John 12 leads up to Jesus entry into Jerusalem. He stops in Bethany to eat with Mary, Martha and Lazarus whom He had raised from the dead. That was a powerful act that was causing many to believe in Him. While eating, Martha anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair. Judas Iscariot – the betrayer – scolds her for wasting expensive perfume that way. But his lack of character is showing strong at this time – he was only interested in the money that it could be sold for as “having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it”. No real concern for the poor or needy – just a selfish desire to have more for himself. Jesus goes from there to Jerusalem where he rides in on a donkey as was prophesized. “His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him”. His guys didn’t have a clue – and He could have easily entered some other way except it was important to fulfill what had been said. There are literally hundreds of prophesies about Jesus in scripture – and He fulfills each one down to the very detail. God is the author of the Story. He wrote it exactly as it has happened and will continue to happen.
As He is in Jerusalem, the religious leaders want to get rid of Him. Obviously He is stealing the hearts and minds of people. Jesus continues teaching His disciples even while being plotted against. He wants to make sure they understand the mission – being a servant. “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also”. Following Jesus is where it starts but living like Jesus is what we must do – as a servant to all. He has done many signs and miracles by this point in His ministry. And yet “they still did not believe in Him” – at least some did not. But we also see here that “many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God”. So here we see the real issue for many when it comes to believing in Jesus. Fear of man – for the authorities of the day it was fear they would have to give up their power and position and possessions. Guess what – those are the same battle ground today. And if we truly want to follow Jesus – we have to be willing to do just that. We have to be willing to make Him Savior and Lord – to give it all to Him and follow Him completely. So many get hung up trying to hang on to something they have today that they can’t take with them in exchange for receiving eternal life which they can never lose. It is such a pity that we fall into the trap of being obsessed with stuff and control and self. So many miss the greatest gift of all – the gift of Jesus – because they want it their way. Don’t make the mistake of these folks – don’t miss believing in Jesus because of the fear of man. The glory that will come from God will be so far beyond anything we can ever experience from man. Don’t miss it!