SUMMARY.--The Feast at Bethany.
The Anointing by Mary.
The Anger of Judas.
The Purpose to Put Lazarus to Death.
The Entrance into Jerusalem.
The Greeks Seeking Jesus.
"The Hour Is Come."
The Voice from Heaven.
The Son of Man to Be Lifted Up.
The Cause of Unbelief.
1. Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany. From the
other Gospels we learn that he went from Ephraim beyond the Jordan and
came back through Jericho with the great company of Galileans who came
to attend the passover. The supper at Bethany was Saturday evening
before he was crucified.
2-9. There they made him a supper. For notes on this supper and
the anointing, see
Mark 14:3-11 and Luke 7:36-50.
Then saith one of his disciples. Judas Iscariot.
Three hundred pence. Silver to the amount of $45, equivalent
to about $300 now, owing to the change of values.
Against the day of my burying hath she kept this. Before a
week he was to be in the tomb. It was customary to anoint dead bodies
Much people . . . came. From Jerusalem to Bethany.
10, 11. The chief priests consulted. Lazarus was a living proof
of the Divine power of Christ, and they wished him out of the way.
19. The world is gone after him. The Pharisees observed the vast
crowds that attended him and were filled with alarm. The city was
filled with commotion
(Matt. 21:10, 11).
20. And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship
at the feast. Among those who came to worship were Greeks, members
of the Gentile division of the race which embraced all that were not
Jews. These were not Jews who spoke the Grecian language and lived in
Greek countries; those are called in the original Greek
Hellenistoi. We find the latter in the Jerusalem church in large
These who sought to visit Jesus were Hellenes, a term only used
of the Greek race. It is probable that they belonged to the large class
of "devout Greeks," met elsewhere by Paul,
who were sick of heathenism and were attracted by the grand Hebrew
revelation of the unity of God. On this great national occasion they
had accompanied Jews settled abroad as they returned to worship in the
city of David.
21. The same came therefore to Philip. The name Philip is
as well as Andrew,
and those of the seven deacons of
Acts, chapter 6.
It is not unlikely that Philip was a Jew born among the Greeks, who
spoke the Greek language.
We would see Jesus. They wish to find out more about the great
teacher from Galilee.
22. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew. Andrew was also of
and he and Philip seem to have been inseparable friends.
23. The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
The answer of Christ may 
have been to Philip and Andrew, and the Greeks may have heard and
understood it. The substance is, that the time of his glorification had
come and that glorification would draw all men, Greek, Gentiles as well
as Jews, to him.
24. Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth
alone. This statement, prefaced by the verily, verily, that gives
solemn emphasis, enforces a great truth.
The grain of wheat may remain in the granary for a thousand years and
be preserved, but it is useless there. It neither reproduces, nor is
food. It is when it falls into the ground and undergoes dissolution,
that it brings forth fruit. It is fruitful by giving itself up.
So, too, Christ must give himself up. His death was needful in order
that he might impart life to the nation. There is a lesson here for
disciples who would "bear much fruit."
25. He that loveth his life shall lose it. He announces a
principle that underlies all exaltation. He gave his life and found
eternal exaltation; the grain gives its life and lives a hundred-fold;
those who consecrate their lives, give them up for others, dedicate
them to their holy work, will live eternally.
26. If any man serve me, let him follow me. This is Christ's
direct answer to the Greeks. His service is to be rendered, not by
secret interviews, but by obeying him, for so the word "follow" is to
27. Now is my soul troubled. It is the shadow of the cross and
the tomb. The best comment on this verse is to compare it with the
account of the agony in the garden. Here he exclaims:
Father, save me from this hour. There, "If it be possible, let
this cup pass from me."
Here, he adds:
But for this cause came I unto this hour. There, "Nevertheless,
not my will but thine be done."
Here the perfect resignation that follows the struggle in his soul is
in the prayer, "Father, glorify thy name."
28. Then came a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified
it. At Gethsemane the angel came to strengthen him;
here the Father's voice speaks in approval. Three times the Father's
voice was heard from the sky: first, when Christ was buried in
Jordan, a type of his own burial;
second, when Moses and Elijah talked with him on the holy mount
about his death;
third, when he had his struggle of soul in view of death
portrayed here, and triumphed.
Will glorify it again. God had glorified his name by the wonders
wrought by Jesus; he would glorify it by his resurrection, his
exaltation, the scenes of Pentecost, and the triumphs of the
29. An angel spake to him. All heard the sound of the divine
voice, but it was not clear to all what it was.
30. This voice came not because of me. He had already won the
victory before the voice came. It was rather to confirm the faith of
his disciples, who still stumbled over the prospect of his death.
31. Now is the judgment of this world.Now, "this hour,"
the "hour" referred to in
verses 23d and 27th,
the hour for which he had come into the world, the hour of the cross;
that was to be the hour of judgment, the crisis, which should
determine who should rule the world. The cross became a throne. It gave
him the crown.
The prince of this world be cast out. The cross cast him out,
dethroned him; he is now a usurper and shall finally be cast into the
lake of fire.
32. If I shall be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto
me. Lifted up, first, to the cross; second, from the
grave; third, to heaven and the eternal throne.
34. We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth forever.
The multitude were perplexed. Their idea of the Messiah was an eternal
king. Now he spoke of death.
35. Yet a little while is the light with you. He refuses to
answer their questions directly, but imparts to them needed truths. The
light was then present with them. Let them seek the light and walk in
it while they had opportunity. The opportunity might soon pass away and
the darkness come.
36. Believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.
That they might receive the light of the Light of the world they must
believe on him.
37. Yet they believed not on him. They had a kind of
intellectual faith, but were filled with doubts when they could not
understand. There was no real trust.
38. The saying of Esaias the prophet, etc. See notes on
They were blinded because they closed their eyes, and God's law is that
those who will not see, shall not see. 
42. Among the chief rulers also many believed. Members of the
Sanhedrim. We have the names of two, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.
They did not confess him. For fear of excommunication. The
Pharisees had decided to excommunicate those who did. See
The two rulers just named afterwards became bolder.
47, 48. I judge him not. He shall sit on the throne of judgment,
not to condemn the world he came to save. The words he left in the
world will decide the destiny of every man. All shall be "judged by the
things written in the books"