THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
LESSON TWENTY-EIGHT

    In the last lesson we studied about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Bethany is where Lazarus lived, and
where Jesus went after Lazarus was buried. Apparently Jesus and his disciples must have left Bethany and possibly
went back to Galilee, because in verse one of chapter twelve, Jesus came again to the house of Lazarus, six days
before the Passover, six  days before he ate the Passover feast with his disciples in the upper room, and six days
before he was arrested and put on trial before he was crucified.

John 12:1-2
     1.   Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead,
           whom he raised from the dead.
     2.   There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with
           him.

     [A]  Six days before the Passover, Jesus stopped at his friends house in Bethany. There is a small debate as to
             where Jesus actually was, for in the book of Matthew, this same story was told and he was at Simon the
             Leper’s house, yet here in John it would appear that they were at the home of Mary and Martha, which
             would have also been Lazarus‘s home. This is a debate that we cannot answer, nor can we know for sure
             where he was. Possibly, Simon the Leper and Lazarus were related, maybe, Simone was Lazarus’s father.
             There is no way to know, of sure. But, wherever he was, Lazarus was there with them, along with Mary and
             Martha.
             [1]  Imagine the conversation that took place between Jesus and Lazarus, Lazarus telling Jesus all that he
                     had seen in those four days he was dead, and Jesus remembering all the things he has seen in
                     heaven before he came to earth.
             [2]  Imagine the joy Mary and Martha would have had as they praised Jesus and gave him glory for raising
                     their brother from the dead and returning him to them.
                     [a]  Do you think that they were appreciative to him for what he did?
                     [b]  Do you think they could ever begin to think Jesus enough for what he did for them?               
             [3]  Lazarus had been dead for four days, when Jesus called for him to come our of the tomb
                     [a]  Do you realize that you and I were dead, even more so than Lazarus, before Jesus called to us,
                             and we believed on him?
                     [b]  Before we accepted Jesus as our personal saviour, we were dead in sin, which is worse then
                             being dead in body, when one such as Lazarus was dead and was a believer in Jesus. Lazarus
                             was saved, he believed on Jesus, but before we were saved, we were eternally lost.
                     [c]  The reason I am saying all or this is because of the debt we owe Jesus for what he did for us. We
                             who were once lost in sin, answered the call of Jesus and came out of the tomb of sin and
                             despair, receiving forgiveness for our sins, and being washed clean. This is symbolic of what
                             happened to Lazarus, for when he came out of the tomb, he was still wrapped in grave cloth, at
                             the orders of Jesus he was set free, unwrapped, and loosed, even as we are when we are freed
                             from sin, and set free to live our lives for Jesus.         
             [4]  When we consider how happy and joyous Mary and Martha was, should we not be just as happy and
                     joyous when we see our loved ones and those in the church come alive from the death of sin and
                     receive new life, from Christ? I believe we should

    [B] Verse two
             [1]  Do you remember the story of when Jesus was at the home of Mary and Martha, and Martha asked
                    Jesus to make Mary help here cook and serve, when Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening
             [2]  Here again, we find Martha cooking and serving the meal, and once again Mary is not helping here.
                     Apparently this was a common thing with them, especially when Jesus was with them.
                     [a]  What does this tell us about the two women?
                     [b]  What does this tell us about different gifts that we have been given?
    
John 12: 3
     3.   Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped
            his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.        

     [A]  Spikenard -
             [1]  Spikenard, from which the ointment was made, was an aromatic herb.
             [2]  It was imported from an early age from Arabia India and the Far East.

     [B]  It was very costly
             [1] The costliness of Mary's offering which we see in verse five was 300 pence or $45.00, which would in
                     our day, equal between $300.00 and $500.00.  
             [2]  This was a huge amount for the oil, as a penny, or a denarius, which was 15 to 17 cents was the day-
                     wages of a laborer.

     [C]  What did Mary do with the spikenard
             [1]  She anointed the feet of Jesus
             [2]  Why did Mary anoint the feet of Jesus
                     [a]  I tried to find some explanation as to why Mary anointed Jesus feet instead of his head, but I
                             could find none. It was not uncommon for a host to anoint a guest head as an act of reverence
                             to the guest, and to wash their feet, but here Mary anoints the feet, and dries Jesus feet with
                             her hair         
                     [b]  Possibly, she did not feel that she was able to anoint his head, or wash his feet
                     [c]  But in the act that Mary did, she gave here very best, a most expensive possession to Jesus in
                             an act of service and Love
                     [d]  In a moment we will talk about Judas rebuking her for her act, but her act was not in vain, for
                             anything you give to Jesus is not wasted, but instead honored by him.
             [3]  The house was filled with the fragrance of the oil
                     [a]  I can’t help but believe that this anointing done by Mary is symbolic of something else
                     [b]  I am reminded that Jesus walked everywhere he went - that was his only means of travel other
                             than an occasional boat, and at least one instance of riding on a donkey        .
                     [c]  Mary honored him by pouring out her perfume on the feet of Jesus - feet which carried the gospel
                             to the Jews, and feet which led the disciples who’s ministry it was that eventually came down to
                             you and I
                     [d]  The pouring out of the perfume is symbolic of Christ pouring our his Holy Spirit on all believers as
                             they too share the good news of the gospel and win souls for Jesus
                     [e]  The odor which filled the house is symbolic of the beauty and loveliness of the presence of God
                             in our life, filling us with a sweet spirit and making us have joy unspeakable
             [4]   Mary dried his feet which here hair.
                     [a]  Mary out of her love wiped Jesus feet - not only did she perform an act of love, she received
                             back from him a portion of the sweet odor that she had placed on Jesus
                     [b]  This is symbolic of how receive so many blessings as we do the work of God to others
                     [c]  How many times have you went to bless someone, and came away more blessed than the people
                             you went to bless?

John 12:4-6
     4.   Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,
     5.   Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
     6.   This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what
           was put therein.

     [A]  Judas, like so many we have around us today, was not concerned about the poor, but was concerned only
             about himself.
     
     [B]  According to John, Judas was a thief and apparently was embezzling money form them as he was the
             holder of the bag, or the treasurer.

     [C]  Judas wasn’t concerned about the poor, he wanted more money for himself.

John 12:7-8
     7.   Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
     8.   For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

     [A]   I can almost see Jesus as he turned and looked at Judas, and told him to let Mary alone.
     
     [B]   Jesus knew that his time was quickly approaching, and he made this fact evident here.
             [a]  Against the day of my burying she hath done this        
             [b]  Mary had this oil, and kept it, just so she could pour it on me.
    
     [C]  How can you explain what Jesus said in verse eight  “For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have
             not always.”
             [a]  Why would Jesus prefer to have Mary, pour her perfume on him than for her to sell it and give the
                     money to the poor?
             [b]  Didn’t Jesus want us to attend to the needs of the poor?
             [c]   Are we to deny someone something just so we can give to the church?

John 12:9-11
     9.   Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that
           they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
     10. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
     11. Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.                 
    
     [A] Verse nine
             [1]  Because Jesus was at Bethany, many people came out to see him
             [2]  They came not only to see Jesus, but to see Lazarus who Jesus had raised from the dead as well
                     [a]  This is no difference than our fascination of hearing the stories of someone who has had an
                             afterlife experience and went to heaven of hell,
                     [b]  We buy their books, and invite them to speak at our churches to learn what the afterlife is like
                             and to know that there is hope for us as well
   
     [B]  The problem was, the chief priest got mad because of this
    
     [C]  Many of the people who heard that Jesus was coming and learned of the miracle of Lazarus, believed on
             Jesus and started following him.

     [D]  The Chief Priest wanted to put Jesus to death. Why?
    
     [E]  They wanted to put Lazarus to death, Why?

John 12:12-19
     12. On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to
           Jerusalem,
     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.
     14. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
     15. Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
     16. These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they
           that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
     17. The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the
           dead, bare record.
     18. For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle.
     19. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is
           gone after him.

     [A] On the next day
             [1]  According to tradition, the next day would have been Sunday
             [2]  This is the day we celebrate when we celebrate Palm Sunday
             [3]  There is one problem with this day being Sunday - the Jewish Sabbath was on Saturday, and Sunday
                     was the first day of the week. For the Jew, any work, work of any kind was a sin, therefore, Martha
                     would not have been cooking and serving on the Sabbath. Even for Mary to have poured the oil on
                     Jesus feet and dried them with here hair would have been considered work therefore it would have
                     been a sin. For the people to have been traveling to see Jesus and Lazarus on this day would have
                     been a sin,  therefore I cannot believe that the day Jesus sat at a meal with Lazarus was the Sabbath.

     [B]  The people heard that Jesus was coming
             [1]  The news of Jesus raising Lazarus, spread quickly, and many believed on him
             [2]  Others who had seen him before knew of him
             [3]  There were possibly hundreds of thousands of people who were in Jerusalem that day and thousands
                     were lining the road,  

     [C]  What did they do when the heard he was coming
             [1]  They lined up along the road
             [2]  The brought palm branches
             [3]  The shouted Hosanna, King of the Jews
             [4]  Then shouted that the King of Israel was coming

     [D]  I am sure that all of you know the story of Jesus riding into the city on a donkey
             [1] He had sent his disciples into a certain village to a certain place where they would find a donkey tied,
                     one which had never been rode before        
             [2]  They were not to ask for the animal, they were instead to untie it, and lead it back to Jesus        
             [3]  If they were asked what they were doing, they were to answer, the master has need of your donkey.
             [4]  They brought the donkey to Jesus, and threw coats across it for him to set on
             [5]  Jesus then rode the Donkey across the mount of olives from Bethany to Jerusalem
             [6]  It was along this route that the people lined the way, crying out to him,
             [7]  As he rode by they waved their palm branches,
             [8]  They threw their coats and cloaks on the road for him to ride over        

     [E]  The disciples did not understand what was happening

     [F]  The Pharisees said that the whole world was going after him
             [1]  For one brief moment, it seemed that the whole world was going after Jesus,
    [2]  Several days later, the same people who cried out the King of the Jews called out to have Jesus  
             Crucified