John 12
Contemporary English Version

At Bethany

(Matthew 26.6-13; Mark 14.3-9)

1Six days before Passover Jesus went back to Bethany, where he had raised Lazarus from death. 2A meal had been prepared for Jesus. Martha was doing the serving, and Lazarus himself was there.

3 Mary took a very expensive bottle of perfume+ and poured it on Jesus' feet. She wiped them with her hair, and the sweet smell of the perfume filled the house.

4A disciple named Judas Iscariot+ was there. He was the one who was going to betray Jesus, and he asked, 5“Why wasn't this perfume sold for 300 silver coins and the money given to the poor?” 6Judas did not really care about the poor. He asked this because he carried the moneybag and sometimes would steal from it.

7Jesus replied, “Leave her alone! She has kept this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor with you, but you won't always have me.”

A Plot To Kill Lazarus

9A lot of people came when they heard that Jesus was there. They also wanted to see Lazarus, because Jesus had raised him from death. 10So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus. 11He was the reason that many of the people were turning from them and putting their faith in Jesus.

Jesus Enters Jerusalem

(Matthew 21.1-11; Mark 11.1-11; Luke 19.28-40)

12The next day a large crowd was in Jerusalem for Passover. When they heard that Jesus was coming for the festival, 13 they took palm branches and went out to greet him.+ They shouted,


God bless the one who comes

in the name of the Lord!

God bless the King

of Israel!”

14Jesus found a donkey and rode on it, just as the Scriptures say,

15 “People of Jerusalem,

don't be afraid!

Your King is now coming,

and he is riding

on a donkey.”

16At first, Jesus' disciples did not understand. But after he had been given his glory,+ they remembered all this. Everything had happened exactly as the Scriptures said it would.

17-18A crowd had come to meet Jesus because they had seen him call Lazarus out of the tomb. They kept talking about him and this miracle.+ 19But the Pharisees said to each other, “There is nothing we can do! Everyone in the world is following Jesus.”

Some Greeks Want To Meet Jesus

20Some Greeks+ had gone to Jerusalem to worship during Passover. 21Philip from Bethsaida in Galilee was there too. So they went to him and said, “Sir, we would like to meet Jesus.” 22Philip told Andrew. Then the two of them went to Jesus and told him.

The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up

23Jesus said:

The time has come for the Son of Man to be given his glory.+ 24I tell you for certain that a grain of wheat that falls on the ground will never be more than one grain unless it dies. But if it dies, it will produce lots of wheat. 25 If you love your life, you will lose it. If you give it up in this world, you will be given eternal life. 26If you serve me, you must go with me. My servants will be with me wherever I am. If you serve me, my Father will honor you.

27Now I am deeply troubled, and I don't know what to say. But I must not ask my Father to keep me from this time of suffering. In fact, I came into the world to suffer. 28So Father, bring glory to yourself.

A voice from heaven then said, “I have already brought glory to myself, and I will do it again!” 29When the crowd heard the voice, some of them thought it was thunder. Others thought an angel had spoken to Jesus.

30Then Jesus told the crowd, “That voice spoke to help you, not me. 31This world's people are now being judged, and the ruler of this world+ is already being thrown out! 32If I am lifted up above the earth, I will make everyone want to come to me.” 33Jesus was talking about the way he would be put to death.

34 The crowd said to Jesus, “The Scriptures teach that the Messiah will live forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”

35Jesus answered, “The light will be with you for only a little longer. Walk in the light while you can. Then you won't be caught walking blindly in the dark. 36Have faith in the light while it is with you, and you will be children of the light.”

The People Refuse To Have Faith in Jesus

After Jesus had said these things, he left and went into hiding. 37He had worked a lot of miracles+ among the people, but they were still not willing to have faith in him. 38 This happened so that what the prophet Isaiah had said would come true,

“Lord, who has believed

our message?

And who has seen

your mighty strength?”

39The people could not have faith in Jesus, because Isaiah had also said,

40 “The Lord has blinded

the eyes of the people,

and he has made

the people stubborn.

He did this so that they

could not see

or understand,

and so that they

would not turn to the Lord

and be healed.”

41Isaiah said this, because he saw the glory of Jesus and spoke about him.+ 42Even then, many of the leaders put their faith in Jesus, but they did not tell anyone about it. The Pharisees had already given orders for the people not to have anything to do with anyone who had faith in Jesus. 43And besides, the leaders liked praise from others more than they liked praise from God.

Jesus Came To Save the World

44In a loud voice Jesus said:

Everyone who has faith in me also has faith in the one who sent me. 45And everyone who has seen me has seen the one who sent me. 46I am the light that has come into the world. No one who has faith in me will stay in the dark.

47I am not the one who will judge those who refuse to obey my teachings. I came to save the people of this world, not to be their judge. 48But everyone who rejects me and my teachings will be judged on the last day+ by what I have said. 49I don't speak on my own. I say only what the Father who sent me has told me to say. 50I know that his commands will bring eternal life. This is why I tell you exactly what the Father has told me.


12.3 very expensive bottle of perfume: The Greek text has “expensive perfume made of pure spikenard,” a plant used to make perfume.
12.4 Iscariot: See the note at 6.71.
12.13 took palm branches and went out to greet him: This was one way the people welcomed a famous person.
12.13 Hooray: This translates a word that can mean “please save us.” But it is most often used as a shout of praise to God.
12.16 had been given his glory: See the note at 7.39.
12.17,18 miracle: See the note at 2.11.
12.20 Greeks: Perhaps Gentiles who worshiped with the Jews. See the note at 7.35.
12.23 be given his glory: See the note at 7.39.
12.31 world: In the Gospel of John “world” sometimes refers to the people who live in this world and to the evil forces that control their lives.
12.37 miracles: See the note at 2.11.
12.41 he saw the glory of Jesus and spoke about him: Or “he saw the glory of God and spoke about Jesus.”
12.48 the last day: See the note at 6.39.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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