Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany
12 Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3 Mary therefore took a pound[a] of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

The Plot to Kill Lazarus
9 When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

The Triumphal Entry
12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt!”
16 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. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

Some Greeks Seek Jesus
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up
27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

The Unbelief of the People
When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,

40 “He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them.”
41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. 42 Nevertheless, 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; 43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

Jesus Came to Save the World
44 And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”
— John 12 ESV

I'm going to try my best at breaking down this chapter into a few different parts--I don't know about you, but sometimes reading/understanding a whole chapter of the Bible can be a intimidating, so I want to try and avoid that for us because we are all fully capable of understanding God's Word. I promise.

So the first section I want to break down a little more is verses 1-8. Here we see Jesus in town to see His friends Lazarus, Mary & Martha. While there, Mary took a bottle of perfume (worth a LOT of money) and poured it all over Jesus' feet and washed them with her hair. think what Mary is modeling here is a life sold out to Jesus. A life willing to sacrifice anything and everything to serve and follow the One True Lord. She was willing to give up her most expensive possession, one she had spent the most time carefully saving for, to pour out over the feet of Jesus. What an important lesson we can learn from this act of service and surrender. This is how she chose to publicly proclaim her love for Jesus.

The next section of verses I want to dive a little deeper into are 27-36. This is when Jesus is explaining to the people that He is going to die. He confesses that His soul is troubled because He knows what He is going to have to endure soon, but knows that He can't escape the the hour because He knows it is His purpose. God hears Jesus talking and speaks audibly and Jesus explains that the Voice was for the crowd, not Himself. He proclaims His death, talking plainly about judgement, Him being lifted up from earth, that the new law of Christ will stay and that He is the light.

I think it's amazing how confident Jesus is in God throughout the entirety of His life. 
Jesus even knew how hard it was going to be and how much pain and suffering He would have to endure and He still clung to God's promises. I think here Jesus is the perfect model of what it looks like to trust God with our whole lives.

what does surrender look like for you?

What does surrendering your life to Jesus look like? What is it going to take for you to be 'all in' for Jesus and completely sold out for Him? Does it look like changing friend groups? Breaking up with someone? Reading your Bible everyday and actually talking to God and building a relationship with Him? Maybe it's having hard conversations, or maybe it's just asking for a mentor or a friend to listen--just know, your life will never be complete if you aren't completely sold out and surrendered to Jesus. What is it going to take for you to completely trust in God's plan for your life? Don't let the enemy distract you by whispering lies into your ear about God letting you down or not doing what He was supposed to. Trust God with your life, heart, body, and mind and I promise (and more importantly, so does He) that He will take care of you and guide you for your whole life.


God, thank you for giving us your word that we get to use to learn more about you and your character. Thank you for showing us examples of people truly in tune with your heart, chasing after you. I pray that I would have the same desires of Mary and Jesus to seek after you in all that I do. Help me to stay focused on you over this break and chase after you. 

- Alex Raines