Why do you follow Jesus? (John 12:12-19)

Why do we come to church?


–          Escapism, get away from the terrible things in the world and the hardness of life

–          Tradition

–          A social exercise

The reason will affect/shape how we go out into daily life – does what we do here relate to work/family/community?

  1. A wrong reason – we don’t come to influence Jesus (12:12-16)

Why do I raise that?

Scene – Jesus is coming into Jerusalem for the Passover

The crowd start waving palm-branches

“Hosanna to the Son of David”

Think of the scenes in Barcelona last week -the Catalonian independence declaration

Joy/excitement from some whilst others watch on angry

-Nervousness – will it last will it be crushed

-Something of that here.

-Palm branches – waved to celebrate war leaders …

Jesus gets on a donkey “Coming in peace” (not a war horse)

A theme – people having their own agenda for Jesus as the political Messiah.  Jesus does not play to this.

My agenda  – what will Jesus do for me

–          Give me happiness/money/success?

–          Heal me?

–          Fight my enemies – the things I fear?

Jesus is the true King of Kings -we cannot get him to submit to our agenda – we must follow his.

Implications        – church not a hierarchy where we jostle for position and power

–          In practice this means plural elders

–          It means leaders are servants

–          It means we think the best of others -and their motives

–          It means we forgive ….




  1. A Right reason – a joyful, thankful response to who Jesus is and what he has done (12:17-18)

The key reason why people are responding – the raising of Lazarus

The theme links ch 11-12 closely together

–          Lazarus raised – chapter 11 – those who believe see the glory of God

–          Curiosity -some just come to see Lazarus (ch 12:9) -danger of distraction

–          Extravagant love in response to Jesus giving life (12:1-3)

People witnessed the sign and tell others – notice

Praise – declares the good news of the Gospel because this is the cause of our joy

Evangelism (declaring the Gospel) is central to praise

A key theme in John is that there are those who believe – it transforms their lives

The Gospel means

Jesus died in your place – taking your sin on himself

We are raised with Christ and in him are justified – new creation,

We are forgiven, have peace with God, have eternal life

This should effect how we live

Am I naturally talking about Jesus?

Does how I live match what I say?


  1. A wrong response – don’t reject Jesus (12:19)

Not everyone is happy -the build up from raising Lazarus is to Jesus being betrayed and crucified.

Some respond by rejecting

–          Too good to be true?

–          Too easy?

–          Too humbling? What’s my part?


Your response to Jesus?

Your reason?