The following is from OBC’s daily devotional for today:
This chapter relays events that laid the groundwork for Jesus’ death, transitioning from his public to his private ministry.
After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead in Bethany he went to a city in the wilderness called Ephraim (11:54). Six days later he returned to Bethany (12:1) where Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with oil, expressing her costly, extraordinary (using her hair), humble, love and devotion for Jesus (vv. 2-8). There Jews came to see Jesus and Lazarus, though the priests sought to kill them both because many were following Jesus (vv. 9-11).
Jesus then (vv. 12-19) entered Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt (kings rode on such; see Zech 9:9-10) and was joyfully greeted by many Jews. They laid down palm branches, calling out “Hosanna!” (Israel’s Savior, Ps 118:25-26). “This is the Son of David, the King of Israel, who will deliver us from Roman rule!!”
Sadly, most of these did not truly believe Jesus was the Son of God, the promised Christ and Messiah. Thus, Jesus taught the nature of true faith (vv. 25-26), expressed his commitment to glorifying the Father through his obedience (vv. 27-29), declared God’s judgment on Satan and the world (vv. 30-33), and commanded sinners to believe in him (vv. 34-36).
John then explained that because most Jews did not believe in Jesus despite his many miracles, God judged their unbelief (vv. 37-43) and will do so at the last day (vv. 44-50).
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- Jesus is Israel’s promised King and Messiah! The fact that most Jews then had different beliefs about Jesus doesn’t change the fact about who Jesus is. There is coming a day when Jesus will return and establish his kingdom!
- True saving faith does not live for this life but lives to serve Christ (vv. 25-26). Note also verses 42-43. Look up the hymn, “If I Gained the World.” Do you have true saving faith?
- Verses 44-50 summarize and characterize Jesus’ earthly ministry during his first coming.