John 12 – The World Is On Trial – The Gospels

Read The Gospel of JohnSix days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead, was living. 2 There a supper was given in honor at which Martha waited, while Lazarus was one of those present at the table. 3 So Mary took a pound of choice spikenard ointment of great value, and anointed the feet of Jesus with it, and then wiped them with her hair. The whole house was filled with the scent of the ointment.

4 One of the disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was about to betray Jesus, asked: 5 “Why was not this perfume sold for thirty pounds, and the money given to poor people?” 6 He said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and, being in charge of the purse, used to take what was put in it.

7 “Let her alone,” said Jesus, “that she may keep it till the day when my body is being prepared for burial. 8 The poor you always have with you, but you will not always have me.”

9 Now great numbers of the Jews found out that Jesus was at Bethany; and they came there, not solely on his account, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 The chief priests, however, plotted to put Lazarus, as well as Jesus, to death, 11 Because it was owing to him that many of the Jews had left them, and were becoming believers in Jesus.

12 On the following day great numbers of people who had come to the festival, hearing that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, took palm-branches, 13 And went out to meet him, shouting as they went: “‘God save Him! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord: the King of Israel!”

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14 Having found a young ass, Jesus seated himself on it, in accordance with the passage of scripture: 15 ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, thy king is coming to thee, sitting on the foal of an ass.’ 16 His disciples did not understand all this at first; but, when Jesus had been exalted, then they remembered that these things had been said of him in scripture, and that they had done these things unto him.

17 Meanwhile the people who were with him, when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, were telling what they had seen. 18 This, indeed, was why the crowd met him, because people had heard that he had given this sign of his mission. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another: “You see that you are gaining nothing! Why, all the world has run after him!”

20 Among those who were going up to worship at the festival were some Greeks, 21 Who went to Philip of Bethsaida in Galilee, and said: “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew, and then together they went and told Jesus.

23 This was his reply: “The time has come for the Son of Man to be exalted. 24 In truth I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains solitary; but, if it dies, it becomes fruitful. 25 Those who love their life lose it; while those who hate their life in the present world shall preserve it in eternal life.”

26 “If you are ready to serve me, then follow me; and where I am, there my servant shall be also. If you are ready to serve me, my Father will honor you. 27 Now I am distressed at heart and what can I say? Father, bring me safe through this hour—yet it was for this very reason that I came to this hour—28 Father, honor thine own name.” At this there came a voice from heaven, which said: “I have already honored it, and I will honor it again.”

29 The crowd of bystanders, who heard the sound, said that it was thundering. Others said: “An angel has been speaking to him.” 30 “It was not for my sake that the voice came,” said Jesus, “but for yours. 31 Now this world is on its trial. Now the spirit that is ruling this world shall be driven out; 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, shall draw all people to myself.” 33 By these words he indicated what death he was destined to die.

34 “We,” replied the people, “have learned from the law that the Christ is to remain for ever; how is it, then, that you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?” 35 “Only a little while longer,” answered Jesus, “will you have the light among you. Travel on while you have the light, so that darkness may not overtake you; you who travel in the darkness do not know where you are going. 36 While you still have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light.” After he had said this, Jesus went away, and hid himself from them.1

37 But, though Jesus had given so many signs of his mission before their eyes, they still did not believe in him, 38 In fulfillment of the words of the prophet Isaiah, where he says: ‘Lord, who has believed our teaching? And to whom has the might of the Lord been revealed?’

39 The reason why they were unable to believe is given by Isaiah elsewhere, in these words: 40 ‘He has blinded their eyes, and blunted their mind, so that they should not see with their eyes, and perceive with their mind, and turn—and I should heal them.’ 41 Isaiah said this, because he saw Christ’s glory; and it was of him that he spoke.

42 Yet for all this, even among the leading men there were many who came to believe in Jesus; but, on account of the Pharisees, they did not acknowledge it, for fear that they should be expelled from their synagogues; 43 For they valued honor from men more than honor from God.

44 But Jesus had proclaimed: “You who believe in me believe not in me, but in him who sent me; 45 And you who see me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, that no one who believes in me should remain in the darkness. 47 When anyone hears my teaching and pays no heed to it, I am not their judge; for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.”

48 “You who reject me, and disregard my teaching, has a judge already—the very message which I have delivered will itself be your judge at the last day.2 49 For I have not delivered it on my own authority; but the Father, who sent me, has himself given me his command as to what I should say, and what message I should deliver. 50 And I know that immortal life lies in keeping his command. Therefore, whatever I say, I say only what the Father has taught me.”

To read the next chapter of the Book of John, please go to The Gospel of John – 13.

  1. Go to Lead Us Not Into Temptation to read an interpretation of this Gospel of John passage and its relationship to the Lord’s Prayer. []
  2. To read Bible commentary of this passage on judgement from the Gospel of John, please go to: As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us. []