A Wasted Life, Unbelief and Hardened Hearts {John 12}

2:07 AM

By Angie Benjamin

 Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany (vs 1-7)

1 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 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."

This is story tells us how not to waste your life. It’s also a story about motivation: why do you do what you do for the Lord? Do you serve Him for the satisfaction you get when you see results? It is satisfying to see Him use you, but that’s the wrong motivation. Do you serve Him because it helps others? Again, it’s gratifying to see others helped, but that’s the wrong motivation for serving Him. The true motive for serving Christ is because He is worthy of everything you can do for Him and because you love Him and want to please Him because He gave Himself for you on the cross. We learn this from Mary’s act of devotion.

John contrasts Mary’s act of devotion with Judas’ self-centered focus and with the evil plans of the chief priests, who now not only want to kill Jesus, but also Lazarus, whose resurrection was resulting in many believing in Jesus. So the story’s lesson is:

A life spent in selfless devotion to Jesus is not wasted, but a life spent on self is totally wasted.

The Unbelief of the People (vs. 36-43)

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 had performed many miracles but still many people didn't believe in Him. The same happens today, many won't believe despite all God does.

People would not believe despite the evidence, as a result God hardens their hearts...at the beginning sounds like if it's God intentionally preventing these people from believing in Him but no, it simply means that He confirms their own choices. After a lifetime resisting God people become so set in their ways that they won't even bother to understand Jesus message.

Sometimes we get discouraged when we witness for Christ and it doesn't necessarily turn out as we would like. We must remember that our job is simply to be a faithful witness. We are responsible to reach out to others, but they are responsible for their own decisions, so keep up the good and faith-full work !

Jesus Came to Save the World (vs.44-50)

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. 48The 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."

He came into the world as light [vs46 and John 3:19 -21; 8:12 ; 9:5]. To believe in him, to believe the claims he made about his true identity, is to finally see and believe in God. The deep darkness of separation from God and ignorance of God is here dispersed. The age-long, world-wide questions about who or what God is are here answered. No one who believes in Jesus remains in darkness.

His miracles identified him as God. They should have believed on the basis of the miracles alone [ 12:37 ]. His words have identified him as God, and, he says, it will be those very words, which they have rejected, that will condemn them, for in rejecting his words they have rejected the words of God.

In refusing to accept his words [ ‘believing’ his words, ‘obeying’ his words, ‘keeping’ his words] they have rejected God. His words which could have brought them light and life, will, if they are rejected, bring them only judgment and darkness. To reject the offer of light is to choose the darkness. To reject the offer of salvation is to choose judgment [ 12:38 -40, 47-50].

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