1 So, six days before the Passover Festival [began], Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus lived. He was the man Jesus [had] raised from the dead. 2 There Mary and Martha prepared a meal for Jesus. Martha served it while Lazarus was among those who reclined at the table with Him. [Note: See Matt. 23:6]. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of expensive, aromatic perfume; [it was] genuine nard [Note: This was a sweet-smelling herb] and poured [some of] it on Jesus' feet and wiped them with her hair. The [whole] house was filled with the fragrant scent of the perfume.
4 But one of Jesus' disciples named Judas Iscariot, who later turned Him over [i.e., to the Jewish authorities], said, 5 "Why was this perfume not sold for a large sum of money [Note: The amount here was equivalent to three hundred days of a farm laborer's pay, or over $20,000 in 1994] and [then] the money given to poor people?" 6 Now he did not say this because he cared about poor people, but because he was in charge of the money bag, and being a thief, he used to steal from it.
7 So, Jesus said, "Leave her alone. Let her keep [the rest of] it for [use on] the day of my burial. 8 For you will always have poor people among you, but you will not always have me."
9 When a large crowd of Jews learned that Jesus was there [in Bethany], they came not only because of Him, but also to see Lazarus whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the leading priests made plans to kill Lazarus also, 11 for because of him [i.e., his miraculous resurrection], many of the Jews rejected the priests' leadership and believed in Jesus.
12 On the next day a large crowd that had come [to Jerusalem] for the Passover Festival heard that Jesus [also] was coming to Jerusalem. 13 [So], they took branches from palm trees and went out to meet Him, shouting, "Hosanna [Note: See Matt. 21:9 for the meaning of this word], may He, the King of Israel, be praised, for He comes in the name [i.e., by the authority] of the Lord!"
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written [Zech. 9:9], 15 "Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion [i.e., people of Jerusalem]. Look, the King is coming [to you]; He [will be] riding on a donkey's colt."
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but after Jesus received splendor [in heaven], then they remembered that these things had been written about Him [in Scripture] and that people had done such things to Him. 17 The crowd of people that was with Jesus [and saw Him] when He called Lazarus out of the grave and raised him from the dead, gave testimony [about all this]. 18 But the crowd that went out to meet Jesus [i.e., as He entered Jerusalem] did so because they had heard about Him performing this [miraculous] sign [i.e., of raising Lazarus].
19 So, the Pharisees were saying among themselves, "Look, you men are getting nowhere [in this situation]. See, the [whole] world has gone after him."
20 Now there were certain Greeks among those going up to Jerusalem to worship [God] at the [Passover] Festival [Note: These people were God-fearing Gentiles like Cornelius. See Acts 10]. 21 So, these people approached [the apostle] Philip, who was from Bethsaida, in Galilee with the request, "Sir, we would like to see Jesus."
22 Philip went and told [this to] Andrew [his brother]; [then] Andrew and Philip told [it to] Jesus. 23 Then Jesus said to [all of] them, "The time has come for the Son of man to be glorified [i.e., by His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension].
24 Truly, truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat drops into the soil and dies, it remains a single grain, but if it dies, [then] it will produce many grains. 25 The person who loves his [earthly] life will [eventually] lose it [forever], but the person who hates his life in this world will retain never ending life. 26 If any person wants to serve me, he should become my follower; and wherever I am, my servant will be there also. If any person serves me, the Father will honor him.
27 "Now my heart is distressed; and what shall I say [i.e., to God]? 'Father, bring me safely through this time.' But, this is the reason I came [to earth]; to [go through] such a time. 28 Father, honor your name [in all this].'" Then a voice came out of heaven, saying, "I have honored it, and I will honor it again."
29 The crowd that was standing around heard this [i.e., the sound of the Father's voice], but said it was thunder. Others said, "An angel spoke to Him [i.e., Jesus]."
30 Jesus said to them, "This voice did not speak for my sake, but for yours. 31 Judgment is now coming to this world; the prince of this world [i.e., Satan] will now be driven out. 32 And if I am lifted up from the earth [i.e., on the cross], I will draw [i.e., attract] all people to me." 33 Now He said this to indicate the kind of death He was about to experience [i.e., of being lifted up on a cross].
34 Then the crowd replied to Him, "We have heard from [the writings of] the law of Moses that the Christ will live forever; so how can you say, 'The son of man must be lifted up [i.e., to die]?' Who is this son of man?"
35 So, Jesus said to them, "The Light will be among you for only a little while [longer]. Walk around while you [still] have the Light [with you], before darkness surrounds you. For the person who walks around in darkness does not know where he is going. 36 [So], believe in the Light [i.e., Jesus is speaking of Himself] while you [still] have the Light [with you], so that you can become enlightened people." After Jesus said these things, He left there and hid Himself from them.
37 But [even] though Jesus had performed so many [miraculous] signs in front of the people, still they did not believe in Him. 38 This was so that these words, which Isaiah the prophet had spoken, would be fulfilled [Isa. 53:1], "Lord, who has believed our message? And who has the Lord's power been shown to?"
40 "God has blinded their eyes [of understanding] and closed their minds. If He had not done so, they would [be able to] see with their eyes and understand with their minds and turn [to God] so He could heal them [spiritually]."
41 Isaiah had said these things because he saw the [coming] glory of Jesus, and [so] was speaking about Him.
42 However, even many [Jewish] leaders believed in Him, but did not admit it, for fear of being expelled from the synagogue. 43 For they loved the honor they received from people more than the honor they [could] receive from God.
44 Then Jesus spoke out in a loud voice, "The person who believes in me, does not [only] believe in me, but [also] in Him who sent me [i.e., God]. 45 And the person who sees me, sees Him who sent me [also]. 46 I have come into the world to be a light [to it], so that whoever believes in me would not have to remain in [spiritual] darkness. 47 And if any person hears my message and does not obey it, I will not judge him [now], for I did not come into the world to judge it, but to save it. 48 The person who rejects me and does not accept my message has One who [will] judge him. The message that I have spoken will judge him on the last day [i.e., the judgment day]. 49 For I did not speak from myself [i.e., on my own authority], but the Father Himself, who sent me, has ordered me what to say and speak. 50 And I know that [obeying] His commandments [leads to] never ending life. So, the things which I say are what the Father has told me [to say]."