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Commentary On The Book of John

The Gospel of John Chapter 12

I will do the Gospel of John Commentary similar to my other Commentaries . . . in that I will bring the verse or verses in the KJV, followed by what it is saying to me. What I write will be a personal comment, it is NOT Scripture.

John's Gospel Chapter 12

Witness of Jew and Gentile to Jesus; Jesus comes to Bethany for supper; Jesus comes to Jerusalem -- tearful entry; Jesus comes to Greeks; Jesus comes to His hour; Jesus comes to end of His public ministry.

As we come to this twelfth chapter, we see Jesus making a visit to a home, the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha of Bethany. In this Gospel of John, He opened His public ministry at a wedding in Cana of Galilee; He closes His public ministry by a visit to this home. Our Lord put an emphasis upon the home, the Christian home, the godly home.

Jesus Comes To Bethany For Supper (12:1-11)

John 12:1  Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.  (KJV)

Then Jesus, six days before the passover . . . this was near Jerusalem, and it was from this place that He made His triumphant entry into the city (Mat.21:1-17).
Came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead . . . this part is left out in some versions.
Whom he raised from the dead . . . this was the town of Lazarus; here he lived, and here he died, and here he was raised from the dead; and where he dwelt, after his resurrection. It was here where Christ came to see him, and the rest of the family, although He knew He exposed himself to danger in so doing.

John 12:2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. (KJV)

There they made him a supper . . . this would be the first of three suppers of His last week.
And Martha served . . . Martha was always a busy, active woman; this she did, to confirm her love for Christ, and her great respect for Him . . . for it seems that she was a person of means, and she could have had servants to wait on Him.
But Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him . . . they ate, drank and talked and it seemed Lazarus was good health.

John 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. (KJV)

Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard very costly . . . this Mary was the other sister of Lazarus, not the other woman (Mk.14:3).
And anointed the feet of Jesus . . . as He lay upon the bed or couch, at supper.
And wiped his feet with her hair . . . like the sinner in Luke 7:38.  
And the house was filled with the odour of the ointment . . . ointment of spikenard had a very strong, sweet smell (Song 1:3,12). This may be symbolic of the sweet savor of Christ, in the ministering of  His Gospel throughout the world.

John 12:4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, (KJV)

Then saith one of his disciples . . . who had no true love for his Master, but was a hypocrite, and very covetous.
Judas Iscariot . . . so called, to distinguish him from another Judas (Lk.6:16; Jn.14:22; Acts 1:13).
Simon's son . . . this is omitted in some versions (Jn.13:2).
Which should betray him . . . and so he did, for this was pre-determined by God (Acts 2:23), foretold in prophecy (Ps.41:9), and foreknown by Christ (Jn.13:26); and is stated here, to show the temper and character of the man.

John 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? (KJV)

Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence . . . about $50.00.
And given to the poor? . . . what a hypocrite! He wanted it sold and the money put into his hands, as appears by what follows.

John 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. (KJV)

This he said, not that he cared for the poor . . . Judas had NO concern whatsoever for the poor.
He had no affection for them, and was unconcerned about them, and took no care of them to feed and clothe them; he was in no way concerned about them.
But because he was a thief . . . he robbed his Master, and pocketed the money he was entrusted with by him, and put it to his own use.
And had the bag, and bare what put therein . . . the purse or chest into which the people put their contribution, which Judas had control of.

John 12:7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. (KJV)

Then said Jesus, Let her alone . . . Do not hinder her, or blame her for this.
Against the day of my burial hath she kept this . . . the ointment, which she now poured on Christ; was usual kind to embalm the dead. Christ is really saying that His death and burial were very close, and that this woman had kept this ointment until now, for such a purpose, for she would not be able to use it at the time of His burial, she had embalmed His body with it now, beforehand. Did she have any knowledge of His death? No. I think it was the Holy Spirit directing her.

John 12:8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always. (KJV)

For the poor always ye have with you . . . there would be many opportunities of showing concern for the poor after He was gone. Christ always cared about the poor, and here He does not discourage affectionate concern for them. His words seem to be a sort of prophecy (Mat.26:11).
But me ye have not always . . . meaning His physical Presence, which would be suddenly withdrawn from them, when there would not be any more opportunity of showing Him personal respect, in such a way.

John 12:9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. (KJV)

Much of the people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there . . . many of the Jews that lived in Jerusalem, knew that Jesus was at Bethany; for it being only two miles from Jerusalem. His being there was news.
And they came . . . from Jerusalem to Bethany.
Not for Jesus' sake only . . . not only to see Him, but to hear see what He said and did.
But that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead . . . they also wanted to see the result of His raising Lazarus from the dead. They wanted to see the person that had been dead, and was now alive.

John 12:10 But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; (KJV)

But the chief priests . . . and the rest of the Sanhedrim.
Consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death . . . what vicious monsters! For what crime? NO crime . . . just because he was raised from the dead by Christ Jesus and was His friend. This reveals the consciences these men had, and how terribly wicked they were. They would stop at nothing that they might satisfy their malice and envy, and secure their worldly interests and advantages. Millions of this kind in today’s world.

John 12:11 Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus. (KJV)

Because that by reason of him . . . the miracle which was done, in raising him from the dead, of which he was a living and an abiding witness.
Many of the Jews went away . . . not from Jerusalem, but from the chief priests and Pharisees, and the rest of the Jews, that gathered against Christ. They withdrew themselves from them and deserted them. These were the few in the “remnant” (Isa.1:9).
And believed on Jesus . . . as the Messiah. They refused to take part in going against Jesus.

John 12:12  On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, (KJV)

On the next day, much people that were come to the feast . . . feast of the Passover. There were many people that came annually to this feast, from all parts of the nation. All the males in Israel, were required to appear at this time. Alhough the women were not obligated to go, multitudes of them came, because of the fame of Jesus.
When they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem . . . from Bethany. In Matthew's record, Jesus was born and sought by the wise men who called Him the King of the Jews. Now, at the end of His ministry, He is again presented as the King of the Jews by the writing of the apostle John.
 
John 12:13  Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. (KJV)

Took branches of palm trees . . . (Mat.21:1-17; Mk.11:1-6). 
And went forth to meet him, and cried . . . when they came up to Him, and as He passed by. Hosanna, blessed is the King of Israel, that cometh in the name of the Lord . . . Hosanna: (Mat.21:15; Mk.11:9-11; Ps.118:24-26).

John 12:14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, (KJV)

And Jesus, when he had found a young ass . . . which He sent His disciples for, in a neighboring village, and they brought to Him.
Sat thereon, as it is written . . . in (Zech.9:9). Also see Isaiah 62:11.  

John 12:15  Fear not, daughter of Sion: (KJV)

Fear not, daughter of Zion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt . . . Zech. 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (KJV)

John 12:16  These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him. (KJV)

These things understood not his disciples at the first . . . they did not understand at that time.
But when Jesus was glorified . . . raised front the dead, and ascended to Heaven, and was set down at the right hand of God (Mk.16:19; Lk.22:69; Acts 2:33; 7:55-56; Rom.8:34; Col.3:1;  Heb.10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet.3:22), crowned with glory and honor; and when having received the promise of the Father, the Holy Ghost, and His gifts, He poured them out in an extraordinary way upon them, thus illuminating their minds.
Then remembered they that these things were written of him . . . in the prophecies of the Old Testament.
And that they had done these things unto him . . . meaning both the disciples and the multitude, the things were done to Him; such as bringing the ass to Him, laying their clothes on it and setting Him upon it (Mat.21:7), being present with Him with the shouting and hosannas in the city of Jerusalem

John 12:17  The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record. (KJV)

The people therefore that was with him . . . the Jews, that came from Jerusalem to Bethany, to comfort the two sisters of Lazarus upon his death, who believed in Christ; and others of the town of Bethany, who were with Christ.
When he called Lazarus out of his grave . . . saying, Lazarus, come forth (Jn.11:43).
And raised him from the dead . . . to life.
Bare record . . . to the Jews at Jerusalem, and to the people that came from several countries, of the truth of that fact of the miracle, stating that they were eye and ear witnesses of what happened, and that it was true and could be depended upon.

John 12:18  For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle. (KJV)

For this cause the people also met him . . . this was the main reason that encouraged the people to do as they did, with palm tree branches in their hands, and approaching Him as the King of Israel.
For that they heard that he had done this miracle . . . the witnesses were many, and the proofs they gave were very strong, that they firmly believed this was a most amazing miracle, which exceeded any of the this kind (Mk.5:22; Lk.7:12-15), others were raised, but Lazarus had been dead and buried four days.

John 12:19  The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him. (KJV)

The Pharisees therefore said among themselves . . . assembled in their own houses, or in the Sanhedrim, or in the streets, seeing Jesus pass by in such splendor.
Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? . . . all their shrewd schemes and underhanded councils did not work, the commands they gave the people not to follow Him, were not obeyed. The commands to capture Him, or to show them where He was, were disregarded, their warnings to banish from the synagogue any who would confess Him, were not paid attention to, their promises of reward were overlooked. All their deception and wickedness, backed with power and authority, did not succeed.
Behold, the world is gone after him . . . masses of the people are becoming His disciples. This is a common expression among the Jews, and simply means every body, or the bulk of the people. Our Lord's converts were rapidly increasing, and the Pharisees thought it critical to execute Him without delay, what they had decided at their first council (Jn.11:53).

John 12:20 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: (KJV)

And there were certain Greeks . . . these were Gentiles, devout and religious men, who were allowed to offer sacrifice, and to worship, in the court of the Gentiles; or they were proselytes and so were circumcised, and had a right to eat of the Passover, as well as to worship at it. These were called Hellenists. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7535-hellenism
Among them, that came up to worship at the feast . . . of the Passover, which was near at hand. These were among those that went forth to meet Jesus, and to be there with Him at Jerusalem. They were come up out of the country to this feast, to worship there, to offer their sacrifices, and join in prayer, although they might not eat of the Passover.

John 12:21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. (KJV)

The same came therefore to Philip . . . John 1:44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. (KJV) Philip's parents, although Jews, lived among Greeks. Some thought that these Greeks were Syrophoenicians, who dwelt on the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and were not far from Galilee and Bethsaida, the native place of Philip, and is therefore mentioned as follows:
And desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus . . . these Greeks wanted Phillip to introduce them to Jesus, to see Him, to speak with Him. The miracle in raising Lazarus from the dead, and the exceptional manner of His entering into Jerusalem, which they saw, left them wanting to know more. This favor they ask of Philip, was done with great respect and in a very polite way, yet with great sincerity. This is so with all sensible sinners, they desire to have a spiritual sight of Christ, of the glories of His Person, and the fullness of His grace. They yearn to have communion and fellowship with Him, for He is their all in all to them. Nothing is more delightful or satisfying to a TRUE believer than Jesus! Even though they never see Him, what they receive from Him is irreplaceable and unique.    

John 12:22 Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. (KJV)

Philip cometh and telleth Andrew . . . the request the Greeks made to Phillip, was told to Andrew. This he did that he might get his advice, but because he was from the same town, and might know these men as well as Philip.
And again, Andrew and Philip told Jesus . . . after they had talked together, whether it was proper or not, to take this to their Master.

John 12:23  And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. (KJV)

And Jesus answered them saying . . . He did not plainly state what His will was, whether these Greeks should be admitted or not . . . yet He expressed Himself in such a way as show He was not opposed to it, but was pleased with it.
Saying, The hour is come, that the son of man should be glorified . . . by rising from the dead, ascending to Heaven, sitting at the right hand of God, and from then on pouring forth the Spirit upon His disciples, who should go and preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, as well as Jews; and which would result in the conversion of many of them. The coming of these Greeks to Him was an earnest.

John 12:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (KJV)

Verily, verily, I say unto you . . . Verily, verily: (John 1:51; 3:3,5,11; 5:19,24,25; 6:26,32,47,53; 834,51,58; 10:1,7; 12:24; 13:16,20,21,38; 14:12; 16:20,23; 21:18). Only John uses this phrase. The other writers use it only in the singular “Verily” . . . it means pay attention, because what Jesus is about to say is a very important Truth!
Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground . . . unless a seed is planted, it will not grow (Mat.13:4).
And die . . . when a seed is planted, it dies so as to bring on new life.
It abideth alone . . . a single seed alone, produces no fruit
But if it die . . . if it rots in the ground, as it will,
It bringeth forth much fruit . . . Jesus states that only by His death would He be glorified in the salvation of men, and in the honors and rewards of Heaven (Heb.2:9).  "He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; wherefore God also hath highly exalted him” (Phil.2:8-9), "Who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God”  (Heb.12:2). Eph. 1:20-23 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (KJV)

John 12:25  He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. (KJV)

He that loveth his life shall lose it . . . anyone who is so in love with this present worldly life, taking all precautions to secure it, and choosing to deny Christ Jesus, fleeing from His cause and interest . . . shall be in extreme danger of having an eternal life in Heaven with Jesus.  Loveth his life: (Mat.10;39; 16:35; Mk.8:35; Lk.9:24; 17:33). 
And he that hateth his life in this world . . . Jesus gives us another way to consider, as He does in: Luk 14:26  If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (KJV) . . . We must NEVER be dishonorable to our Lord and Master, for only He . . .
Shall keep it unto life eternal . . . only Jesus can preserve the temporal life of TRUE believers, in such a extraordinary way, until He shall appear to then give us eternal life.

John 12:26  If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. (KJV)

If any man serve me . . . is willing to be a servant of Christ, and considers himself blessed and privileged to be one.
Let him follow me . . . following Jesus consists of many things, things of which He did while on Earth, and of which we should imitate: compassion, love, humility, mercy, patience, self-control, self-denial and being determined to do the will of God in every duty. We must walk as He walked, which could mean through many persecutions, trials, tribulations and suffering. Matthew 5:10-12 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (KJV) . . . Hang in there!
And where I am . . . Jesus is now in Heaven! That is where we want to go!
There shall also my servant be . . . after our work on Earth is done, and our place is prepared for us, there we shall abide for ever! John 14:2-3 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (KJV)
If any man serve me, him will my Father honour . . . when a person sincerely and willingly serves the Lord Jesus, the Father will honor that person. 1 John 3:1  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (KJV)

John 12:27  Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. (KJV)

Now is my soul troubled . . . at the hardness and unbelief of the Jews, and their rejection of Him.
And what shall I say? . . . Jesus puts this question as being in great distress and difficulty, as if He just did not know what to say, yet not discussing with His disciples what was to be said or done bout it.
Father, save me from this hour . . . an open prayer to His Father, that He might receive  strength for the upcoming sufferings and death that He would experience.
But for this cause came I unto this hour . . . “this hour” . . . His horrific sufferings and death, was the reason that He came into this world. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)

John 12:28  Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. (KJV)

Father, glorify thy name . . . His Father's glory was what Jesus had in mind.
Then came there a voice from heaven . . . as at His baptism, transfiguration and here before His passion in Gethsamane . . . and which came from the Father. Voice from Heaven: (Mat.3:17; Mk.1:11; Lk.3:22; Jn.12:28). 
Saying, I have both, glorified it . . . meaning His incarnation, His ministry, His obedience and His miracles.
And will glorify it again . . . by supporting Him and helping Him through His sufferings and death, and by raising Him from the dead, and setting Him on His right Hand.

John 12:29  The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. (KJV)

The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it . . .those who were close by heard the Father’s Voice more distinctly, while those farther were confused as what was said.
Said that it thundered . . . voice as thunder (Job 37:2-5; 40:9), while some took this for thunder, others for the voice of an angel out of the thunder.
Others said, an angel spoke to him . . . the ones being nearer, identified it was a clear voice, expressing distinct words, which they thought were spoken by an angel.

John 12:30  Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. (KJV)

Jesus answered and said . . . to the people that were there, and were disputing among themselves about what they heard, whether it was thunder, or the voice of an angel.
This voice came not because of me . . . the Voice was not so much in answer to His prayer, or to comfort Him under the dread that He had of His sufferings and death, or to assure Him of His future glorification, although all this was true.
But for your sakes . . . to convince them that He was the Messiah, and that they would  believe in Him, to leave them without excuse . . . since not only were miracles done before their eyes, but with their ears they heard God speaking to Him. The Voice was to warn them of the coming judgment which would follow their disbelief, and make them partakers in the condemnation of Satan (Jn.3:18-19).

John 12:31  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. (KJV)

Now is the judgment of this world . . . this no doubt refers to His approaching death, and whatever He means by judgment here relates to something that was to be accomplished by that death, for it cannot mean that was to be the time in which the world was to be finally judged, for He says that He did not come then to judge the world (Jn.8:15; 12:47).
Now shall the prince of this world be cast out . . . the prince of the world was often  used by Jewish writers to mean an angel is meant; and they seem to mean the angel of death, which is the devil. It is certain that the devil is who Jesus means here, not because he has any legal power and authority over the world, but because he seized dominion over it, and has great power and efficacy in the hearts of the children of disobedience (Eph.2:2; 5:6; Col.3:6; 1 Jn.3:10), who yield voluntarily to him.

John 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (KJV)

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth . . . the death of Christ is here symbolized by His being "lifted up from the earth" . . . referring to the lifting up of the brazen serpent on the pole (Num.21:8-9); and shows that His death would be violent, and would not be private. This rightly expresses His mediation between God and men, being lifted up between the heavens and the earth, and points to the death of the cross.
I will draw all men to me . . . this is not to be understood of the gathering of people around Him when on the cross, some for Him, and others against Him, some to grieve for Him, and others to condemn Him . . . Jesus means instead the gathering of the elect to Him as their Head and Representative, when He was crucified for them, and the gathering of the elect through the ministry of His apostles. This group would be brought to believe on Him for eternal life and salvation of their souls.

John 12:33 This he said, signifying what death he should die. (KJV)

This he said signifying what death he should die . . . these are the words of John, interpreting the meaning of Christ in the above words. “Being lifted up from the earth” not only reveals His death, but how He would die, that being by crucifixion. A person crucified was nailed on a cross that was erected . . . hence was lifted up between Earth and Heaven.

John 12:34  The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? (KJV)

The people answered him . . . not the Greeks, but the Jews who were enemies of Him.
We have heard out of the law . . . not the five books of Moses, but also the Prophets and Hagiographa.  http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7041-hagiographa
That Christ abideth for ever . . . Eternal Priesthood of Christ: (Ps.45:6; 72:17; 89:36-37; 110:4; Dan.2:44; 7:13-14)        

John 12:35  Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. (KJV)

Then Jesus said unto them . . . not really answering their questions, but suggesting their ignorance and folly, since there was SO much Light around them . . . Jesus Himself!
Yet a little while is the light with you . . . meaning Himself, the Light of the world (Jn.8:12; 12:46),  Who would be with them just a little while longer, as He would go away from them by death.
Walk while ye have the light . . . believe in Him, and His Gospel; embrace Him and walk in Him. Be worthy of Him and His Gospel, as children of the light (Jn.12:36).
Lest darkness come upon you . . . in the Bible, “light” is God and goodness, “dark” is the devil and wickedness. If a person is not walking in the light . . . he is walking in darkness. Many have a huge degree of the darkness . . . of ignorance and unbelief, which leads to a worse darkness, even utter blackness of darkness, the outer darkness of Hell, where are weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth (Mat.8:12; 13:42,50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Lk.13:28). 
For he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he goeth . . . anyone walking in the blackness of night, cannot see his way, cannot see the stumbling blocks that are in the path, cannot see the dangers lurking ahead.

John 12:36  While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them. (KJV)

While ye have light, believe in the light . . . receive the Messiah and recognize the Gospel revelation. This explains the warning in the preceding verse. This implies two things: #1. That HE was the Light, He was the Messiah. #2. That He would soon to be taken away by death. The way that He answered their question, not directly, but to convey the Truth to their minds,  and at the same time to administer to them a warning. Jesus never stirred up the prejudices of men unnecessarily, but He never shrank from stating the Truth in some way, however unpleasant it might be to them.
Believe in the light . . . believe in the Messiah, Who is the Light of the world.
That ye may be the children of the light . . . if the Light of Christ and the Truth of Christ dwell in you, and work in you . . . you are children of light. Just as a child is the produce of his own parents, and partakes of their nature, so too, you are children of the light, having in you truth and righteousness (1 Cor.1:30).  Children of light: (Lk.16:8; Jn.12:36; Eph.5:8; 1 Thes.5:5).          
 These things spake Jesus, and departed . . . from those Jews, as being unworthy of any further conversation with Him. He departed from Jerusalem, most likely to Bethany, where He often retreated (Lk.21:37).
And did hide himself from them . . . for His safety, for He knew that they were aggravated by what He said, and would try to lay hold of Him, and deliver Him to the Sanhedrim . . .  and since His time was not yet fully come, He hid for His safety, by disappearing from them. This possibly being a symbol of His totally removing from them, and leaving them and their house, desolate (Mat.13:1; 23:38). It is very likely that from this time forward He no more ministered the Gospel to them. Jesus escaped His enemies: (Jn.7:30,44; 8:59; 10:39; Lk.4:29-30).

John 12:37  But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: (KJV)

But though he had done so many miracles before them . . . openly, and in the presence of them.
They believed not on him . . . all the miracles done by Christ before their very eyes, which they could not deny, nor invalidate, which were so many, and so great, were simply provocations of their unbelief. Such is the nature of the sin of unbelief, and so deeply rooted, that even the most powerful ways and mighty works, will not bring a person to believe in Christ. Unbelief: . . . http://www.hisservants.org/worst_sin_h_s.htm

John 12:38  That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? (KJV)

That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled. . .Isaiah 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? (KJV)

John 12:39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, (KJV)

Therefore they could not believe . . . God had decided to leave them to the blindness and hardness of their hearts, and to deny them His grace, which was the only thing that could cure them and enable them to believe (Eph.2:8-9). It is a sad thing indeed when God gives up on a person. Beware that it does not happen to you. God, giving up on people: (Rom: 1:24,26,28; Gen.6:3; Isa.63:10; Jer. 6:19; 11:11,17; 19:15; 35:17; 36:31; Pro.29:1; 1 Thes.5:3; 2 Thes.1:8-9; 2:10-12; Rev.6:16-17; 20:15).
Because that Esaias said again . . . Isaiah 6:9-10 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. (KJV)

John 12:40  He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. (KJV)

He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart . . . it is of no importance as to Who it is that blinds and hardens, be it God the Father of Christ Jesus, for in reality they are one and the same (Jn.10:30).   
That they should not see with their eyes . . . they have actual eyes but cannot SEE the Truth so clearly before them (Mat.13:14-15).  
Nor understand with their heart . . . this refers to Isa.6:9 above . . . they hear, but understand not!   
And be converted, and I should heal them . . . maybe this refers more to the judgments that would fall upon them as a nation, which God was determined should not be avoided, than it does to their eternal state. Those who willfully close their eyes and harden their hearts against God’s Truth are shut up in their unbelief and impenitence, making it impossible for God to heal them. Remember, when God says He shall bring judgment . . . it is a certainty that He shall! God does NOT lie (Tit.1:2).

John 12:41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. (KJV)

These things said Esaias . . . concerning the blinding and hardening of the Jews.
When he saw his glory, and spake of him . . . Isaiah saw, in a vision, the glory of the Messiah in the temple, and the angels covering their faces with their wings at the sight of Him; and he saw Him as the King, the Lord of hosts (Isa.6:1-10). Isaiah saw Him and spoke to Him.  

John 12:42  Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: (KJV)

Nevertheless among the chief rulers also . . . these were the members of the Jewish Sanhedrim, such as Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, and others.
Many believed on him . . . that He was the Messiah, although they did not believe in Him in as their Redeemer and Saviour. Only their minds, being convicted by His miracles, agreed  that He was the promised Messiah. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea may have been the only ones who truly believed in Christ Jesus as the only Way to salvation (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12). The many spoken of here seem to have had only a historical faith in Him.
But because of the Pharisees they did not confess him . . . as they should have done, and would have done, if their faith had been right . . . because with the heart men believe in Christ to righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made to salvation (Rom.10:9-10; Mat.10:32-33). Beware my friend, there is a fine line between not confessing Christ and denying Him.
Lest they should be put out of the synagogue . . . there was a decree in the Sanhedrim, that whoever confessed that Jesus was the Messiah, would be cast out; which they had carried out upon the man born blind (Jn.9:22,34), whose eyes Christ opened, for speaking in favor of his Healer. This had brought terror into the minds of not only the common people, but  the chief rulers as well.

John 12:43  For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. (KJV)

For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God . . . by confessing Christ they knew they would run the risk of losing their places of honor and profit, and fall into the disgrace and contempt of men, therefore they chose NOT to confess Christ, which would have glorified and pleased God . . . which would have brought God’s praise upon them, as shall be upon all the faithful professors of Christ at the last day.

John 12:44  Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. (KJV)

Jesus cried and said . . . on this occasion, because of existing hardness and unbelief of the Jewish nation, and for not confessing Him by those who did believe Him to be the Messiah. His crying with a loud voice, reveals the concern of His mind, the passion of His spirit, and the openness and freedom in His ministry. It seems to be another warning . . . showing the nature, superiority and usefulness of believing in Him, and the dangerous consequences of unbelief.
He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me . . . anyone that believes in Christ, DO believe in Him, and they are 100% right to believe in Him, because Christ is the Object of our faith. It is His Father's will that His people should believe in Him . . . but to truly believe in Jesus is not just to believe in Him as a mere Man, but as God, as the Son of God . . .  and never to be separated from God the Father! Jesus IS God! http://www.hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm

John 12:45  And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. (KJV)

And he that seeth me, seeth him that sent me . . . not with physical eyes, for there were many who saw Christ, who never saw the Father. They saw Christ as just a Man, they saw nothing divine in Him, they did not see the glory of the Father through Him. But, anyone with the eyes of the understanding, saw the glory of Christ in His miracles, saw the glory of God in them also, for the Father that dwelt in Him did the works (Jn.2:11; 11:40; 14:10). Anyone who truly believes, sees Christ with an eye of faith, and sees His glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father, as the brightness of His Father's glory (Heb.1:3), as having the fulness of the Godhead (Col.2:9) dwelling in Him. Christ Jesus has exactly the same perfections as does the Father; so that anyone that hath seen the One, hath also seen the other (Jn.14:9).

John 12:46  I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (KJV)

I am come a light into the world . . . Christ Jesus is the Light, being the sun of righteousness (Mal.4:2), that was was risen, to enlighten men with the light of the living. Jesus, as Light (Num.24:17; Isa.9:2; 30:26; 42:6; 49:6; Mal.4:2; Mat.4:16; 17:2; Lk.1:79; 2:32; Jn.1:4,9; 3:19; 8:12; 9:5; 12:35,46;  Acts 22:6; 26:23; 2 Cor.3:14; 4:6; Eph.5:14; 1 Jn.1:5; 2:8; Rev.1:16; 21:23; 22:16).
That whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness . . . God's elect, while in a state of unbelief (Eph.2:1-3), are in darkness, but when Christ shines in upon them, infusing the light of faith into them, are no longer in darkness. That darkness is past, at least a big part of it, for the TRUE Light shines . . . in which they see the glory and grace of Christ, and the invisible realities of another world. They no longer continue in the darkness of ignorance and sinful unbelief, but now walk in the light of truth, faith and holiness. One day, when the perfect day comes, all the shadows of remaining darkness will flee far away.

John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. (KJV)

And if any man hear my words, and believe not . . . MANY hear the Gospel of Christ, but they do not understand it. You have heard someone say: “I read the Bible, but I cannot understand it.” They hear it, read it, but do not believe it. WHY? They might have to cast away some secret sin. Rom. 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (KJV) . . . Although faith does come by hearing to some, it does not come to all! Some receive NO benefit whatsoever. They simply refuse to yield to the obedience of faith.  
I judge him not . . . Christ Jesus did not accuse, condemn or take vengeance on them at that time. BUT . . . the day is coming when He shall be a swift witness against all those who refuse to believe! He shall convict, condemn and pass sentence on them and execute that judgment! Last day: (Jn.6:39-40,44,54; 12:48; Dan.12:2,13)       
For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world . . . when Christ came the first time, it was NOT to judge. He came as Redeemer and Saviour to the world (Jn.3:16). He came to SAVE the world . . . but the vast majority (Mat.7:13-14) refuse to take advantage of this most awesome Gift! They reject Jesus, which will one day lead NOT to eternal life, but to everlasting punishment in Hell (Mat.25:41,46; Dan.12:2; Mk.9:44,46; 9:48; Jn.5:29; 2 Thes.2:1-8-9; Rev.20:10,15; 21:8). 

John 12:48  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (KJV)

He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words . . . so many of the Jews rejected Jesus, and would not receive His Words of Truth! They looked on Him with disgust, hatred and contempt, and sought to put Him to death. If a person refuses the doctrines of the Gospel, refusing to believe them, denying them to be true, they are rejecting Jesus . . . that goes for today as well.
Hath one that judgeth him . . . anyone who does such things shall NOT escape righteous judgment. Although Christ does not judge them now, there is ONE that judges them. John 3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (KJV) . . . The word that I have spoken unto you, the same shall judge him in the last day . . . the Holy Word of Almighty God shall judge them in the last day!

John 12:49  For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. (KJV)

For I have not spoken of myself . . . even as Man, or as separate from His Father; His doctrine was NOT human, it was divine, from God! Therefore rejecting it cannot escape the future judgment at the last day!
But the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak . . . Christ, as Man, had His mission and His instructions from His Father, to preach the Gospel unto men (Jn.8:28; 17:8). That was Jesus’ “commandment” from His Father!

John 12:50  And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. (KJV)

And I know that his commandment is life everlasting . . . "His commandment" here is not the law (vs.49). His commandment He has given Jesus to speak is the power of eternal life (Jn.6:63; 1 Jn.3:23; 5:10-13). This is the last time John mentions Christ's public ministry.

Whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me so I speak . . . Christ Jesus spoke only what His Father told Him to speak, therefore it should be received and not rejected. This is not to be understood of what Christ spoke in private conversation, but in the ministry of the Word, the doctrines of the Gospel, which were given to Him by His Father.

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