Mary Anoints Jesus
1Six days before the Passover began, Jesus went back to Bethany, the town where he raised Lazarus from the dead. 2They had prepared a supper for Jesus. Martha served, and Lazarus and Mary were among those at the table. 3Mary picked up an alabaster jar filled with nearly a liter of extremely rare and costly perfume—the purest extract of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet. Then she wiped them dry with her long hair. And the fragrance of the costly oil filled the house. 4But Judas the locksmith, Simon’s son, the betrayer, spoke up and said, 5“What a waste! We could have sold this perfume for a fortune and given the money to the poor!”
6(In fact, Judas had no heart for the poor. He only said this because he was a thief and in charge of the money case. He would steal money whenever he wanted from the funds given to support Jesus’ ministry.)
7Jesus said to Judas, “Leave her alone! She has saved it for the time of my burial. 8You’ll always have the poor with you; but you won’t always have me.”
9When the word got out that Jesus was not far from Jerusalem, a large crowd came out to see him, and they also wanted to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. 10This prompted the chief priests to seal their plans to do away with both Jesus and Lazarus, 11for his miracle testimony was incontrovertible and was persuading many of the Jews living in Jerusalem to believe in Jesus.
12The next day the news that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem swept through the massive crowd gathered for the feast. 13So they took palm branches and went out to meet him. Everyone was shouting, “Lord, be our Savior! Blessed is the one who comes to us sent from Jehovah-God, the King of Israel!”
14Then Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it to fulfill what was prophesied: 15“People of Zion, have no fear! Look—it’s your king coming to you riding on a young donkey!”
16Now Jesus’ disciples didn’t fully understand the importance of what was taking place, but after he was raised and exalted into glory, they understood how Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies in the Scriptures that were written about him.
17All the eyewitnesses of the miracle Jesus performed when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead kept spreading the news about Jesus to everyone. 18The news of this miracle of resurrection caused the crowds to swell as great numbers of people welcomed him into the city with joy. 19But the Pharisees were disturbed by this and said to each other, “We won’t be able to stop this. The whole world is going to run after him!”
20Now there were a number of foreigners from among the nations who were worshipers at the feast. 21They went to Philip (who came from the village of Bethsaida in Galilee) and they asked him, “Would you take us to see Jesus? We want to see him.” 22So Philip went to find Andrew, and then they both went to inform Jesus.
23He replied to them, “Now is the time for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Let me make this clear: A single grain of wheat will never be more than a single grain of wheat unless it drops into the ground and dies. Because then it sprouts and produces a great harvest of wheat—all because one grain died.
25“The person who loves his life and pampers himself will miss true life! But the one who detaches his life from this world and abandons himself to me, will find true life and enjoy it forever! 26If you want to be my disciple, follow me and you will go where I am going. And if you truly follow me as my disciple, the Father will shower his favor upon your life.
27“Even though I am torn within, and my soul is in turmoil, I will not ask the Father to rescue me from this hour of trial. For I have come to fulfill my purpose—to offer myself to God. 28So, Father, bring glory to your name!” Then suddenly a booming voice was heard from the sky,
“I have glorified my name! And I will glorify it through you again!”
29The audible voice of God startled the crowd standing nearby. Some thought it was only thunder, yet others said, “An angel just spoke to him!”
30Then Jesus told them, “The voice you heard was not for my benefit, but for yours—to help you believe. 31From this moment on, everything in this world is about to change, for the ruler of this dark world will be overthrown. 32And I will do this when I am lifted up off the ground and when I draw the hearts of people to gather them to me.” 33He said this to indicate that he would die by being lifted up on the cross.
34People from the crowd spoke up and said, “Die? How could the Anointed One die? The Word of God says that the Anointed One will live with us forever, but you just said that the Son of Man must be lifted up from the earth. And who is this Son of Man anyway?”
35Jesus replied, “You will have the light shining with you for only a little while longer. While you still have me, walk in the light, so that the darkness doesn’t overtake you. For when you walk in the dark you have no idea where you’re going. 36So believe and cling to the light while I am with you, so that you will become children of light.” After saying this, Jesus then entered into the crowd and hid himself from them.
The Unbelief of the Crowd
37Even with the overwhelming evidence of all the many signs and wonders that Jesus had performed in front of them, his critics still refused to believe. 38This fulfilled the prophecy given by Isaiah:
Lord, who has believed our message? Who has seen the unveiling of your great power?
39And the people were not able to believe, for Isaiah also prophesied:
40God has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts to the truth. So with their eyes and hearts closed they cannot understand the truth nor turn to me so that I could instantly cleanse and heal them.
41Isaiah said these things because he had seen and experienced the splendor of Jesus and prophesied about him. 42Yet there were many Jewish leaders who believed in Jesus, but because they feared the Pharisees they kept it secret, so they wouldn’t be ostracized by the assembly of the Jews. 43For they loved the glory that men could give them rather than the glory that came from God!
Jesus’ Last Public Teaching
44Jesus shouted out passionately, “To believe in me is to also believe in God who sent me. 45For when you look at me you are seeing the One who sent me. 46I have come as a light to shine in this dark world so that all who trust in me will no longer wander in darkness. 47If you hear my words and refuse to follow them, I do not judge you. For I have not come to judge you but to save you. 48If you reject me and refuse to follow my words, you already have a judge. The message of truth I have given you will rise up to judge you at the Day of Judgment. 49For I’m not speaking as someone who is self-appointed, but I speak by the authority of the Father himself who sent me, and who instructed me what to say. 50And I know that the Father’s commands result in eternal life, and that’s why I speak the very words I’ve heard him speak.”