 NASB) The Pharisees therefore said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.”
John 12:19: The bad guys are already starting to point fingers at one another. They are furious. This man who had publicly humiliated them on several occasions was being glorified by the people.
Elohim planned for His Son to die at the time during Passover that the lamb is slain. This act of publicly proclaiming Himself as King will cause the Pharisees to fulfill this prophecy.
(John 12:20 NASB) Now there were certain Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast;
(John 12:21 NASB) these therefore came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
John 12:21: Only John mentions these Greeks. This shows how far away the message of the raising of Lazarus had gone.
Phillip was a Greek name and he may have spoken Greek. That may have been why they went to him.
(John 12:22 NASB) Philip came and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip came, and they told Jesus.
(John 12:23 NASB) And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
John 12:23: This is the “time” of the Messiah. Yeshua had been saying that His hour was not yet (John 2:4, 7:6). That is not the case today. This is now His time as prophesied by the prophet Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27). Daniel predicted that the Messiah would come on this very day and Yeshua verified that this was the day spoken of by Daniel (Luke 19:37-44).
Let’s take a brief look at Daniel’s prophecy concerning the time of Messiah. (Dan 9:25 NASB) “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.
The starting point for the 490 year period is essential to the correct understanding of the prophecy. This must fit into secular history on a particular date. There have been many suggestions for the starting date of this time period which is started by a decree to rebuild Jerusalem; The decree of Cyrus (Ezra 1:1-4); the decree of Darius (Ezra 6:1-12), the decree of Artaxerxes (in the seventh year of his reign Ezra 7:11-26); but the one that most fits the description in verse 25 is the decree of Artaxerxes in the twentieth year of his reign (Neh. 2:1-8). The other decrees speak of rebuilding the Temple, but only this one focuses on the city and the walls as prophesied. This decree has a date attached to it of month of Nissan, 445 B.C. The twentieth anniversary of the reign of Artaxerxes (as mentioned in Neh. 2:1) was March 14, 445 B.C. This will be our starting point.
The first seven “weeks” brings us to 397 B.C. and to the time of the prophet Malachi. These were the “troublesome times” as witnessed by both Nehemiah and Malachi. The end of this forty-nine year period culminates the exact timeframe, according to Jewish history, that it took to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem.
(Dan 9:26 NASB) “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.
According to this passage, sixty-two weeks (or 474 years) after the first 7 weeks (or 49 years) bring us to the Messiah. Sir Robert Anderson in his book, The Coming Prince, was the first one to work out the time schedule. If we project 476 years (173,880 days) ahead from the first of Nisan in 445 B.C., we come to the tenth of Nisan (April 6), A.D 32. This is the day Yeshua rode into Jerusalem, offering Himself publicly as Messiah for the first time.
After the 69th week, the Messiah will be cut off. This was the crucifixion of Messiah on a tree. This passage also states that after the 69th Week, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple would take place. That is precisely what happened in 70 A.D. under the direction of Titus, the Roman.
(John 12:24 NASB) “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
John 12:24: When a grain of wheat is planted, that seed must be planted in the ground and die in order for the wheat to spring forth from it and give life giving bread. Yeshua was the same way. He gives us new life, but that only happened through His death.
It is through the death of Yeshua that the Spirit of Elohim dwells within His people. It was prophesied that through His death, He would see His offspring, prolong His days, justify the many, and bear their iniquities (Isaiah 53:10-12)..
(John 12:25 NASB) “He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.
John 12:25: Yeshua mentions this particular teaching several other times in the Gospels. Yeshua is saying that we are not to live our lives like the Gentiles. But we are to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness (Matt. 6:31-33). When Yeshua states these same words in Luke we are told that Yeshua said “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:23-24). Yeshua is telling us to hate our life outside of our Father’s Instructions. We are to live our life according to His Torah, then we will live eternally (Matt. 19:16-17).
(John 12:26 NASB) “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
John 12:26: What does Yeshua mean by “follow” Him? He is saying that we should walk as He walked in obedience to His Father’s Torah (1 Peter 1:14-16).
(John 12:27 NASB) “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
John 12:27: Yeshua is not looking forward to the price He is going to pay for His people. But as He has said previously, He is the Good Shepherd and a good shepherd gives his life for his sheep (John 10:11-15).
(John 12:28 NASB) “Father, glorify Thy name.” There came therefore a voice out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
John 12:28: We are told of the Father speaking out loud to Yeshua on two other occasions, at His baptism and on the mount of transfiguration.
(John 12:29 NASB) The multitude therefore, who stood by and heard it, were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, “An angel has spoken to Him.”
John 12:29: The people watching were very confused and they were wrong in their assumptions. One group thought it was supernatural and articulate, but they were wrong about the source. The other group tried to tie a natural phenomenon to the voice of Elohim by claiming, “It thundered.”
(John 12:30 NASB) Jesus answered and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes.
John 12:30: Elohim didn’t speak to Yeshua for the sake of His Son. He did it so the people could hear it and believe.
(John 12:31 NASB) “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out.
John 12:31: The “ruler of this world” who will be cast out is Satan (John 14:30; 16:11). If Satan was cast out, why is he still in this world? This is likely a reference to Satan who will be cast out of heaven (Rev. 12:7-9).
(John 12:32 NASB) “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”
(John 12:33 NASB) But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.
John 12:33: Yeshua will be lifted up from the earth onto a tree, which was the kind of death He would suffer.
(John 12:34 NASB) The multitude therefore answered Him, “We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”
John 12:34: The people knew from the Law (Tanakh) that the name of the Messiah would endure forever (2 Sam. 7:12-13, Isa. 9:7, Psalm 89:35-37, Ezek. 37:24-25). They also associated the Son of Man being lifted up with Him being killed. They just couldn’t figure out why this had to happen.
(John 12:35 NASB) Jesus therefore said to them, “For a little while longer the light is among you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness may not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.
(John 12:36 NASB) “While you have the light, believe in the light, in order that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and He departed and hid Himself from them.
John 12:36: Yeshua invited them to follow Him before He disappears from them. Yeshua will not speak publicly again until He comes to this earth to establish His kingdom.
(John 12:37 NASB) But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him;
(John 12:38 NASB) that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT? AND TO WHOM HAS THE ARM OF THE LORD BEEN REVEALED?”
John 12:38: John is speaking about Isaiah 53.
(John 12:39 NASB) For this cause they could not believe, for Isaiah said again,
(John 12:40 NASB) “HE HAS BLINDED THEIR EYES, AND HE HARDENED THEIR HEART; LEST THEY SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND PERCEIVE WITH THEIR HEART, AND BE CONVERTED, AND I HEAL THEM.”
John 12:40: This is in reference to Isaiah 6:9-10. Elohim has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts so they would not be converted and healed. They are not a part of His people.
(John 12:41 NASB) These things Isaiah said, because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him.
(John 12:42 NASB) Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue;
(John 12:43 NASB) for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.
John 12:43: Many of the Pharisees believed on Him. How could they not believe in His miracles? But just believing He was a miraculous person is meaningless. They must confess Him and the confession must result in righteousness(Romans 10:8-10).
(John 12:44 NASB) And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him who sent Me.
(John 12:45 NASB) “And he who beholds Me beholds the One who sent Me.
(John 12:46 NASB) “I have come as light into the world, that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness.
John 12:46: This is another mention of Him being the light of the world. He is reminding them again of the blind man whom He cured. He will open the eyes of those who know they are blind and need the light of the world.
(John 12:47 NASB) “And 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 the world.
(John 12:48 NASB) “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.
John 12:48: Yeshua did not come to earth to judge men. Men will be judged by the Torah of Elohim. Man will get his chance in court to be judged by Torah according to what he has done (Rev. 20:12).
(John 12:49 NASB) “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak.
(John 12:50 NASB) “And I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”
John 12:50: Yeshua did not speak according to His own initiative. The Father gave Him the Words to say and the Words to speak. We are accountable for following Him because He is the prophet like Moses (Deut. 18:15-19).
Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
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Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
Fort Smith, Arkansas