New Defender's Study Bible Notes
12:3 very costly. The cost of the ointment was almost equal to the annual wages of a laborer (see note on Matthew 26:12).
12:3 the feet of Jesus. This act was similar to that of the sinful woman recorded in Luke 7:37-38. However, the time and place were quite different, as was the unnamed woman. Mary’s act of devotion is also described in Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9, though her name was not given in these. The dinner was actually held in the house of Simon the leper (Mark 14:3). It is unlikely that Mary Magdalene (that is, Mary of Magdala, or Mary the Magdalene) could have either been Mary of Bethany or the unnamed woman of Luke 7:37-38 (Mary Magdalene appears immediately after in Luke 8:2).
12:5 pence. See note on John 6:7.
12:6 he was a thief. Thus Judas was dishonest and a false disciple all along. His act of betrayal, in return for money, was fully in character. He had evidently gone along with the disciples, thinking he would profit when Jesus established His kingdom and overthrew the Romans. When he finally saw this was not going to happen, he decided to get what he could for his trouble and betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
12:8 poor always. This could be taken as a fulfilled prophecy. No matter what scheme of government or economics has been tried throughout history, poverty has never been eliminated; this is as true today as in the days of Jesus.
12:11 went away, and believed. It is noteworthy that the miracles of Jesus, especially that of the raising of Lazarus, were never doubted by the generation living at the time, because they had seen them. Skeptics in later generations have said the miracles could not have happened, but the opponents of Jesus in His own generation, since they could not question the reality of His miracles, decided simply to slay Him, preventing Him from doing any more.
12:14 as it is written. See the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. On the various implications of this “triumphal entry,” see the parallel accounts in Matthew 21:4-9; Mark 11:7-10; and Luke 19:28-38.
12:23 hour is come. Previously, Jesus had frequently responded to certain pressures merely by saying that His hour had not yet come (e.g., John 2:4; 7:6). Now, however, this was His final week, and He proceeded to stress that fact.
12:24 die. Before He could be glorified, however, Christ must die, be buried, then rise again. This is similar to a corn of wheat planted and seeming to die before springing up from the ground to produce life-giving bread.
12:25 shall lose it. The importance of this principle is indicated by the fact that Christ cites it probably more than any other of His teachings. See also Matthew 10:39; 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; 17:33. In slightly different form, it is also enunciated frequently by Paul (Romans 12:1-2; II Corinthians 5:14-15; 6:9-10; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:5-11; II Timothy 2:11-12).
12:26 where I am. And where is Jesus? “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). Such an assembly would usually (but not necessarily) be in an organized local church.
12:26 my servant. In this verse, the two occurrences of “serve” should be read in the sense of “minister to.” The word “servant, however, means “bondslave.”
12:26 my father honour. That is, when Christ returns. Note I Peter 1:7.
12:28 voice from heaven. The Father had also spoken audibly from heaven in behalf of the Son at His baptism and on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 3:17; 17:5).
12:31 prince of this world. The “prince of this world” is Satan (John 14:30; 16:11). See also II Corinthians 4:4; I John 5:18; Ephesians 2:2. The “now” of which Christ speaks refers to the assurance of ultimate victory over Satan that would be won at the cross (Colossians 2:14-15) and empty tomb (Revelation 1:18; Matthew 16:18).
12:32 draw all men. Here is another amazing claim (as in Matthew 24:35; John 8:12) that seems absurd, yet has been a remarkably fulfilled prophecy. How could “all kinds of men” (literal meaning) be drawn to a local, relatively unknown itinerant teacher, who was crucified as a criminal on a Roman cross? Yet that is exactly what has been happening for the almost two thousand years since He died.
12:33 what death. Although His initial hearers did not at first comprehend the meaning of His phrase “lifted up from the earth,” He clearly was referring to His imminent crucifixion (see also John 3:14).
12:34 Christ abideth for ever. Indeed He shall, for “His name shall endure for ever” (Psalm 72:17). His kingdom shall endure “with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever” (Isaiah 9:7). But first He must be “lifted up” and then “the Son of man should be glorified” (John 12:23), through His sacrificial death and victory over death.
12:37 believed not. Some believed, of course (John 12:11), but most did not, especially the Jewish leaders. Not even such mighty miracles of creation as described in John’s gospel will persuade those who prefer not to believe. Note Luke 16:31. Even Christ’s own bodily resurrection will not convince those who do not want to submit to Him.
12:41 These things said Esaias. This unbelief in Christ was not surprising, for it had been prophesied long before. In John 12:38, John cites Isaiah 53:1, and in John 12:40 he cites Isaiah 6:10. It was in connection with the latter prophecy that Isaiah “saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up” (Isaiah 6:1), in a glorious theophany.
12:42 did not confess him. A mental belief in the facts concerning Christ is not sufficient for salvation. Open confession is an evidence of saving faith (Romans 10:9-10).
12:43 praise of men. This comment is an indictment of many modern professed evangelicals, who often are so enamored of acceptance and prestige among their “peers” that they will dilute Biblical standards of doctrine and practice to attain and keep their standing in the world.
12:48 the word. The vital and eternal importance of the written Word of God (which is, to all intents and purposes, the word spoken by Christ) is thus indicated by the Lord Jesus. The response of men to the Word will be the basis on which they are judged (note John 5:24; Revelation 20:12,15; etc.).