Joh 12:12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
Joh 12:13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Joh 12:14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
Joh 12:15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
These people had heard of the miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead, they were giving adulation to their King. As the Pharisee's observed, it seemed all the world had gone after him.
Within a very few short days, they would be screaming "crucify him!". The palm branches they laid at the path of the donkey would be long forgotten, trampled under their feet, along with their adulation's.
Every believer will find this true in their journey through this life also. Many of the TV preachers and teachers won't acknowledge this, or simply never speak of it; but that's because of the temptations they give in to that I'll talk about further along in this study.
Joh 12:23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Joh 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
Joh 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
This was the greatest paradox, and one they would not be able to understand until Christ had risen from the dead.
They were looking for, and wanting Jesus to be a dominant ruler of this world, to save them from the oppression of Rome. But, they were blinded to what Jesus' coming really meant. He told them clearly, but they understood it not, nor did Pilate:
Joh 18:35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Joh 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
When Pilate made the accusation that he had the power to do whatever he wished with Jesus, so why didn't he answer him; the Lord's answer was full of assurance of the power and authority he knew he had at his disposal.
Joh 19:8 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;
Joh 19:9 And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.
Joh 19:10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
Joh 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
Going back to chapter 12, we move to verses 27-28; the Lord speaks of his humanity, his soul is troubled, asking the Father to save him from this hour; but this is what he came to the world for. His soul wrestles with the horror that awaits him, asking if there isn't some other way; but even in mid sentence resigns himself to the will of the Father again. As soon as he prays the brief prayer "Father, glorify thy name", a voice comes from heaven "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." I am sure this short bit of encouragement from the Father, was all he needed to finish the work set before him.
Joh 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
Joh 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
These verses show me the tremendous struggle in Jesus' soul, and gives a glimpse of his suffering even before the betrayel, scourging, and crucificion. We will never know the depth of Jesus suffering when he was in this world, until we are in heaven. Hebrews says it well, when it describes his status as High Priest; that he has suffered everything we will ever know here; and understands our condition completely. There's nothing we face, that he hasn't experienced, and has gotten the victory over it; in him we can also.
The Unbelief of the People
From verses 29-43 gives the account of the unbelief of the people, and the hardness of their hearts. None of the miracles he did made any difference; they did not believe on him. Over the years I've seen the Lord answer many of my prayers, but also been through times when He has said no, or not now. It's not miracles or wonders that keeps me holding on to him; it's the truth of the word of God. Jesus rising from the dead, and the multitudes of prophecies he fulfilled in his life that proves to me he is real, and is who he says he is.
Joh 12:29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
Joh 12:30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.
Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
Joh 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
Joh 12:33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
Joh 12:34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?
[Notice the questions of these people, how it reveals their blindness, they had no idea what Jesus was talking about; even though he was plainly telling them he was the one they were asking about.]
Joh 12:35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
Joh 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
Have you ever tried to put yourself in the place of the people in the bible, in their situations? I've tried to put myself in Jesus' place, and this is an example. This statement he makes to these people's unbelief is the last he will say, until he goes to the cross. He only speaks further to the disciples alone on the night of the passover meal when he gives them much encouragment, and a prayer in ch. 17 of great love from his heart to them, and all of us who would follow after them. But now, after seeing and witnessing the blindness and unbelief still in these people's hearts; he leaves them, and seeks a place of solitude. I can imagine the heaviness of his heart and soul as he begins to feel the weight of what he was about to endure. He needed time alone with his Father, away from those who had no faith; in order to encourage himself in that hour. I wonder, if he could feel the presence of the angels who were standing by; waiting to minister to him, as they were after his great struggle in the garden of Gethsemane.
Joh 12:37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
Joh 12:38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
Joh 12:39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
Joh 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
Joh 12:41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
They could not understand his speech, but it had to be so, scripture must be fulfilled which was spoken of him in Isaiah.
Joh 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
Joh 12:43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
In verses 42-43 we see many of the chief rulers did believe him, but didn't have the courage to confess it. They didn't want to pay the cost, they knew if they did; they'd be out of the synagogue. True devotion and love is rare, very rare. It will pay the cost of rejection, unto death. When a person is put in a situation like theirs the decisions they make tells the true condition of the heart.
Power, recognition, adulation, and money is the carrot Satan dangles before people. How much you are truly devoted to God will be seen in how much these temptations can be used to succeed in swaying your decisions and actions. This is why it's never a good idea to pay attention to the palm branches and acknowledgements given to you if your serving in ministry; the praises and acknowledgements that come your way today, may vanish tomorrow.
This is something to consider when you see the depth Jesus went to, how much he lowered himself when he came to this earth, to suffer and die the horrible death of the cross. This is why it is so clear he has gained such a victory over sin, and been given a name above every name. It tells it well in Phillipians ch. 2:
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Now, From verses 44 to the end of chapter 12, Jesus proclaims his mission, that it is the Father who sent him, that the words he speaks are what the Father has given him, and that all who believes on him will not abide in darkness. He came not to judge the world at this time, but to save it. I say not now, because it is clear in other verses and Revelations, that one day Christ will judge the earth, and all who are in it. Acts 17: 31, Rom 14:11-12, Heb 9:27, Rev. 20:11
I hope dear reader, you will let these words sink into your heart, you were on Jesus mind, and his heart when he said them; take note of his great love for you in them.
Joh 12:44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
Joh 12:45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
Joh 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
Joh 12:47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Joh 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
Joh 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Joh 12:50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
Now Jesus begins the journey to Calvary, and the great conflict of the ages, to finish the work given him, to redeem the world from sin, defeat Satan's ownership of the world, (he is now only a usurper) and the offer of eternal life to all who would receive him.