What does it say?
Mark 11 is Mark’s version of things we have already seen in Matthew and Luke. Specifically, this chapter is built around Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the cursing of the fig tree and the cleansing of the temple.
John 12 is also concerned with events from Jesus’ final days. Jesus has just raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11) and now his sister Mary anoints Jesus with perfume (12:1-8). No one can deny that Lazarus’ return from the dead is a mighty miracle. The word is spreading quickly and influencing the people. For this reason Lazarus becomes dangerous and the religious leaders think to include him in the plot to kill Jesus (12:9-11). John gives us here his version of the triumphant entry (12:12-19).
Certain Greeks come seeking Jesus and he responds by announcing that his hour has come to be offered up as a sacrifice for the sin of all mankind. Once again God’s voice thunders from heaven to confirm the identity and mission of Jesus the Christ (12:20-36. Despite all evidence, many are becoming more hardened in their rejection of Christ. There are others that believe, even among the religious leaders, but are fearful to confess (12:37-43). The chapter concludes as Jesus utters an inclusive invitation to believe on him and live (12:44-50).
What does it mean?
We are seeing just how similar Matthew, Mark and Luke are in the events and stories they include in their gospels. This is why scholars call them the Synoptic Gospels. Their gospels are similar and complement each other, yet each is aimed at a specific audience. John’s Gospel repeats many of the same events, but often the order is slightly different and also contains much original material John’s gospel is abundantly evangelistic in nature and the final words of Jesus recorded in chapter 12 is a great example.
The more light given about the identity and mission of Jesus, the more division takes place among the people. More light hardens hearts that have already been exposed to God’s truth. Some that believe are secretive due to fear.
How will I respond?
Jesus’ mission is my mission. He has given it to those that follow him. Will I be fearful to tell my Jesus’ story? Yesterday, I asked God to give me a natural opportunity to tell my Jesus story to someone that he has placed in my life. This is so vital to the mission and to my life, that I will be persistent today in seeking God’s guidance for the opportunity to tell my Jesus story.