Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; For they loved the praises of man more than the praise of God.
When reading Johns writings, I often find myself captivated by his use of symbolism; John never writes for the purpose of re-telling a story, his motives were deeper. John’s goals in writing his literature is to provide insight for believers, to exalt Jesus name and to recognize Him as God; this particular passage is no different. When studying John you start to see his perspective and identifying his patterns. After the resurrection of Lazarus, which only John records, we immediately see a feast featuring some interesting characters. Matthew and Mark identify the owner of the house as Simon the Leper, Luke, However, tells us this was the house of Simon the Pharisee. Only John even records Lazarus being there. This is significant to John because John includes a passage that seems to be thrown in at random. John tells us in verse 9-11 that many of the Jews came not just to see Jesus, but to see Lazarus also, because the testimony of his resurrection was so powerful that the Jews started believing in Jesus as the Messiah! And because of this, the religious council considered crucifying Lazarus as well!
This feast is where we find the incredible story of Mary and the alabaster box. She comes in with this box in hand, tears filling her eyes, with a mission in her heart. Mary understood who’s presence she was in, she had experienced Jesus as a deliverer as he set her free of demonic possession. She then encountered his compassion and power as he lifted her beloved brother from the grasp of death. Now as they entertain Him, she is persuaded through his love that Jesus is more than a man. She decides to humble herself in his presence and begins to wash his feet with the perfect mixture of tears and perfume, and she dries his feet with the hair of her head. She is honoring Him with her glory! And the Bible says that the entire house was filled with the odor of the perfume! When pure praise is released, the whole house is always filled with the glory of God! (See Isaiah 6:3-4)
The next day Jesus makes, what we know as, a triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The people lay out palm leaves on the floor, and they cry in revelation Hosanna! Understand John emphasizes that the people of this crowd are the lingering people who witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus, were present at the feast and saw Mary’s act of worship. Now the revelation of who Jesus is is getting too blatant to ignore. In fact so many people began to follow Him now that the Pharisees actually said, “the whole world is gone after Him”! (John 12:19)
Now I want you to grasp this, John makes this observation in John 12:37; “But though He had done many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him”. John is talking about the Jews, they never fully comprehended his majesty, just his miracles. The religious people however, couldn’t ignore the signs. After all they were well trained in the letter of the law, they understood every precept, every command and every prophecy. They heard with their own ears the words of Jesus say, “search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, but they are they which do testify of ME” (John 5:39)! All of a sudden these trained religious men are starting to piece together the mystery of Godliness. Through the resurrection of Lazarus, through the display of pure praise,and through the triumphal entry… they begin to look at one another. Could it be? This brings us to our opening text, and reveals to us the spirit of the last days….
To be continued in Part 2 The Spirit of the last days