Monday, November 4, 2013

John 11:55-12:50 "Seeking & Treasuring Christ"

Different responses to JESUS...

We see at the end of John 11 that many Jews were already in Jerusalem to purify themselves (2 Chron. 30:13-20; Leviticus 22:1-6), to prepare for the feast. Many were looking for Jesus and hoping they would see him. The Pharisees, angered from the latest miraculous sign of raising Lazarus from the dead, had given the order for Jesus' arrest. (John 11:53,57) As John 12 opens, it's now six days before the Passover. This is the Passover in which Jesus will be slain as the perfect lamb of God.

"Six days before the Passover Jesus arrived at Bethany (which was about 2 miles outside of Jerusalem) where Lazarus was, who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her fair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil." John 12:1-3
We see a celebration dinner in honor of Jesus. Lazarus, Martha, and Mary were good friends with Jesus (John 11:3,5) and they believed in and loved Him. The recent raising of Lazarus from the dead further strengthened and solidified an already strong faith in Jesus as the Messiah.
Through out John 12 we see different responses to Jesus. Some believed and worshiped. Others, like the Pharisees, flat out rejected Jesus and sought to end Him. Still others followed and were intrigued by his sayings and miracles, though they remained unchanged. Judas Iscariot is one who we have seen with Jesus as one of His 12 closest followers. But we see the foreshadowing of Judas's betrayal of Jesus as his heart condition is revealed. Though he has been with Jesus through out his ministry, Judas remained unchanged.
Different responses to JESUS...
Lazarus worshiped God as we see him honoring & dining with Jesus. He was a witness & testimony to the glory & power of God. This family opened there home and hearts to Jesus though the Pharisees had a warrant out for His arrest. In fact, the Pharisees also wanted to kill Lazarus because of all those who were believing through his testimony.
 Martha worshiped God as she served Christ. She was corrected in Luke 10  by Jesus for she served with an anxious and distracted spirit. Now we see Martha serving her LORD with love from a right heart. We are called to serve the Lord with joy! (Psalm 100)
Mary humbly bows down in worship, love, and adoration. Three points stick out. 1) She anoints the feet of Jesus with a very expensive perfume. We see that she places high value on Jesus. The cost of the perfume is said to be worth a years wage. Compared to today would be about $25,000. 2) Mary let down her hair down. It was improper for a Jewish woman of that time to show her hair. Her hair was her glory and was left covered in public. She didn't care what others thought as she desired to honor and worship her Savior. 3) She wiped Jesus's feet with her hair. Touching someones feet was a job for the lowliest of servants. This shows absolute humility and love on Mary's part as she poured out and gave all that she was. 
We are called to treasure Christ above all else. We are called to honor Him with our resources and time with a pure heart. 
What do you treasure?
Are you willing to give up a prized possession for the Kingdom of God?
Are you willing to get uncomfortable and do something for the glory of God even if it means your peers may not approve? 
Do you bow down before His throne and worship?
Many people say that Jesus is LORD, but not nearly as many have actually surrendered to His LORDSHIP. Do we, His people, do a good job at following Him? 
Do you abide in His Word, His teachings? (John 8:32;15, Psalm 119)
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23
Picking back up in John 12, we see Judas enter the story. Mary has just honored Jesus with extravagant self sacrificing worship and Judas condemns her. He basically says she has neglected the poor and wasted this expensive perfume on Jesus. Judas missed the reason and purpose of her extravagant worship because his heart was hard, greedy, and full of self. He did not really care for the poor, but knew Jesus would agree that it's important to take care of the poor. Judas was angry because he missed out on a lot of money being donated to the cause of Christ in which he could have easily stolen from. 
Judas - worshipper of self. Though he walked with Jesus and knew all about him, he did not have saving faith in Christ!  His heart was corrupt with all types of evil including deception and the love of money. Through this self seeking and sinful way, Judas opened himself up to the influence of Satan and we see later in John 13 that Satan actually enters into him!  What about you? Do you "walk" with Jesus and know alot about Him like Judas? Or do you call Him LORD and Savior? 
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." James 1:22 

We now move to the next day from this intimate dinner party to the crowded streets of Jerusalem. Some scholars estimate that approximately a million people were present for this Passover feast! And this is what we see...

The Triumphal Entry
The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!" "The King of Israel!" Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: "Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold your King is coming sitting on a donkey's colt."
His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him and that they had done these things to Him." John 12:16

The significance...
1) Palm branches - national symbol of the time conveying the message of victory & celebration. About 200 years earlier the people waved Palm trees after Judah Maccabee led a revolt that freed the Jews from Syrian oppression in which traditional Jewish worship was restored. The people presently were seeking a Messiah who would come to free them from Roman oppression! Jesus didn't come to take away the Roman oppression in the first coming, but He did prepare the way for His people as He overcame the bondage of sin and death! 

2) The people crying out and quoting Psalm 118:25-26. This Psalm bears messianic implications. The people knew this Psalm and would sing in the morning of many of the feasts. "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" refers to Messiah!

3) "Hosanna" is from the greek word "Hosanna" which is from Hebrew word - Hoshiya na. The original meaning of this word in Hebrew found Psalm 118: 25 is "God save!". It is a call for help like when someone is drowning. The meaning shifted through time and we see that Hosanna became a word of Praise to God for bringing the help! So when the people cried out "Hosanna!", they are saying, "Horray for salvation! It is coming, Salvation is here!" This is what the people were saying as Jesus rode through Jerusalem on the donkey.

4) Why a donkey? Zecheriah 9:9 is a prophecy which we see the King - the Messiah - riding on a donkey. We see in Mark 11:1-8 that Jesus -knowing the prophecy and will of God - had his disciples go and get the donkey. The donkey can sybolize the lowly humble servant King and Savoir. He is the Prince of Peace. Interestingly, while Zech. 9:9 speaks about the first coming, we see in the very next verse a picture of the 2nd coming! In Revelation 19 we see Jesus the warrior King riding in on a war hourse! 

"Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!"

Different responses to JESUS...
Large Crowd - some believed but many were fickle and followed in the wonder and excitement of it all. We know this because in only a few days many from this same crowd would be shouting, "Crucify Him! Cricify Him!"

Those who witnessed Lazarus being raised from the dead - believed and told everyone! They bore witness! "But you are my witnesses", declares the Lord." (Isaiah 43:10)
Pharisees - rejected Jesus and plotted to capture and kill him. (John 8:58-59; 10:30-33; 11:53,57)
Greeks - The greeks represent God-fearing Gentiles. They came seeking and inquiring about Jesus.  Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke is an example of a God-fearing Gentile. "Wise men still seek Him today..."

"As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” Luke 19:41-44

We see in Luke 19 at the Triumphal entry Jesus looks over Jerusalm and weeps. 
Why does He weep? He was a man of grief and sorrow (Is 53). His ministry was coming to a close and through all the miracles, love, and signs the Nation Israel as a whole did not receive Him. Jesus saw the fickle hearts of the crowd and though they hailed Him today they would shout "Crucify Him!" tomorrow!  His friend Judas would betray Him. His friend Peter would deny Him. The religious leaders who were suppose to be leading the people to God were blind guides leading them to hell! Jesus saw the destruction of Jerusalem that would take place a few decades later in 70 AD. Not to mention that His death on the cross in which He would bear the very wrath of God was a few days away! 

 "The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - "John 1: 10-12 
In John 12:23-36 we see the last teaching and words of Jesus to the crowd. Here are a few highlights.

  • Verse 23,  "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified." God's timing is perfect. Through out the gospel we see that Jesus' time had not come, but now it is here.  What is this time? His hour of death.

  • Verse 24, we see that through this death many will come to life and salvation!
  • Next we see the call for His disciples to "lose their life" to gain eternal life. We must follow His example in love and sacrifice with a Kingdom minded purpose!
  • Verse 27,   "Now my soul is troubled..." The word for troubled is translated from a form of the verb tarasso which literally means "to shake" or "stir up". "It's a strong word used to speak of severe mental or spiritual agitaion; being disturbed; unsettled. Jesus faced the cross. He face divine judgment and the wrath of God. His soul was troubled though "for the joy set before Him" He would endure the cross. He is faithful to the end!
  • Verse 27-33, Jesus knows His purpose and knows that He must be lifted up (crucified - exalted - glorified!). He would suffer and then be exalted. The Voice of the Heavenly Father (also heard at baptism & Transfiguration) was heard confirming the faithfulness & diety of Christ. Though the cross may seem like a victory for Satan - it is absolute defeat as Christ overcomes sin and death!
  • Verse 34-35, the Jews missing the Messiah's first coming and the point of it. He is the perfect Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. The lasting Kingdom comes at the 2nd coing of Jesus the Christ.
  • Final invitation - Jesus is the light (John 1; 8:12) and shines truth in a dark & deceived world. Jesus answered the crowd with the call to abondoned the deeds of darkness and to walk in the belief & truth of the Word. The light, Jesus, would soon be gone. Believe - while you have the light-  so you may become children of God! (John 1:12; 12:36) 
  • Verse 36, "Jesus spoke the final invitation to come to Him and then departed and was hidden from them". 

Different responses to JESUS...
Israel - As a whole the Nation rejects Jesus the Messiah. Isaiah 53:1,3 "Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?...He was despised and rejected by mankind..." God gives them over to their unbelief and the word says in verse 40 that, "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts..."

As John 12 closes we see the author penning these final over all teachings of Jesus. In John 13, we find Jesus and His disciples together the night before the crucification. As we enter the Passion of Christ, let's humbly bow before His throne...examine and purify our hearts....and worship!

In Closing...
Examine the different responses to Jesus. 

Who are you?

Are you surrended to His LORDSHIP? 

Is your Faith real? 

Bow down- facedown- and worship.

He is worthy.

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
    and honor and glory and praise!” Revelation 5:12

This week's Homework - Read & study John 13 and 14

John week 9 homework .pdf