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John 12

Jesus' Anointing

1 So Jesus, six days before the passover, came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus raised from the dead. 2 So they made him [a] dinner there, and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those reclining with him. 3 So Mariam having taken [a] liter1 of costly genuine nard ointment2, anointed Jesus' feet and wiped off his feet with her hair, and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. 4 So Judas Iscariot, one of the disciples, the [one] [about] to be delivering him up, says: 5 Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to [the] poor? 6 But he said this not because he was concerned with the poor, but because he was [a] thief and having the money box he was taking up [for himself] the [money] thrown in. 7 So Jesus said: Allow her, in order that she keep it to the day of preparation for burial. 8 For you always have the poor with you, but me you do not always have.

9 So [a] great crowd of the Jews knew that he is there, and came not because of Jesus only, but in order that they may see Lazarus whom he raised from the dead. 10 Now the chief-priests resolved that they should also kill Lazarus, 11 for because of him many of the Jews were leaving and were believing in Jesus.

12 On the next day the great crowd having come to the festival, having heard that Jesus comes to Jerusalem, 13 took palm branches3 and went out to meet him, and they were crying out,

Praised is the [one] coming in the name of [the] Lord,
the king of Israel.

14 Now Jesus having found [a] young donkey he sat upon it, just as it is written4,

15 Be not fearing, daughter of Zion;
Behold your king comes
Sitting upon [a] donkey's colt.

16 These [things] his disciples did not know at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they were reminded that these [things] were written about him and [that] they5, had done these [things] to him.

17 So the crowd being with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead was witnessing [about it]. 18 Because of this the crowd also met him, because they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to themselves: Be beholding that you accomplish nothing. Behold the world has departed after him.


20 Now there were some Greeks6 going up in order that they worship in the festival. 21 So these came to Phillip from Bethsaida of Galilee, and they were asking7 him saying: Lord, we want to see Jesus. 22 Phillip comes and tells Andrew; Andrew comes—and Phillip, and they tell Jesus. 23 So Jesus answers them saying: The hour is come that the son of man be glorified. 24 Truly truly I say to you, unless [a] grain of wheat having fallen into the earth die, it remains alone8, but if it die, it bears much fruit. 25 The [one] philia-loving his psyche-life9 will lose10 it, and the [one] hating his psyche-life9 in this world will guard it to zoe-life11 eternal. 26 If anyone be serving me, he must12 be following me, and where I am, there also will be the [one] serving me. If anyone be serving me, the father will honor him.

27 Now my psyche-life9 is troubled, and what should I say? Father, save me from this hour? But because of this I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name. [a] voice therefore came from heaven: I have glorified [it] and will again glorify [it]. 29 The crowd therefore having stood and having heard were saying: Thunder came to pass, others were saying: [An] angel has spoken to him. 30 Jesus answered and said: This voice did not come to pass because of me but because [of you]. 31 Now is the judgment of this world. Now will the ruler of this world be thrown out. 32 And if I be lifted up13 from the earth, I will pull14 everyone to myself. 33 But he was saying this signifying by what sort of death he was [about] to be dying.

34 The crowd therefore answered him: We heard from the law15 that the Christ abides to eternity, and how do you say that the son of man must be lifted up13? Who is this son of man? 35 Jesus therefore said to them: Yet [a] small time the light is with you. Be walking while you have the light, in order that the darkness not overtake you. And the [one] walking in the darkness does not know where he goes. 36 While you have the light, be believing in the light, in order that you may become sons of light. Jesus spoke these [things] and having departed he was hidden from them.

The Outcome of Jesus' Public Ministry Foretold

37 Now having done such signs before them, they were not believing in him, 38 in order that the word of Isaiah the prophet be fulfilled that he spoke16:
Lord, who believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of [the] Lord been revealed?

39 Because of this they were not able to be believing, because Isaiah again said17,

40 He has blinded their eyes and has hardened their heart,
in order that they not see with their eyes
and know in their heart
and turn, and I will heal them.
41 Isaiah said these [things] because he saw his18 glory, and spoke concerning him.

42 All the same though, many of the rulers believed in him, but because of the Pharisees, they were not professing, in order that they not become expelled from the synagogue. 43 For they agape-loved the glory of men rather than the glory of God.

Jesus' Final Public Words

44 But Jesus cried out and said: The [one] believing in me does not believe in me but [rather] in the [one] having sent me, 45 and the [one] beholding me beholds the [one] having sent me. 46 I am light come into the world, in order that everyone believing in me not abide in darkness. 47 And if anyone hear my words and not guard [them], I do not judge him, for I came not in order that I judge the world, but in order that I save the world. 48 The [one] setting me aside and not receiving my words has [one] judging him: the word that I spoke—that will judge him in the last day. 49 Because I have not spoken from myself, but the [one] having sent me, [the] father himself has given to me commandment what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal zoe-life11. What therefore I speak, just as the father has spoken to me, thusly I speak.

1LITRA (λιτρα) a `Roman pound', which was about 12 ounces

2MURON (μυρoν) was usually made of myrrh (from which the English word is derived) but here it is used in the sense of ointment or perfumed oil. The adjective 'genuine' PISTIKES (πιστικης ) is difficult; some take it to derive from `faithful' PISTIS (πιστις ) and relate it to the purity of the oil of nard. More probably it is something like a brand name, "pistic nard," the exact significance of which has yet to be determined.

3Palms were associated with the recapture of Jerusalem in 142 B.C.E. We read in the book of Maccabees, "the Jews entered in [Jerusalem] with praise and palm branches, and with harps and cymbals..." (1 Macc 13:51). So important was this event that the coins from this era have the palm frond to represent Jewish victory, and when Jerusalem was finally destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E. the new coins show Judea pictured as a weeping woman sitting beneath the palm frond.


5`they' probably refers to `everybody' and not the disciples per se

6that is, non-Jews

7EROTAO (ερωταω) "Ask", but more polite, not demanding/begging as is AITEO. Both AITEO and EROTAO occur in John.16:26.

8perhaps the sense is: `it remains a single seed'

9from PSYCHE (ψυχη): an individual manifestation of life/consciousness. Animals have PSYCHEs as well as humans. Contrast ZOE (ζωη)—Life 'collectively', interdependent, interconnected.

10APOLLUMI (απoλλυμι) To lose something that one previously possessed. Can also mean `ruin' or `destroy'—see Rev.9:11 where the angel of the Abyss is named `Apollyon' (same root word).

11from ZOE "ZOH-ay" (ζωη)—Life 'collectively', interdependent, interconnected. Although it means 'life' in the conventional sense (for example: Matt.9:18, Matt.27:63, Luke.2:36, Acts.25:24, Rom.7:2, 2Cor.1:8, 1Thes.4:17, 1Tim.5:10, Rev.19:20), Jesus uses ZOE exclusively of 'life eternal' (with the possible exceptions of Luke.15:13, Luke.16:25). The other N.T. writers use ZOE in both senses—temporal and eternal, generally clear from the context. The Father is the 'zoe-living God' (see Matt.16:16). The Septuagint (LXX) in Gen.2:7 has "...[God] breathed into his nostrils the breath of zoe-life, and the man became a zoe-living psyche-life" (and see 1Cor.15:45); and Gen.3:20 (LXX) "And Adam called his wife's name ZOE, because she was the mother of all zoe-living." Contrast PSYCHE (ψυχη): an individual manifestation of life/consciousness. See John.12:25 where both ZOE and PSYCHE occur. Greek also has the word BIOS (βιoς ) for 'life' in the sense of biological processes.


13HUPSAO (υπσαω) to physically "lift up", and to "exalt". This double meaning is used intentially in the Fourth Gospel—to be "lifted up" on the cross = to be exalted. Occurs in John.3:14, John.8:28, John.12:32 and John.12:34

14ELKUO (ελκυω) `Tug', `draw'; of persons it can mean `compel'. It is used of a magnet (by Eubulos). It is a powerful impulse. It occurs in John.6:44, John.12:32, John.18:10, John.21:11, Acts.16:19

15It is difficult to pinpoint the passage in the Mosaic law to which the crowd refers. Ps.89:36–37, Ps.110:4, Is.9:7, Ezek.37:25 and Dan.7:14 are often suggested. None of these are in the Pentateuch per se, but `law' could in common usage refer to the entire OT. Of the passages mentioned, Ps.89:36–37 is the most likely candidate.



18the Christ's