Who is Jesus? This is a central theme in John’s gospel. John wrote to demonstrate that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, so that people would believe in him and received eternal life. Throughout the twelfth chapter, John compares and contrasts differing opinions as to who Jesus is. In chapter 11, John recounts the amazing unbelief of the Jewish leaders. Despite all the evidence, even raising a man from the dead, they refused to believe in Jesus. Their hatred was so strong that they planned to kill Jesus and Lazarus as well.
In chapter 12, John describes several scenes that highlight people’s belief as to who Jesus is. In Bethany, Mary anoints Jesus’ feet in an act of extraordinary worship. Judas, on the other hand, becomes angry because of the “waste” of the expensive perfume. Jesus rebukes Judas and accepts Mary’s worship.
The religious leaders grow more indignant and plan to kill Jesus, while the people in the crowd are divided. Jesus describes himself as the Savior who was born to die. John then identifies Jesus as the LORD Almighty whom Isaiah saw in his vision of the heavenly temple. Finally, Jesus describes himself as one with the Father – the Savior of the world!
Through his descriptions in chapter 12, John forces you, the reader, to answer two questions: Who is Jesus? and, What are you going to do about it? John deliberately contrasted differing opinions to force the reader to make a choice. This decision, mentioned in his thesis (John 20:31), determines where you will spend eternity. Those who place their trust in Jesus as God, receive him as their Lord and Savior, and they also receive eternal life. Those who refuse to believe, who reject Jesus’ claim, will find themselves standing, one day, standing before the Lord Jesus as their judge. The sentence for those who refuse to believe is separation from God forever in the lake of fire. So, with John, I ask you, “Who is Jesus?”