John 12:16-20
John 12:16 (KJB)
These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
It is unfortunate but the disciples could not really understand the import of what was taking place at this moment. It is apparent that they did not know that the triumphal entry into Jerusalem by Jesus on a donkey was a fulfillment of a 500 year old prophecy from Zechariah. However, once Jesus had gone to the cross and was resurrected, then they remembered that all these things had to take place. When they first heard of many of the things which the Lord had spoken of, they were perplexed because these were new things which they never heard of before and many times it takes a length of time for new disciples to grasp any of the truth and this includes new Christians who are just beginning their study of the Scriptures. It takes time to learn and to absorb biblical teachings. In Mark 9:9-10, Jesus spoke of His death and resurrection and the disciples did not know what Jesus was speaking of. (Mark 9:9-10 KJV) And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. {10} And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean. If any of the disciples had their training with the Sadducees, it would follow that they did not understand what the resurrection means because they did not believe in resurrection of the dead.
John 12:17 (KJB)
The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.
There were many people who came to the Passover who had physically seen Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead and these were bearing witness to the event. They testified of the truth of this miracle and probably help stir the crowds’ emotions with their loud testimonies. It is amazing to think that the same crowds which were lauding Jesus on Sunday would be calling for His crucifixion on Friday.
John 12:18 (KJB)
For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle.
Then a second group came to meet Jesus. These were the ones who did not see the miracle happen but had heard about that miracle. (John 20:29 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. For those who did not see the miracle and all those down through the ages, Jesus says the same thing to us that He did to Thomas. There are blessings for those who did not see with their physical eyes but have seen with their spiritual eyes. If you are true believer reading this, then we are in that second group.
John 12:19 (KJB)
The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.
Prevail - Gain
The Pharisees were the group that was in opposition to Jesus. This large crowd of people were divided into four groups. 1) The Disciples who were with Jesus; 2) The group who physically saw Lazarus rise from the dead; 3) The group who heard abut the miracle; 4) The leaders who opposed Jesus. The Pharisees had spoken among themselves and now saw how their popularity was diminished in the presence of Jesus. There were so many people who were praising Jesus that one of them made the comment that the world had gone after Him. Little did this Pharisee know but millions in the whole world will go after Jesus down through the ages. There will even be many religious but unsaved people who will go after Jesus. The life of Jesus will affect the lives of billions in an indirect way through His children, such as mission hospitals, disaster relief, etc.
John 12:20 (KJB)
And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:
These Greeks must have been proselytes otherwise they would be considered unclean gentiles and would defile the temple. (Acts 21:28 KJV) Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place. The Apostle Paul had faced this attitude that he brought Greeks into the temple and polluted it. What a nice thing to say about someone. Sometimes the Gentiles would convert because they would see the codes of conduct in the law of God and compare it to their gentile religion which would contain things like temple prostitutes. Many may have converted for the moral codes in the law of God.