March 29 – Gospel Readthrough – John 12

Read John 12:1-50

The Pharisees were worried. 

Their hearts had been hardened to the point where all they could see were their own ideas and their long-held beliefs. They’d left no room for the possibility that they might be wrong. Their tradition had led them astray but their pride kept them there. Now that the Messiah Himself stood right there among them, all they could think about was proving that they were right.

“If we allow him to go on in this way, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away our sanctuary and our nation.”

John 11:48

They were unwilling to consider that maybe, just maybe, they had it all wrong.

“… they still refused to believe in him …”

John 12:37

All the main players in today’s reading had something valuable to lose. Mary had her crazy expensive perfume. Jesus had His life. And the Pharisees had their pride, their tradition, “their” sanctuary, “their” nation. But Mary gave up that expensive perfume. In so doing, she found deeper intimacy with Jesus and secured a place in history as the one who prepared Him for burial. Jesus gave up His life and so conquered death itself. But the Pharisees, well, they held onto that pride with all their hearts. And they missed out on the Messiah. Their pride kept them from knowing and living the real and true life that stood right there in front of them.

If only they’d been like their forefather, David, who asked God to search him and test him for anything he held onto that wasn’t of Him. (See Psalm 139:23-24.) If they had been willing to admit they might be wrong, what life they could have known! 

But that’s what pride does. It leads us to blindness and prevents us from seeing the truth of who Jesus is, the salvation He offers, the very real abundant life He has for those who will surrender. 

I wonder if your heart is willing to be searched by God. Is there anything in your life you hold so closely that you don’t even know you’re holding it? Are you gripping it with such vigor that all you can see is the pain it would cause to let it go? Maybe it’s some unspoken comfort or perceived right you’ve guarded, believing you have a right to it. 

Don’t be like the Pharisees, unwilling to surrender. Lay your heart open before God to search you and show you. Then let it go so you can know His very real and abundant life!

Bria Wasson

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