John 12: Jesus' Final Public Testimony

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 85–86


If you had lived at the time of Jesus and had seen the things you read about in John 1–11, how strong do you think your testimony would have been? Nearly every chapter in John includes not only powerful reasons to have an increased testimony of Jesus but usually also includes an account of those who refused to accept that testimony. John 12 is no exception. As you read, notice what it says about those who believe in Jesus and what they do and what it says about those who do not believe in Him and what they do.

Understanding the Scriptures

John 12

Ointment of spikenard (v. 3)Perfumed cream 
Odour (v. 3)Smell, scent 
Three hundred pence (v. 5)About a year’s wages for a common laborer 
Consulted (v. 10)Counseled together 
Hosanna (v. 13)A shout of praise that means “Save now” 
Perceive (v. 19)Understand 
Prevail (v. 19)Accomplish 
Abideth alone (v. 24)Stays as it is 
Esaias (vv. 38–39)Isaiah 

John 12:14–19—What Was the Significance of Jesus Riding into Jerusalem on a Donkey?

See “Understanding the Scriptures” for Matthew 21:1–11 (p. 29).

John 12:25–26—Are We Really Supposed to Hate Our Own Lives?

The counsel in these verses is much like the counsel Jesus gave on other occasions to “lose” your life for His sake (for example, see Matthew 16:24–26). In Mosiah 3:19 we learn that “the natural man is an enemy to God.” It should not be hard to understand that we must hate the kind of life that makes us enemies to God in order to obtain the eternal life Jesus promised in John 12:25–26.

John 12:31—“The Prince of This World”

This phrase refers to Satan, the devil. He is “the prince of this world” in the sense that he has great power and influence in this fallen world and rules over the many who have given him power over them. John 12:31 tells us that he will be removed from his position of power at the time of judgment, which will first occur at Christ’s Second Coming.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study John 12.

Activity A iconDifferent Attitudes about Jesus

  1. 1.

    List the following people and groups of people in your notebook: Mary (see John 12:1–8), Judas (see vv. 1–8), people who came with branches (see vv. 12–18), Greeks (see vv. 20–22), chief priests and chief rulers (vv. 10–11, 42–43). After each, tell how you think they felt about Jesus, based on what you read in John 12.

  2. 2.

    Describe two or three righteous principles you are now following in your life that show your love for Jesus Christ.

Activity B iconI Am

As explained in John 8, the phrase “I am” had special meaning to the Jewish people (see “Understanding the Scriptures” for John 8:58, p. 82). John recorded many of the special occasions when Jesus chose to testify of who He is and of His mission with an “I am” statement. List and read John 6:35, 41, 48, 51; 8:12 (and 12:46); 10:7, 9, 11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; and 15:1, 5. After each scripture reference, briefly explain what it teaches us about the mission of Jesus Christ.