John 12 (ESV)

Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3 Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” 9 When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus. 12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it . . . Continue Reading

What a joy it is to go though a chapter of John each day and share what God is showing me in the text. Because I’m sharing, I’m not simply reading the chapter (which is important and valuable in and of itself) but I’m internalizing it and reflecting on it. Because I’m sharing something from it, it takes it to another level. This has brought the text to life in a new way for me and I’m thankful for the challenge and opportunity to be a part of this.

In John 12, Jesus reveals that His time is coming to be glorified (John 11:23-28). As I think about all the miracles and signs He has done, I think of those that did not (and would not) believe. John writes, “Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,
40 “He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them.” (John 12:37-40)

What a striking revelation from the prophet Isaiah:

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed (Isaiah 53:1)

“Make the heart of this people dull,
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.” (Isaiah 6:10)

John says in the middle of this, “Therefore they could not believe.” (John 12:39)

In my human reasoning, it seems unfair for God to do these things.

But when I consider what was written about Jesus in John 2:24, “But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people”, I realize that God is God and is not only outside of time but He knows all things and His ways are not my ways, His thoughts are not my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).

But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” (Romans 9:20)

Father, help me take You at Your Word and not try to fit You into my limited human reasoning and logic. Expand my limitations so I can see You for who You are, not who I want You to be or how I think You should do things. I want to know You more and ask for understanding and wisdom in these things. Amen.