JOHN -Chapter 12 - Jesus Casts out the Prince of this World

John 12:31

Taught by:  Carolyn Sissom

March 9, 2008 and again on June 20, 2017



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


Jesus after a brief sojourn at Jericho had spent the Jewish Sabbath previous to His death, at the mountain Home on Olivet, in the endeared society of the Family of Bethany.  He reached there on the day of the week corresponding to our Friday, in the month of the Hebrews, with our 27th of March the 7th of Nisan.  The Sabbath (six days before Passover) would have been the 8th of Nisan.


This year at the Passover Feast, Jesus will be offered as God’s Lamb in accordance with the High Priest’s announcement.   Through his death and resurrection, he will cast out Satan as the prince of the world into the realm of the power of the air.


The Sabbatic hours which followed, formed the last hallowed day of complete seclusion and rest prior to the awful and momentous events of battle with Satan for creation on which he was about to enter. 


The Sanhedrin had given orders that anyone who knew the whereabouts of Jesus should report it, so they could arrest Him.  The population is aware of these orders and the plan to arrest Him.  consequently the pilgrims are betting whether or not He will come.  It seems not a single person of the peasants of Ephraim turn up to betray him.


After the Sabbath, Jesus and His disciples go to the home of Simon the leper.  Here a dinner is held in His honor.  The trophies of His power are with Him at the table Lazarus (resurrected) on one side.  Simon (healed) on the other.  It is a happy time of praise and thanksgiving.


12:3:  Mary brought out a whole pound of very expensive perfume and poured it over Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair.  The fragrance of the perfume was such that it saturated the entire house.


This was an amazing act of devotion, amounting to a great honor conferred upon Jesus.  God was pleased to have this precious event occur just prior to Judas’ treachery.  The odor of royalty saturated the house and perhaps even to the countryside.  It is hard for us to conceive the value of this act.  For we do not count oriental perfumes among our family treasures;  To use a full pound in such a fashion was unheard of, no matter how wealthy a person might be. 


12: 4-6:   At this, Judas one of His disciples – the one who was going to betray Jesus---when he saw this, burst out.  “Why wasn’t this perfume sold?  It could have brought three hundred pieces of silver which could have been given to the poor!”  Now he said this not out of concern for the poor, but because he was a thief. 


Judas’ first recorded words are a hypocritical protest against squandering this rare perfume on Jesus.  He has no love for the Lord.  Mary lavished 300 pieces of silver on Jesus’ feet.  Judas sold Him for thirty.  It is to the praise of Jesus that He said and did nothing to give away the true identify of this evil man among the twelve.


12: 7-8:   Let her alone” replied Jesus to this outburst.  Isn’t it enough that she sacrificed to keep this for the day of preparation in advance of my burial?  You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have Me!”


Sensing His approaching death as a sacrifice, she anoints His body for burial.  Others will anoint Him after death, she six days before.  That’s what makes it an act of faith.  Jesus acknowledges Mary’s sacrifice by declaring a perpetual memorial in her honor. 


12: 9-11:   When the masses who resided in Jerusalem heard that Jesus was back in the vicinity, they came out to Bethany, not only to see Jesus, but to get a glimpse of Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead.  This caused the chief priests to plot against the life of Lazarus as well. For on account of him, many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in Him.


This was the sensation of the hour.  If Jesus wants a crowd then or now, all He has to do is some miracles.


12: 12-13:   The next day (Five Days before Passover), a great crowd of the caravan pilgrims, who had gone on into the city for the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming into Jerusalem went out to meet Him.  they seized palm branches as they went and waved them shouting, “Hosanna:  Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”


Jesus is thronged about by the residents of the city.  The word is flashed that Jesus’ party is approaching.  The city is almost emptied as the crowds rush forth.  This time Jesus doesn’t spurn the attempt to make Him King.  And it has a magical effect on the Galileans, whom He before refused.  Excitement fills the air.  The people are filled with tumultuous joy.  It seems that none but Mary suspected He was coming as the sacrificial Lamb for this Passover.


The road from Bethany into the city was lined with date palms, regarded from ancient times as the emblem of Israel.  Luke mentions the strewing of the branches before Him, but John reports the people’s shouting.  The Hosannas (mean:  “Deliver now!”--).  It is now the 10th of the Jewish month of Nisan and the Passover Lamb was to be “kept up until the 14th day of the same month.”  And the whole congregation is to kill it in the evening.   Jesus will die on schedule.


Luke 19:29: It came to pass, when he was near to Beth phage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples.


There is a pause in the procession as two of Jesus’ disciples are dispatched to a village by the name Beth phage, in order to fetch a donkey and its colt.    The disciples without questioning him went and did as Jesus commanded them.   On the sole plea to the owners, “The Lord has need of them.” They brought the donkey and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set Jesus thereon.  (Mat. 21:4-7).


John 12:14:  Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat thereon, as it is written:


Zech. 9:9: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!  Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, your King comes unto you; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.  


At the time His disciples didn’t understand the meaning of this, but after Jesus had been raised in glory, they remembered that the Scripture had said this about Him, and how they had carried out certain prophetic acts for Him.


A prophetic moment has arrived.  Jesus said He would come.  Daniel told when (even to the day).  Zachariah told how, even to the colt of the donkey.


Pastor Kayode had a prophetic revelation regarding the colt which had never been ridden that was on the Mount of Olives, the Most Holy Mountain, of His Ascension and return.  Perhaps someone here remembers exactly what he said.


We can see the comparisons in the course of His life on earth:  The contrast between majesty and lowliness:  “The Child born,” the “Son given,” “Immanuel God with us” ---God yet our Brother, our Brother, yet God.  When He came into the world, it was an infant of days, a helpless babe in a lowly cradle; yet at the time of birth, a mystic star, the symbol of royalty and choirs of angels descended to Bethlehem’s valley.  At His baptism in Jordan, we came as a humble Galilean; lo the heaven’s opened, and an audible voice attests His Deity.  The Samaritan woman declares the wear traveler to be the Messiah.  He wept as a man for Lazarus and in the next moment, he defeated.  At the cross, he heard the mocking of scorners, yet nature awakes to resent the insult, and to vindicate His dishonored glory, the sun puts on robes of sackcloth, and the earth heaves as if it trembled to support the Cross on which its expiring Creator hung. 


By one creative mandate, the Mount of Olives might easily have been made, like the mountain at Dothan, as seen by the servant of Elisha, full of horses and chariots to grace the triumph of a greater than “Solomon in all his glory.”   


But as the humble Nazarene, who had a borrowed cradle at his birth, and is soon to have a borrowed grave---He rides into Jerusalem as a King, but “meek and lowly.”


The procession moves on.  The colt, on which He rode, was in one sense, as we have seen a symbol of His lowliness, meekness and humiliation.  Yet many kings, judges, lawgivers and prophets rode on donkeys. 


 Jesus’ ministry suddenly shifts.  No longer does he avoid public acclaim; no longer does He refuse to be identified as Messiah.  But even his disciples fail to see prophecy converging that day.  Once again they were swept up in the fervor of king-fever!  John would have us see the contrast between the great homage paid Jesus and his humble equipment –a donkey.    


12: 17-19:   This amazing reception was brought about by the testimonies of the crowd which had been with Jesus when he called Lazarus from the tomb, raising him out of death.  The people who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.  For this cause the people met Him, for they heard He had done this miracle.   Consequently when the Pharisees saw all this, they began remarking to one another---“See?  We’re not getting any where!  The whole world is running after Him!”


Behind this sweeping reception of Christ is the nation’s passion for a deliverer—A Savior from the Romans, not from sin.


Fourth and Fifth Days before Passover: (Monday and Tuesday)


12: 21-22:  Now among those who had come to Jerusalem to worship during the feast, were some Gentiles,   God-fearing Greeks.  They approached Philip who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request, “Sir” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.”  Philip consulted with Andrew and the two of them then went to Jesus with the request. 


From all the furious events, which took place in Jerusalem on Monday and Tuesday, this is the one John selects.  The scene occurs in the temple area after Jesus has again driven out the money changers and cattle auctioneers.  Likely he is still near the court of the Gentiles, when the Greeks approach Phillip.  The air is a little tense. The songs and shouts of Sunday have turned to bitter controversy and suspicion.  Tact is needed should Jesus be seen talking with Gentiles!  These Greeks, who share the Messianic hope, were eager to confirm their faith by talking with the Lord.   John records the request because it occasioned the great words of Jesus which followed.


12: 23-24:   Then Jesus replied, “The time has now come for the Son of Man to be glorified.   In all truth I tell you; a grain of wheat will forever remain a grain of wheat unless it falls into the ground and dies.  But if it does then it will bring forth a harvest of many more grains.”


Jesus answers the Greeks by addressing His disciples in their hearing.   The Jews merely tolerated the converted Greeks. He answers with a miracle of nature well-suited to their philosophical ears.  It was His custom to answer the Jews with their own Scriptures.  He is prophesying to the Greeks his death.  Yet He sees beyond His death.  The glory of a seed is the abundance it produces after it dies.  Thus Jesus is speaking beyond His death to picture His own glory as a harvest of souls!


12: 25-27:  He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that disregards his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.  If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant be also.  If any man serves me, he will My Father honor.  Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say?  Father save Me from this hour; and for this cause I came to this hour.


 The person who treasures his life on earth, clinging to human existence for what it might bring him loses it all eventually.  All this life has to offer must finally be left behind.  Everyone dies in time.  But the person, who learns to disregard his earthly life, so that he is willing to sacrifice it, ends up preserving his soul forever (unto life eternal).


 In verse 27, we see the principle of pre-destination.  Jesus said as He approached the predestined time of His death, But for this purpose, I came to this hour.  Because of His obedience, he knew the exact week, day and hour of his death. 


He is still preaching to the Greeks.  If they want to be with Him, they must heed the grain-dying principle   Jesus will be surrounded in the future by those to whom His death gives divine life.  It is a good trade for it brings (1) eternal life (2) companionship with Christ (3) sharing in Christ’s glory, honored by The Father.  There is no shortcut.  Death to self is required of all who expect to enjoy life on earth and the ultimate prize of eternal life.   In this life, fame, family and fortune will all be tested to see if we love Jesus more than these blessings which He gives to us.


Jesus has been in death row for 3-1/2 years.  The cross is now 48 hours away.  He has known exalted moments, also stabbing ones like this.  The request of the Greeks reminds Him of the horror awaiting when He will “become sin for us”, and “taste death for every man.”  The King of Glory’s soul is troubled.  He will soon have laid on Him the iniquity of us all!  What is His alternative?  Ask for exemption!  Cancel the cross!  Unthinkable!  That’s why He came.  John, who omits the garden scene, gives us this little Gethsemane.  The experience of Gethsemane was more than a garden to Jesus.  It was the whole road to Calvary.  Yet the alternative is even worse.  For unless Jesus died for us, God would remain an isolated grain of wheat forever!


(Verses 18, 29, 30)  Father, glorify your name.  Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.  Thereupon the multitude which stood there listening declared that it had thundered.  But some of them said, “an Angel has spoken to Him!” This voice, explained Jesus, came not because of me but for your sakes.


Instead of a reprieve, Jesus asks the Father to proceed with the redemption plan.  God replies, “I will.”  The people hear Him.  When God speaks through a man, He uses that man’s vocal chords.   When he speaks through nature, He uses nature’s vocal chords---thunder. 


Here are three depths of hearing:


  1. Articulate Voice of God heard by Jesus and His disciples.
  2. The ring of angelic words, by those who had ears to hear.
  3. Inarticulate thunderings by the masses.


This same similarity can be noted in Paul’s Damascus road experience.


When God says, ‘I have glorified it”, He likely refers to the progressive revelation of Himself through ancient Israel and the Ministry of Jesus Christ   When He said I will glorify it, He is speaking of the Church.


31:  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”


The fate of any kingdom rests with its ruler.  With Satan consigned to perdition, the destiny of his followers is also determined.  The kosmos” is the entire kingdom of Satan as the “god of this world”


2 Cor. 4:4:  If our gospel is hid, it is hid to them who are lost; in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which do not believe, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.


As Christians, Jesus saved us from the world/kosmos. Creation is crying out for the Sons of God to apprehend (by faith) that authority given to us at the resurrection of Christ. Satan, the prince of this world, was cast from the earth to the realm of the air. He is now only the prince of the power of the air; not of creation. Take your authority saints over yourselves as part of creation, the earth; and powers and principalities in the air.


C.S. Lovett says that satan’s expulsion is not a single event.  He was first cast from God’s presence.   Luke 10:18:  “And he said unto them, “I beheld satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Third Heaven).  As prince of this world, his hold on mankind and  creation was broken at the cross.


 Col. 2L15L  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”  He is yet to be cast out of the “power of the air” and forced to operate in a body.


 Rev. 12:10:  “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ:  for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.  He will be cast into the bottomless pit for a time. (Rev. 20:10)  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.


Jesus’ death on the cross sealed Satan’s fate.  The devil’s last hope vanished with the cross.  Now satan is in death row.


The Pattern Son, defeated the prince of the world on his own turf (the kosmos).  (Acts 10:38).  Our Lord’s victory over the devil disintegrated the devil’s kingdom, denied him power over death, and divested him of all his authority. 


The gospel is the good news that Jesus has defeated sin and Satan, reconciling the creation back to God.


The war of the ages was fought and won over 2,000 years ago.  We must acknowledge and appropriate the bounty of His victory.  To fight the good fight of faith is to arm ourselves with a settled conviction that the warfare is accomplished.  To participate in spiritual warfare with fear is to deny the faith that our adversary has been defeated.


The Hebrew and Greek words for “faith” speak of things that are certain, settled, established.  Fair is a Fact!  Be assured that Jesus has finished the work.  The weapons of our warfare are mighty “through God” (2 Cor. 10: 3-6) through what He did. 


(32)    And I, if I be lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto me.  This he said signifying what death he should die.”


The crucifixion is to be exaltation for it dethrones the “god of this world”.  Thus, the Savior crucified is also the Savior glorified.  The cross is not a defeat, but a victory.  See also that it is Christ, Himself, not the cross which draws man.



The Lord’s death proves a righteousness which makes it possible for sinners to fellowship with God.  They can leave satan’s realm (the kosmos) and live with God—if they want to.  Chapters 14, 15, and 16 in the Book of John are devoted to Jesus’ ministry in the Sprit.


Verse 34: The people answered him, We have heard of the law that Christ abides for ever; and how sayest thou? The Son of Man must be lifted up?  Who is this Son of man? 

The people stumbled over His words.  They challenged him.  they asked him WHO?  Jesus has accepted public worship as Messiah.  A voice from heaven confirmed it.  It is hard to deny Him now.  But then he says He is going to die violently.  The crowd is shocked.  Their Messianic tradition was that Messiah’s arrival would be final and establish an eternal government?


HE DID: He established  His Kingdom on earth – kicking out the prince of this world.


35-36a:   Jesus answered them, Yet a little while is the light with you.  Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you:  for he that walks in darkness knows not where he goes.  While you have light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of the light.


Children of Light or Sons of Light are chosen and ordained to fulfill destiny.  When Christians walk in the light, everything we practice leads to the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls.


When we study the Book of John in it’s entirety, we find Jesus revealed as the Light of the World, the true Light, The Word of God, Sin-bearer, Spirit-baptizer, sea-walker, Door to Heaven, Son of Joseph, Son of Man, Son of God, Only begotten Son, Water Baptizer, Lamb of God, The Teacher, King of Israel, Life Giver, Mediator, Miracle Worker, Bread of Life, Blind man Healer, Gift of God, Savior, King of Israel, Resurrection and Life,  the Death Conqueror and Creation restored.


12: 36-41: These things Jesus spoke and departed.  He hid himself from them.  But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they did not believe in Him; that the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, when he spoke, Lord, who has believed our report?  To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?  Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again, He has 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.  These things said Isaiah, when he saw His glory, and spoke of Him.  (Isa. 6:1)


  This was all Jesus would say to them.  After that he hid himself from them.  They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.   The last words they hear tell them they can become sons of Light by trusting in the Lord.  And now they will need that kind of light to take them through the fearful night of trial about to descend.


12: 44-50:  Jesus cried and said, he that believe on Me, believes not on Me, but on Him that sent Me.  I am a light into the world, that whosoever believes on me should not abide in darkness.  If any man hear My words, and does not believe, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world (kosmos). He that reject Me, and does not receive My words, has one that judges him; the word that I have spoken, the same will judge him in the last day.  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.  I know that His commandment is life everlasting; whatsoever I speak, as the Father said to Me, so I speak.


The Word (Logos) that is, the Son reveals everything that is in the Mind (Nous), that is, the Father.  The Son declares that He has received a commandment as to what He should say and speak.  Our own word (logos) does the same, provided we speak truthfully in faith.  For if we have the Mind of Christ, we are of one essence with the Son (Logos)  and the Father (Naos).


 He will spend the last two days of His pre-Cross life surrounded by His friends.  It is now toward evening on Tuesday.  Late Thursday afternoon He will return to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. 


As described in the Gospel of John, Jesus’ public ministry has ended.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries, Inc.

Scripture from K.J.B with the exception of scripture from Lovett’s Lights on John with rephrased text by C.S.   I also entered into the labors of John Ross MacDuff, Memories of Olivet. Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.

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