Summary: It is time to follow the King


John 12:12-26

S: Jesus as King

Th: Following the king


?: Why?

KW: Reasons

TS: We will find in our study of John 12:12-26 three reasons why it is time to follow the King.

The _____ reason to follow Jesus is He (was)…

I. BROUGHT OUT (12-19)

II. SOUGHT OUT (20-23)


Version: ESV

RMBC 04 April 04 AM


1. Are you a good follower?

ILL Notebook: Follow (plow)

Jane got lost while driving at night in a snowstorm. Then she remembered what her dad told her: "If you’re ever stuck in a snowstorm, wait for a snowplow and follow it."

Pretty soon a snowplow came by, so Jane pulled behind it and followed for almost an hour. Then the driver stopped and got out. He walked over and asked Jane what she was doing. She explained that her dad had told her to follow a plow if she was lost in a snowstorm. "Okay," said the plow driver. "I’m done with the Wal-Mart lot. Now you can follow me over to Kmart."

Well, here we learn quickly that…

2. It is important, when following, to know whom you are following.

Hopefully, you will make a good choice today.


Today, we are continuing our study of the gospel of John.

In our study last week, we learned that…

1. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, some began to scheme for the death of Jesus.

Jesus had clearly made some people unhappy.

The Jewish leaders were finding Jesus’ popularity as unacceptable.

He had to go.

In fact, the high priest, Caiaphas, made it clear that he believed that Jesus had to die in order for the nation to live.

Though he did not realize it, he was being prophetic.

He was speaking the truth even though his purpose was evil.

Because what Caiaphas said was true…

2. Jesus stayed away from Jerusalem until the time was appropriate.

The appropriate time was Passover.

Passover was an annual celebration of the Jewish people.

It was at Passover that the Jews remembered being freed from slavery in Egypt.

God freed them by the vehicle of a devastating plague.

It was the striking of every firstborn.

In order for the Hebrews to avoid this judgment, the Hebrews slaughtered a lamb, took the blood and applied it to the doorpost of their homes.

This acted as a sign to angel of death that the firstborn were to be saved and protected.

Jesus was waiting for Passover because the lamb that was killed for salvation of the Hebrews directly pointed at Him.

He also was to be a lamb that would die.

He would die so that His people would be saved and protected.

He would die so that His people would live.


3. When the time of Passover came, Jesus returned to be worshipped.

Yes, He was worshipped.

It was a meal at the home of the Simon the former leper, and Jesus is having a meal with Simon, Martha, Mary and Lazarus.

And somewhere along the line, Mary decides to do an extraordinary act.

She decides to anoint him with a very expensive ointment.

It was worth a year’s wages, and yet she does it because she loves Jesus so much.

It is, for her, a matter of worship.

And so, as we continue to the next passage in John, and the study of the familiar story known as “The Triumphal Entry,” we can come to this conclusion…


But let’s not just say it.

Let’s know why.

Why is it time for each one of us to follow the king...this king known as Jesus?


5. We will find in our study of John 12:12-26 three reasons why it is time to follow the King.


I. The first reason to follow Jesus is He was BROUGHT OUT (12-19).

Jesus was brought out into the open, for all to see, understand and worship.

(12) The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. (13) So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" (14) And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, (15)

"Fear not, daughter of Zion;

behold, your king is coming,

sitting on a donkey’s colt!"

(16) His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. (17) The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. (18) The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. (19) So the Pharisees said to one another, "You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him."

Well, we see here that…

1. Jesus comes as a king.

As Jesus was escorted toward Jerusalem, the people were quoting Psalm 118.

It is a messianic psalm that was being applied to Jesus.

The emotion was taking over.

They were shouting, “Hosanna!”

They were claiming, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

It was a time of exuberance.

It was being continually shouted aloud to Jesus.

The word “hosanna” means “Save us now!”

It was a word packed with meaning to those that shouted it and to those that heard it.

For the Jewish people had long been under Roman tyranny and they longed to be free.

They were a proud people who were insulted to have these ungodly men governing their affairs.

When they called “hosanna,” they clearly were looking for a salvation from the Roman government.

But there was a historical context as well, for 200 years previously, Simon Maccabee and the Jews had entered into Jerusalem victorious, singing songs and waving palm branches.

So when the palm branches were waved, it was symbolic of a vital nationalistic spirit.

In their past, a great enemy had been crushed.

Now, the expectation of the people would be that Jesus would do the very same thing.

It was, in a way, a call to arms.

“Here is our King!”

And in a sense, Jesus is finally being received as He ought to be.

But what the people are not seeing in the midst of all this emotion is that…

2. Jesus comes as a man of peace.

It was the custom of the day that when a city was conquered, the victorious king would ride into the city ahead of his troops.

And the kind of animal he rode was extremely important.

If he rode a horse, it was a sign that he was a man of war, and it would be bringing a demand for obedience or judgment would come.

But, if he rode a donkey, it was sign that he was a man of peace, because wars are not fought from the backs of donkeys.

And this is how Jesus came.

He was not a conquering king.

He carried no weapons.

It does not seem that the Romans would have been too concerned about the entrance of Jesus.

It would have seemed more like a local concern than theirs.

It was apparent to them that this was not a king waging war and would have perceived no threat.

The disciples missed the significance of the day, and it was only later that they understood that Jesus had come to make peace.

He was making peace because we had made war with God.

He was the One that was breaking down the barriers between God and man.

But this excitement was too much for the Jewish leaders.


3. The reaction to the arrival of Jesus caused the leaders to panic.

They were already determined to kill Jesus, as we noted earlier.

But this entry into Jerusalem was causing them to move earlier rather than later.

For this triumphal entry changed their plans, and they felt they had to act now.

So now we move to…

II. The second reason to follow Jesus is He was SOUGHT OUT (20-23).

Jesus was sought out by Gentiles.

In a moment, we will discuss the significance of this…

(20) Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. (21) So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." (22) Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. (23) And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

So, here we see that…

1. The nationalities of the seekers of Jesus expand.

When we use the term Gentiles, it is a description of anyone who is not a Jew (most of us in this room)

And the majority of Jesus’ ministry had been among the Jews.

These were, by the way, sincere people, not some curious tourists.

They were most likely “God-fearers” who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover.

These were men who were attracted by the morality and the monotheism of Judaism, but were probably not full proselytes in which they were circumcised.

Jesus understands the meaning of their coming to see Him.

It is a sign.

It is a sign that Jesus had not come just for the Jews alone.

All along the Jews were to be a light to the Gentiles, showing them the way, but they had not always done this successfully.

Here it is clearly seen that Jesus’ mission goes beyond the boundaries of Judea.

And these seekers are perhaps the firstfruit of the great harvest that is about to come.

You see…

2. Jesus understands the meaning of the timing.

It was a sign that showed that the end was near.

It was a sign of things to come.

So, there was no more time for miracles.

The last one had been done with Lazarus.

It was now time to do what needed to be done.

It was time to deliberately move toward the cross.

But not all the listeners knew this.

When He announced that this was time for the Son of Man to be glorified, they may have thought Jesus was about to announce his great campaign against the Romans.

But no, the message He was about to teach was going to be much different than that.

ILL Notebook: Teach (numbers)

The teacher asked one of her young students if he knew his numbers.

"Yes," he said. "I do. My father taught me."

"Good. What comes after three."

"Four," answers the boy.

"What comes after six?"


"Very good," says the teacher. "Your dad did a good job. What comes after ten?"

"A jack," says the little boy.

Well…Jesus was going to teach something much more valuable!


III. The third reason to follow Jesus is He TAUGHT ABOUT (24-26).

Jesus taught about being a true disciple.

(24) Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (25) Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (26) If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

1. For life to occur, death must precede it.

Jesus begins with a simple, straightforward lesson.

Unless the single seed falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single seed.

It must die so that will produces more fruit and more seeds, and keep the cycle of life going.

This was the very thing that Jesus was going to do.

Jesus was going to die.

But He was dying so that we might know and have life.

He was dying to produce much fruit.

And so, He teaches us that…

2. The way of the disciple is the way of death.

Jesus teaches us about the great paradox of faith.

Holding on to that which we hold most dear is the surest way to lose it.

So, Jesus asks us to give willingly of ourselves, because this is the surest way to gain life.

We are being challenged, of course, on a core issue…the issue of selfishness.

For the person who lives selfishly for his own advantage, own comfort, own prosperity, and own pleasure will ultimately lose everything that matters to him/her.

ILL Notebook: Selfishness (The Big Sale)

It was the day of the big sale.

Rumors of the sale and an advertisement in the local paper were the main reasons for the long line that formed in front of the store by 8:30, the store’s opening time.

A small man pushed his way to the front of the line, only to be pushed back amid loud and colorful curses.

On the man’s second attempt, he was punched square in the jaw and knocked around a bit, then thrown to the end of the line again.

As he got up the second time, he said to the person at the end of the line:

"That does it! If they hit me one more time, I don’t open the store!"

It is so interesting that those that are asserting their own rights, so often lose them.

Remember that one song Frank Sinatra used to sing…“I Did It My Way.”

They can’t get in the store, so to speak.

Jesus’ message was contrary to that.

When you do it your way, you’ll lose everything.

Life will slip through your fingers.

We must learn to practice death to sin and denial of self, and in so doing, obtain a personal and eternal relationship with Jesus.


So let me ask you…

1. Are you willing to praise the King?

Many times, we are willing for this, aren’t we?

We want to praise our King.

We love the excitement of Palm Sunday.

But let us remember that…

Some of the ones that shouted “Crown Him,” later screamed “Crucify Him!”

Some of the ones that shouted “Hail Him,” would later scream “Nail Him!”

We need to be careful that our belief is not superficial.

For it is not enough to praise Jesus.

For our praise only makes sense when we follow Him too.

You see, we know by the example of the Pharisees, that it is possible to be religious, go to church, pay tithes, live a moral life, and yet be totally motivated by self-interest.

You see, many of us want to live the power of the resurrected life, but we do not want to die to our own plans, designs and desires.

So, how about you?

Do you need to make a decision today?

2. Are you willing to follow the King, even if it cancels your plans and confounds your ambitions?

When we decide to do the will of God whatever it costs and to truly follow Jesus, we will experience life as it was designed to be.

We will find a quality of life that is beyond description.

When we relinquish control, it is then God’s power and God’s blessings are released.

So…are you willing?

It is time to follow the King!

BENEDICTION: [Counselors are ]

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.



Morris, Leon, The New International Commentary: The Gospel According to John

Hughes, R. Kent, Preaching the Word: John

Palm Sunday Seen With Fresh Eyes, Bruce Goettsche

Welcoming the King, Robert Massey

Christ, Judge and Peacemaker, Clark Tanner

Faces in the Crowd, Carl Willis

Dying to Self, Richard Tow

Triumph or Tragedy? Ray Stedman