The Climax of Love and Hate (John 12:1-11)

Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair, and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?" Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. Therefore Jesus said, "Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me." The large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead. But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also; because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus. (12:1-11)

The incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ marks the zenith of history. His life not only divides the calendar (b.c. means"before Christ"; a.d. ["anno Domini"] means "in the year of the Lord"), but also human destiny. As Jesus Himself warned those who rejected Him, "Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (John 8:24), and on another occasion,"Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division" (Luke 12:51;cf. Luke 2:34). Like no one else, Jesus Christ evokes the antithetical extremes of love and hate, devotion and rejection, worship and blasphemy, and faith and unbelief. How people respond to Him divides the sheep from the goats; the wheat from the tares; believers from unbelievers; the saved from the lost.

John wrote his gospel to present Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah (20:31). In so doing, he also recorded how people reacted to Jesus' messianic claims and miraculous signs. The apostle accordingly cites numerous examples of those who believed in Jesus (1:35-51; 2:11; 4:28-29, 41-42, 53; 6:69; 9:35-38; 10:42; 11:27, 45; 12:11; 16:27, 30; 17:8; 19:38-39; 20:28-29), and those who rejected Him (1:10-11; 2:20; 3:32; 5:16-18,38-47; 6:36,41-43,64,66; 7:1,5,20,26-27,30-52; 8:13-59; 9:16,29, 40-41; 10:20,25-26; 11:46-57; 12:37-40).