Harmony of the Gospels

 Bethany
(41) Returns to Home of Mary and Martha
John 11:55-12:1

55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.
56 Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that He will not come to the feast?”
57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.

1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead.

 

11.55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.

The announcement that the Passover of the Jews was near reminds us we are coming to the close of the Lord’s public ministry. It was at this very Passover that He was to be crucified. The Passover feast was instituted by God to commemorate the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and depict the substitutionary death of Christ on our behalf. The people were required to go up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. For instance, if a Jew had touched a dead body, it was necessary for him to go through a certain ritual in order to be cleansed from ceremonial defilement. This purifying was done through various types of washings and offerings. Failure to go through these rituals would disqualify the person from taking part in the Passover celebration. The sad thing is that the Jewish people were seeking to purify themselves, while at the same time planning the death of the Passover Lamb, Jesus. What a terrible exposure of the wickedness of the heart of man!

11.56 Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that He will not come to the feast?”
11.57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.

As the pilgrims came to Jerusalem for the Passover, there was a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm over the ministry of Christ. Popular opinion among the common people was in His favor. However, the leaders made it clear that anyone who saw Christ should report it, that they might seize Him. As the people gathered in the temple, a discussion arose as to whether He would come to the feast. The reason some thought He would not come is that official orders had gone out from the chief priests and the Pharisees for the arrest of Jesus. Anyone who knew of His whereabouts was commanded to notify the authorities so that they might seize Him and put Him to death. Previously, He attended the feast and openly taught in the temple area, but now it was not safe for Him to be seen in public. Actually, Jesus was such a controversial person that it was impossible for Him to go anywhere near Jerusalem without being noticed.

12.1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead.

The home in Bethany (see below) was a place where Jesus loved to be. There He enjoyed sweet fellowship with Lazarus and his sisters Mary, and Martha. In coming to Bethany at this time, He was, humanly speaking, exposing Himself to danger because nearby Jerusalem was headquarters for all the forces that were arrayed against Him.
 
Six days before the Passover—Although there is debate concerning which day Christ entered Bethany, most commentators conclude that it was Saturday evening.

Bethany    A village on the southeastern slopes of the Mount of Olives, about two miles east of Jerusalem near the road to Jericho. Bethany was the scene of some of the most important events of Jesus’ life. It was the home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus and the place where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11). During Jesus’ final week, He spent at least one night in Bethany (Matt. 21:17). At Bethany Jesus was anointed by Mary in the home of Simon the leper (Matt. 26:6–13). From a site near Bethany, He ascended into heaven (Luke 24:50).

The religious leaders were in the crowd as Jesus taught on the Mount of Olives. He came out openly and told them that the devil was their father. This did not mean that they had been born of the devil in the way believers are born of God. Rather, it meant, that they were children of the devil by imitation. They showed their relationship to the devil by living the way he lived. “The desires of your father you want to do” expresses the intention or tendency of their hearts. The devil was a murderer from the beginning. He brought death to Adam and the whole human race. Not only was he a murderer, but he was a liar as well. He did not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he told a lie, he was merely speaking from his own resources. Lies formed a part of his very existence. He is a liar and the father of lies. The Jews imitated the devil in these two ways. They were murderers because the intention of their hearts was to kill the Son of God. They were liars because they said that God was their Father. They pretended to be godly, spiritual men, but their lives were wicked.

 

Contact Us with your questions and comments

Make a Free Website with Yola.