Mary Anoints Jesus
12:1Jesus therefore six days before the passover came to Bethany,1 where Lazarus was, whom Jesus raised from the dead. 12:2So they made him a supper there: and Martha served; but Lazarus was one of them that sat at meat with him.2 12:3Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of pure nard, very precious, and anointed the feet of Jesus,3 and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.4 12:4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, that should betray him, saith, 12:5Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred shillings, and given to the poor?5 12:6Now this he said, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the bag took away what was put therein. 12:7Jesus therefore said, Suffer her to keep it against the day of my burying. 12:8For the poor ye have always with you; but me ye have not always.
- Bethany. In consciousness, Bethany means “a place of fruits” and is realized in the subconscious. When man is quickened of the Spirit, he gets a certain result in mind and body, which is the fruit of his thought.
- Martha served; but Lazarus sat. Signifies the giving and receiving of the forces that feed us on the invisible side of life. The “supper” is the consciousness of sustenance for the physical man.
- Mary ... anointed the feet of Jesus. Anointing of the feet represents the willingness of love to serve. Love is the fruit of devotion and thanksgiving expressed by Mary.
- and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. Every emotion has a corresponding emanation. When we do a loving, unselfish thing, or even think an unselfish thought, there pours forth from the solar plexus a real substance. Those who are sensitive to odors often catch its sweet perfume, and think it comes from some external source.
- Judas ... saith Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred shillings, and given to the poor? Judas Iscariot symbolizes the sense consciousness of man. Its satisfaction is in personal gains and it is continually opposed to the outpouring of Love. Judas is transformed and redeemed, when all pertaining to personality is surrendered and the substance of Love is poured into consciousness. Love overcomes all selfishness and transforms the sense man into his pure and original state. The quickening life of Spirit anoints the whole body and resurrects it into newness of life and substance, thus begetting the new creature in Christ Jesus.
The Plot to Kill Lazarus
12:9The common people therefore of the Jews learned 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. 12:10But the chief priests took counsel that they might put Lazarus also to death; 12:11because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
12:12On the morrow a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,1 12:13took the branches of the palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried out,
behold, thy King cometh,
sitting on an ass's colt.
12:16These 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. 12:17The multitude therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, bare witness. 12:18For this cause also the multitude went and met him, for that they heard that he had done this sign. 12:19The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Behold how ye prevail nothing: lo, the world is gone after him.
- Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. Jesus' riding into Jerusalem represents progressive unfoldment, the fulfillment of the time when the I AM is to take control and lift all our animal forces into the spiritual realm of mastery, purity, and peace. Jerusalem means “habitation of peace,” and represents spiritual consciousness.
Some Greeks Wish to See Jesus
12:20Now there were certain Greeks1 among those that went up to worship at the feast2: 12:21these therefore came to Philip, who was of Bethsaida3 of Galilee, and asked him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. 12:22Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: Andrew cometh, and Philip, and they tell Jesus.12:23And Jesus answereth them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 12:24Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abideth by itself alone; but if it die, it beareth much fruit.4 12:25He that loveth his life loseth it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 12:26If 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 the Father honor.
- Now there were certain Greeks. Greeks represent intellectual reasoning, and the “certain Greeks” mentioned in the text of today's lesson represent that branch of modern scientific thought which interprets the universe in terms understandable to both science and religion.
- at the feast. A feast represents appropriation in a large measure, or the laying hold of divine potentialities.
- Bethsaida. (“house of fishing,” “place of nets”) represents a consciousness of increase of ideas, of gathering of substance. It also represents a mental state of continual search after new ideas, and of endeavor to gain them by every means possible. This approach is typical of both science and religion in that both seek Truth with complete lack of self-interest.
- but if it die, it beareth much fruit. The possibility of increase in the spiritual realm depends on disinterestedness or unselfishness. The life that is lived to and for itself alone must be given up in favor of the larger life that is lived for all, before man can deepen and enrich his life consciousness.
Jesus Speaks about His Death
12:27Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour. But for this cause came I unto this hour. 12:28Father, glorify thy name.1 There came therefore a voice out of heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. 12:29The multitude therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it had thundered: others said, An angel hath spoken to him. 12:30Jesus answered and said, This voice hath not come for my sake, but for your sakes. 12:31Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.2 12:32And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself. 12:33But this he said, signifying by what manner of death he should die. 12:34The multitude therefore answered him, We have heard out of the law that the Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?12:35Jesus therefore said unto them, Yet a little while is the light among you. Walk while ye have the light, that darkness overtake you not: and he that walketh in the darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. 12:36While ye have the light, believe on the light, that ye may become sons of light.
- Father, glorify thy name. Jesus said, “Father, glorify thy name.” The natural man when in trouble prays, “Father, save me from this hour.” God's name is glorified when man brings his intellectual reasonings into contact with the Spirit of truth and permeates his reason with the wisdom that is from above, God's name is glorified; that is, the good of mankind is increased.
- now shall the prince of this world be cast out. Ignorance and superstition rule the race mind. With the dawn of a better understanding of life and the part that man is fitted to play in it, these negative states disappear.
The Unbelief of the People
These things spake Jesus, and he departed and hid himself from them. 12:37But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they believed not on him: 12:38that the word of Isaiah 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?
12:39For this cause they could not believe, for that Isaiah said again,
12:40He hath blinded their eyes,
and he hardened their heart;
Lest they should see with their eyes,
and perceive with their heart, And should turn,
And I should heal them.
12:41These things said Isaiah, because he saw his glory; and he spake of him. 12:42Nevertheless even of the rulers many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 12:43for they loved the glory that is of men more than the glory that is of God.
Summary of Jesus' Teachings
12:44And Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. 12:45And he that beholdeth me beholdeth him that sent me.1 12:46I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me may not abide in the darkness. 12:47And if any man hear my sayings, and keep them not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 12:48He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day. 12:49For I spake not from myself; but the Father that sent me, he hath given me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 12:50And I know that his commandment is life eternal: the things therefore which I speak, even as the Father hath said unto me, so I speak.
- And he that beholdeth me beholdeth him that sent me. In this Scripture Jesus (symbolizing the indwelling Christ) is declaring to the whole soul consciousness that the preponderance of power is spiritual. Spiritual character is the rock foundation of Being; therefore He is urging the multitude of thoughts to realize that their redemption comes through decreeing their oneness with Spirit and that the will of God is active in consciousness.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks
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