December 19th, 2006
Some people have no problems with stealing from the poorest and most vulnerable people in society. According to today’s reading, it was like that with Judas too. He complained about the expensive perfume poured on Jesus’s feet, saying that it was worth a lot of money which could have been given to the poor. But in reality he didn’t care about the poor. He was the person who looked after the money bag, and he wanted to steal the money for himself. It would be comfortable to complain about the terrible people who do these things, but the truth is that there is a bit of Judas in everyone.
John’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 12
12:1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, who had died, but had come back from the dead. 12:2 They put on a dinner for him there. Martha was serving and Lazarus was one of the people sitting at the table with him. 12:3 Mary took about half a litre of perfume of pure nard, very expensive, and poured in on Jesus’s feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 12:4 Then Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, one of his disciples, who would later betray him, said, 12:5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred denarii, and given to the poor?” 12:6 He said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and as the person in charge of the money bag, used to steal what was put into it. 12:7 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She has kept this for the day of my burial. 12:8 You always have poor people with you, but you don’t always have me.”
12:9 A large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came not only to see Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 12:10 But the senior priests plotted to get Lazarus killed also, 12:11 as many of the Jews went off to believe in Jesus because of him.
12:12 The next day a large crowd came to the feast. When they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 12:13 they took branches from palm trees and went out to meet him, and shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!”
12:14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it. It had been predicted, 12:15 “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Your King comes, sitting on a donkey’s colt.” 12:16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was later glorified they remembered that these things had been written about him, and that these things had been done to him. 12:17 The crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and brought him back from the dead, was telling people about it. 12:18 This was another reason why the crowd went to meet him, because they heard that he had done this miracle. 12:19 The Pharisees said to themselves, “We are getting nowhere. The world has gone after him.”
12:20 Some Greeks were amongst the people that went to worship at the feast. 12:21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” 12:22 Philip came to tell Andrew, and Andrew came with Philip to tell Jesus. 12:23 Jesus answered, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 12:24 I can guarantee that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces a lot of fruit. 12:25 People who love their life will lose it. People who hates their life in this world will keep it to eternal life. 12:26 Anyone who serves me should follow me. Where I am, my servant will also be. The Father will honour anyone who serves me.
12:27 “Now my soul is troubled. What can I say? ‘Father, save me from this time?’ But this is the reason I came to this time. 12:28 Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice from heaven said, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 12:29 The crowd who were present and heard it said that it had thundered. Other people said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 12:30 Jesus said, “This voice hasn’t come for my sake, but for your sake. 12:31 It’s time for the judgment of this world. The prince of this world will be thrown out. 12:32 When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.” 12:33 He said this to show how he was going to die. 12:34 The crowd responded, “We have heard from the Scriptures that the Messiah will remain forever. Why do you say, ‘The Son of Man will be lifted up?’ Who is this Son of Man?”
12:35 Jesus said, “The light is with you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, or else darkness will overtake you. People who walk in the darkness don’t know where they are going. 12:36 Believe in the light while you have it, so that you can become children of light.” Jesus said this, then left and stayed out of sight. 12:37 They did not believe in him even though he had done so many miracles in front of them. 12:38 This fulfilled the prediction of Isaiah the prophet, “Lord, who has believed our report? To whom has the power of the Lord been revealed?”
12:39 Isaiah also explained why they were unable to believe, 12:40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, or else they would see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.”
12:41 Isaiah said these things when he foresaw Jesus’s glory, and spoke about him. 12:42 Even many of the rulers believed in him, but they did not confess it because of the Pharisees, in order to avoid being put out of the synagogue, 12:43 because they loved human praise more than God’s praise.
12:44 Jesus said in a loud voice, “Whoever believes in me, believes not just in me, but in the one who sent me. 12:45 Someone who sees me sees the one who sent me. 12:46 I have come as a light into the world, so that whoever believes in me will not stay in the darkness. 12:47 If people listen to my teaching but don’t believe, I don’t judge them. I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 12:48 People who reject me but don’t receive my sayings have one who judges them. The message that I have spoken will judge them on the last day. 12:49 I have spoken not on my own behalf, but on behalf of the Father who sent me. He instructed me about what I should say and what I should speak. 12:50 I know that his command is eternal life. So the things that I say are the things that the Father has told me.”
Entry Filed under: Ungratefulness