John 12:9-26 Jesus According To Jesus

by | May 30, 2024 | John, New Testament

I. Different Attitudes Towards Jesus

A. Those Who Were Curious Vs. 9, 18

1. V. 9-Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead. He drew people who were curious.

a. Some wanted to see Jesus, the miracle worker.
b. Others wanted to see Lazarus, who had been raised from the dead.

2. V. 18- These people seem to be those who are willing to seek out Jesus based on the testimony of others.

a. According to V. 12, these were not people from Jerusalem, but pilgrims from out of town who had come to the feast.
b. They were excited to welcome Jesus as the Messiah, and they cried out “Hosanna”.

B. Those Who Were For Him Vs. 17, 11-13

1. V. 17– Some of those who were present when Jesus raised Lazarus were for Him.

a. They gladly told others about the miraculous power of Jesus.

2. V. 11- The raising of Lazarus got the attention of many, and some believed in.
3. Vs. 12, 13- These out of town visitors were excited to welcome Jesus.

a. It is impossible to know how many of them were convinced about Jesus, and how many were simply emotional and excited.
b. Some of them may have known Him from Galilee, but some probably didn’t.
c. It is safe to assume that within this crowd, there were some who were for Him.

C. Those Who Were Against Him Vs. 10, 19

1. V. 10– The raising of Lazarus from the dead elevated the stature of Jesus with many.

a. As a result, the enemies of Jesus wanted to kill Lazarus as well as kill Jesus.
b. John 15:18-20a “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.

2. V. 19- The enemies of Jesus also did not/do not like when people follow Jesus.

a. These leaders did not believe that Jesus was sent from God, or that He was Messiah.
b. Therefore, they were not pleased that anyone followed Jesus. Very understandable.

II. Jesus According To Jesus

A. Those Who Were Bridges To Jesus Vs. 20-22

1. V. 20-There were God fearing Greeks who came to worship. Perhaps coverts to Judaism.
2. Vs. 21, 22- Philip had a Greek name, and he was from the area of Bethsaida, where many of Greek ethnicity lived. The Greeks may have found it more natural to approach him.

a. Application- “Like attracts like”. People naturally gravitate to people they relate to.
b. Be aware of how God might use you among those who find you to be like them.
c. Make yourself relatable to as many people as possible. Be “like-able”.
d. Turn to 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

B. As One Who Came To Die Vs. 23, 24

1. Vs. 23, 24- These men came asking to see Jesus. Jesus explained how He wanted to be
seen, and how He wanted to be considered.
2. V. 23-Jesus said that the time for Him to be glorified had come. He spoke of the cross.
3. V. 24– Jesus used the metaphor of a grain of wheat to explain His own life.

a. If a grain of wheat is not planted, it remains alone, and produces nothing.
b. If a grain of wheat is planted, it dies, but from that death, multiplied life comes forth.

C. As One Who Rules And Reigns Vs. 14-16

1. Jesus desired to be seen as the King of Israel who died to forgive the sins of the world.
2. Prior to this, Jesus never accepted this kind of praise and adulation.
3. V. 15- Jesus specifically chose to ride the donkey to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah.

a. Kings who brought war rode horses; kings who brought peace rode donkeys.
b. The donkey was one of many identifiers so that the people would recognize Him.

D. As One Who Calls Others To Follow Him Vs. 25, 26

1. V. 25- Jesus didn’t teach us to hate ourselves, but to choose Him first over ourselves.
2. V. 26- How amazing that God honors those who lose their lives for His sake.
3. Ray Stedman, 1985- Our Lord uses this symbol of a grain of wheat not only of himself but of everyone who follows him. Have you ever heard a grain of wheat talking to itself? I’m going to stretch your imagination a little and ask you to imagine a grain of wheat looking at itself, admiring itself. So round, so brown, so fully packed, and saying to itself, “This philosophy I hear asks me to fall into that dark, cold ground and lose myself. I don’t want to do that. I like myself. I want to stay what I am. I want to hang on to myself, I want to be myself.”

But supposing the grain of wheat said, “Well, I’m told there is more to come, a lot more than I’m experiencing, and the only way I can have it is to fall into that dark ground and die. So I guess I’ll do it.” And it does so. It falls into the ground and is covered up. It’s dark and unpleasant there. The grain of wheat begins to think, “What a fool I was! Why did I ever listen to that idea? Look what’s happened to me! I don’t like this at all.” But then it begins to feel a tickle on its back. It turns around and sees a white sprout coming out. It says, “What is this that’s happening? I didn’t anticipate this at all. I’ve got to hold a committee meeting with myself and decide what to do about this. I’m in charge. I’ve got to determine whether that thing is going to go sideways, up or down, or whatever.”

While it’s trying to determine that, it discovers there is a hidden lordship which began to take over the moment it fell into the ground. This lordship directs the process quite apart from what the grain of wheat may feel, directing that a certain part goes down, while another part goes up and soon breaks through into the sunlight. Then the grain begins to say, “Oh, this is better. I’m beginning to enjoy this. It’s not as bad as I thought.” The sprout comes, then the blade, then the stalk, and finally the head. The grain of wheat says, “I feel fulfilled.” Then those grains in the head fall into the ground and they go through the process again and again until at last a great, shimmering field of wheat is growing, beautiful, rippling and golden in the sun. The grain of wheat says, “Ah, this is life as it was intended to be.” Fruitful — that is what the end of the gospel is.

If the grain of wheat wants to remain the same, it has that right. But, according to the word of Jesus, it will never change. Three thousand-year-old grains of wheat found in the tombs of the Pharaohs were found to be absolutely the same as any grain of wheat today. In fact, when they were planted they began to grow. They were totally unchanged for 3,000 years or more.

Life Group Questions

1. Lazarus suffered persecution because of his connection to Jesus. Jesus said that this kind of thing would happen. Have you experienced this, and how has it turned out? How did you handle it?
2. The Greeks came to Philip, presumably because he was Greek, or maybe because they knew him. Philip was an approachable and relatable bridge to Jesus. In what ways are we or are we not good bridges to Jesus? How much should we be willing to adjust our lives?
3. If we find our lives unfruitful, Jesus said the obvious solution is to die to self that His life can be brought forth within us. How critical is dying to self? What is a way you have died to self and seen fruitfulness? How is spiritual fruitfulness multiplied in and through us?