all-church focus 2018 devotional

September 12th, Day 25 - John 12:12-36a

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“Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:25


Following Jesus can be confusing at times because Jesus calls us to respond in ways that seem impossible or unheard of. 

What do you think Jesus is getting at here? 

Why would He say this this way? 

Pay attention to your heart and invite Jesus in as you ponder His words.  


Read John 12:12-36a  

Have you ever been in the midst of an excited crowd that’s cheering for a team? I’m not even a baseball fan and yet I got caught up in the Dodgers’ World Series run last year.


It’s contagious!


We get caught up and swept up in the moment! In today’s passage you’ll see a crowd chanting for Jesus. Many in the crowd knew about Him, but others were simply caught up in the moment. As you read on you’ll find those who personally sought Jesus out, wanting to really know Him. Through it all, we see Jesus’ unfailing commitment to bring us into the light: “Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light” (12:36). 


Will you?


Will you go beyond being caught up in the excitement of the crowd to making a continued commitment to follow Him? I pray you do.


Let’s look to what God wants to say directly to you today through John 12:12-36a.


Scripture: Write down any verse or phrase that encourage you from today’s passage. Which verse challenged you? How so?

Observation: What events are happening? How do they fit together? How do they seem to be in conflict?

Application: Here we see Jesus willing to be uncomfortable (to the point of death) in order to save us, being obedient to God’s purpose for His life. Where in your life is God wanting you to surrender being comfortable so that you can share the light of Jesus?

Prayer: Ask Jesus how He was able to choose living uncomfortably in order to love the world. Draw on Jesus’ strength, resolve, obedience, and dependence on God the Father during this time. Ask Jesus to teach you whatever you need in order to be like Him.

bonus round

We just read about the "triumphal entry." This was when Jesus came into Jerusalem on what we know as Palm Sunday, the Sunday before the crucifixion (John 12:112). The story of the triumphal entry is one of the few incidents in the life of Jesus which appears in all four Gospel accounts (Matthew 21:1-17Mark 11:1-11Luke 19:29-40John 12:12-19). Putting the four accounts together, it becomes clear that the triumphal entry was a significant event, not only to the people of Jesus’ day, but to Christians throughout history. We celebrate Palm Sunday to remember that momentous occasion.

Continue reading below to learn more about why this event was so significant! Or watch this video version of this article. 

On that day, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a borrowed donkey’s colt, one that had never been ridden before. The disciples spread their cloaks on the donkey for Jesus to sit on, and the multitudes came out to welcome Him, laying before Him their cloaks and the branches of palm trees. The people hailed and praised Him as the “King who comes in the name of the Lord” as He rode to the temple, where He taught the people, healed them, and drove out the money-changers and merchants who had made His Father’s house a “den of robbers” (Mark 11:17).

Jesus’ purpose in riding into Jerusalem was to make public His claim to be their Messiah and King of Israel in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Matthew says that the King coming on the foal of a donkey was an exact fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Jesus rides into His capital city as a conquering King and is hailed by the people as such, in the manner of the day. The streets of Jerusalem, the royal city, are open to Him, and like a king He ascends to His palace, not a temporal palace but the spiritual palace that is the temple, because His is a spiritual kingdom. He receives the worship and praise of the people because only He deserves it. No longer does He tell His disciples to be quiet about Him (Matthew 12:1616:20) but to shout His praises and worship Him openly. The spreading of cloaks was an act of homage for royalty (see 2 Kings 9:13). Jesus was openly declaring to the people that He was their King and the Messiah they had been waiting for. 

Unfortunately, the praise the people lavished on Jesus was not because they recognized Him as their Savior from sin. They welcomed Him out of their desire for a messianic deliverer, someone who would lead them in a revolt against Rome. There were many who, though they did not believe in Christ as Savior, nevertheless hoped that perhaps He would be to them a great temporal deliverer. These are the ones who hailed Him as King with their many hosannas, recognizing Him as the Son of David who came in the name of the Lord. But when He failed in their expectations, when He refused to lead them in a massive revolt against the Roman occupiers, the crowds quickly turned on Him. Within just a few days, their hosannas would change to cries of “Crucify Him!” (Luke 23:20-21). Those who hailed Him as a hero would soon reject and abandon Him. 

The story of the triumphal entry is one of contrasts, and those contrasts contain applications to believers. It is the story of the King who came as a lowly servant on a donkey, not a prancing steed, not in royal robes, but on the clothes of the poor and humble. Jesus Christ comes not to conquer by force as earthly kings but by love, grace, mercy, and His own sacrifice for His people. His is not a kingdom of armies and splendor but of lowliness and servanthood. He conquers not nations but hearts and minds. His message is one of peace with God, not of temporal peace. If Jesus has made a triumphal entry into our hearts, He reigns there in peace and love. As His followers, we exhibit those same qualities, and the world sees the true King living and reigning in triumph in us.

*This resource an excerpt from What is the significance of the triumphal entryby