God’s Renewing Word of Hope
John 12:12-36a: Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem is compared to a humble king as described in Zechariah 9:9, which is quoted in verse 15. The crowd greets him with palm branches and with praises. Some Greeks were also in Jerusalem at the time and ask to see Jesus. Today’s reading concludes with Jesus speaking about his death, knowing that he will fulfill God’s purpose and bring glory to God the Father.
The Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem
(Matthew 21.1-11; Mark 11.1-11; Luke 19.28-40)
12The next day the large crowd that had come to the Passover Festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Praise God! God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord! God bless the King of Israel!”
14Jesus found a donkey and rode on it, just as the scripture says,
15 “Do not be afraid, city of Zion!
Here comes your king,
riding on a young donkey.”
16His disciples did not understand this at the time; but when Jesus had been raised to glory, they remembered that the scripture said this about him and that they had done this for him.
17The people who had been with Jesus when he called Lazarus out of the grave and raised him from death had reported what had happened. 18That was why the crowd met him—because they heard that he had performed this miracle. 19The Pharisees then said to one another, “You see, we are not succeeding at all! Look, the whole world is following him!”
Some Greeks Seek Jesus
20Some Greeks were among those who had gone to Jerusalem to worship during the festival. 21They went to Philip (he was from Bethsaida in Galilee) and said, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.”
22Philip went and told Andrew, and the two of them went and told Jesus. 23Jesus answered them, “The hour has now come for the Son of Man to receive great glory. 24I am telling you the truth: a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies. If it does die, then it produces many grains. 25 Those who love their own life will lose it; those who hate their own life in this world will keep it for life eternal. 26Whoever wants to serve me must follow me, so that my servant will be with me where I am. And my Father will honor anyone who serves me.
Jesus Speaks about His Death
27“Now my heart is troubled—and what shall I say? Shall I say, ‘Father, do not let this hour come upon me’? But that is why I came—so that I might go through this hour of suffering. 28Father, bring glory to your name!”
Then a voice spoke from heaven, “I have brought glory to it, and I will do so again.”
29The crowd standing there heard the voice, and some of them said it was thunder, while others said, “An angel spoke to him!”
30But Jesus said to them, “It was not for my sake that this voice spoke, but for yours. 31Now is the time for this world to be judged; now the ruler of this world will be overthrown. 32When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me.” ( 33In saying this he indicated the kind of death he was going to suffer.)
34 The crowd answered, “Our Law tells us that the Messiah will live forever. How, then, can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”
35Jesus answered, “The light will be among you a little longer. Continue on your way while you have the light, so that the darkness will not come upon you; for the one who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. 36Believe in the light, then, while you have it, so that you will be the people of the light.”
The Unbelief of the People
After Jesus said this, he went off and hid himself from them.
Today’s Key Verse: John 12:13
They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Praise God! God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord! God bless the King of Israel!”
Palm branches were regularly used to welcome visiting rulers or famous people. What is the significance of the crowed using palm branches to greet Jesus when he arrived in Jerusalem (verse 13)? Reread verse 24. Why do you think Jesus uses the metaphor of a grain of wheat? What is at the heart of his teaching? How will you praise and honor Jesus today?
Lord Jesus, I seek to serve and follow you. You are the King of Israel! I praise you, Lord Jesus! Amen.
John 12:36b-50: Not all the people believe in Jesus.