Dee Finney's blog

start date July 20, 2011

today's date  August 3. 2014

page 724


DREAM  I was with song judge Simon Cowell.  There was no conversation but he was in charge at the top of the screen of the dream.

In part 1, I was planting a garden and each plant had two tendrils at the top such that the plants had to be in a certain order in order to thrive.

In part 2, I was planting the same garden, except we took off the tendrils of the little plants before planting, but saved the tendrils in a little jar, so I had the jar of tendrils in my hand when the planting was done.

Simon Peter?  This feels right to me. 

Nostradamus" Simon of Cyrene  (he carried the cross for Jesus)

Simon Cowell is always overly judgmental - thus the connection to Simon Peter

The study I'm making about Mary Magdalene is about the return of the femine as Peter couldn't handle Mary Magdalene and her female disciples empowerment and did everything he could but couldn't suceed because she was married to Jesus.

In my study of the 528 frequency. it's the Love that heals, and that's what Jesus and Mary Magdalene was all about - THE WAY

In the Tree of Life,  the return of the feminine is also important because we are too judgmental.


Song of Solomon 1:12
| Read whole chapter | See verse in context
While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.

Song of Solomon 4:13 | Read whole chapter | See verse in context
Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,

Song of Solomon 4:14 | Read whole chapter | See verse in context
Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:

Mark 14:3 | Read whole chapter | See verse in context
And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

John 12:3 | Read whole chapter | See verse in context
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

The Alabaster Jar





For centuries artists have portrayed Mary Magdalene with her sacred vessel, which has been depicted as a variety of receptacles.  For example: in 1317 the medieval Italian painter Simone Martini depicted it as a spice pot (above left); in 1525 the Italian Renaissance artist Bernardino Luini depicted it as a perfume jar (center); and in 1859 the English Pre-Raphaelite painter Frederick Sandys depicted it as an ointment cup (right).





During the Middle Ages a tradition existed that Mary Magdalene collected some of Christ's

blood from his pierced hands before he was laid

 in the tomb, as depicted in this illustration from

 a medieval prayer book.



Is this a depiction of Saint John?  Or is it

 really an image of Mary Magdalene?

In the medieval Grail tradition it was said to be Jesus' follower Joseph of Arimathea who used the Grail - the cup of the Last Supper - to collected a few drops of Christ's blood after the Crucifixion.   However, during the Middle Ages a separate tradition also existed which held that Mary Magdalene had done the same.  She too had used a sacred vessel to collect Jesus' blood; not the cup of the Last Supper, but an oil or ointment container.  The Gospels describe how a woman, usually identified as Mary Magdalene, prepared Jesus for his martyrdom by anointing him with spikenard, an aromatic oil or balm, and it was the vessel that once contained this unguent which she is said to have used to collect Christ's blood.  From the early Middle Ages, Mary's sacred vessel has been depicted by artists as a variety of receptacles, such as spice pots, perfume jars, and ointment cups.  The word used in the English translation of the Bible for Mary's unguent vessel is "box", although the earlier Latin Bible uses the word alabastrum, the Roman name for a container for perfumes or scented oils, so called because they were usually made from alabaster.  Such receptacles were fashioned in a variety of shapes and sizes; not only boxes, but also flasks, pots, and jars.  An alabaster scent jar!  This is exactly what the cup found at Hawkstone Park appeared to be.


The sacred vessel of Mary Magdalene was not known as the Holy Grail.  Rather, it has been referred to as the Marian Chalice (the word Marian means "of Mary"), the Chalice of Magdalene, or simply the Alabaster Jar.  Nevertheless, the relic that Thomas Wright and his ancestors regarded as the Grail - if indeed this was the cup found in the eagle statue – seems to have been thought to be this sacred vessel of Mary Magdalene.   It was not only the cup itself which suggests this, but also the Saint John figure in the Hodnet stained-glass window.   The figure does not appear to be John at all.


Look closer and we can see that the figure seems to be a woman.  The other gospel writers are all depicted with beards, whereas the John figure is both clean shaven and has decidedly feminine features.  What's more, the figure seems to be wearing a woman's gown which looks to be covering breasts.  Could this figure holding the chalice, the final clue to the cup's whereabouts, actually be a thinly disguised Mary Magdalene?  One compelling piece of evidence to suggest just this was brought to Graham's attention by a researcher from the  USA.




Piero della Francesca's Mary Magdalene in Arezzo Cathedral (left), and the Saint John figure from the stained-glass window in Hodnet church. 


Debbie Langdon from Florida emailed Graham, suggesting that he compare the Saint John figure in the Hodnet window with a fresco of Mary Magdalene painted in 1460 by Piero della Francesca in Italy's Arezzo Cathedral.  When Graham compared the two images side by side, he agreed that they were indeed remarkably similar.   Both figures are portrayed in a similar stance with their right foot forward, both wear green gowns and red cloaks, and both hold a vessel similarly in their left hands.  Although there is no way of knowing for sure, it seems very possible that Thomas Wright used Francesca's Mary Magdalene as a model for his "Saint John".   If so, then there is an obvious implication.  The vessel held by Mary in Francesca's painting is her famed unguent vessel, here depicted as a crystal flask.  Wright's window shows the figure holding a chalice which, although not like the cup found at the end of his trail of clues, was an identifiable representation of the Holy Grail – a golden chalice.  The implication is, therefore, that Wright believed that the Mary's alabastrum and the Holy Grail were one and the same.



Spikenard most often refers to the plant Nardostachys jatamansi, used since antiquity to produce an aromatic oil

Spikenard may also refer to

Spikenard; also called nard, nardin, and muskroot, is a historic class of an aromatic amber-colored essential oil derived fromflowering plants, the identification of which is variable. The oil has, since ancient times, been used as a perfume, as a medicine and in religious contexts, across a wide territory from India to Europe. The identity of the plants used in manufacturing of historic spikenard is not certain; Nardostachys jatamansi from Asia (the modern definition of "spikenard"), lavender from the Middle East, Alpine spikenard from Europe and possibly lemongrass have been suggested as candidates, and it is likely that different plants were used in different times and places.

The Bible contains several references to the spikenard, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and it is used inCatholic iconography to represent Saint Joseph. With this meaning, Pope Francis has included the spikenard in his coat of arms.

Plant sources[edit]

Nardostachys jatamansi is a flowering plant of the Valerian family that grows in the Himalayas of Nepal, China, and India. The plant grows to about 1 m in height and has pink, bell-shaped flowers. It is found in the altitude of about 3000–5000 meters.Rhizomes (underground stems) can be crushed and distilled into an intensely aromatic amber-colored essential oil, which is very thick in consistency. Nard oil is used as a perfume, an incense, a sedative, and an herbal medicine said to fight insomnia, birth difficulties, and other minor ailments.[1]

Lavender (genus Lavandula) was also known by the ancient Greeks as nardos, nard, after the Sanskrit 'narada', or 'nalada'. The scent of spikenard attracts cats, a strange phenomenon in itself.[citation needed]

Historical use[edit]

The oil was known in ancient times and was part of the Ayurvedic herbal tradition of India. It was obtained as a luxury in ancientEgypt, the Near East. In Rome, it was the main ingredient of the perfume nardinum (O.L. náladam), derived from the Hebrew שבלת נֵרד (shebolet nerd, head of nard bunch),[2] which was part of the Ketoret used when referring to the consecrated incensedescribed in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. It is also referred to as the HaKetoret (the incense).

Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi) essential oil in a clear glass vial

It was offered on the specialized incense altar in the time when the Tabernacle was located in the Firstand Second Jerusalem Temples. The ketoret was an important component of the Temple service inJerusalem. Nard is mentioned a number of times in the Tanakh, and as part of incense in reference tohilchot shabbat in Tractate Shabbat 78b as well as Maimonides Hilchot Shabbat 18:16. It is mentioned twice in the Song of Solomon (1:12 and 4:13).

Nard was used to perfume the body of Patroklos by Achilles in Book 18 of Homer's Iliad. Pliny's Natural History lists twelve species of "nard", identifiable with varying assurance, including Lavandula stoechasand tuberous valerian as well as true nard (in modern terms Nardostachys jatamansi).

It was a common flavouring in Ancient Roman foods and occurs frequently in the recipes of Apicius, though it tends to be used sparingly.[3]

Spikenard was used to season foods in Medieval European cuisine, especially as a part of the spice blend used to flavor Hypocras, a sweetened and spiced wine drink. From the 17th century it was one of the ingredients for a strong beer called Stingo.

The ancient Greeks called the lavender herb nardus, after the Syrian city of Naarda (possibly the modern town of Dohuk, Iraq). It was also commonly called nard.[4] The species originally grown was L. stoechas.[5]


Religious references[edit]

The Bible[edit]

In the New Testament John 12:1–10, six days before the passover Jesus arrives in Bethany. In Bethany, Mary, sister of Lazarususes a pint of pure nard to anoint Jesus's feet. Judas Iscariot, the keeper of the money-bag, asked why the ointment was not sold for three hundred denarii instead (about a year's wages, as the average agricultural worker received one denarius for 12 hours work: Matthew 20:2) and the money given to the poor. Two passages in parallel (Matthew 26:6–13, and Mark 14:3–9) speak of an occasion two days before the passover, in which an unnamed woman anoints Jesus's head. The costly perfume she used came from an alabaster jar, and contained nard according to the passage in Mark.

Coat of Arms of Pope Francis. According to the Vatican, the flowering plant is a representation of the spikenard and symbolises St Joseph

In the Song of Songs (Song of Solomon) 4:13-14, the bridegroom sings of spikenard:

Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates
With pleasant fruits,
Fragrant henna with spikenard,
spikenard and saffron,
calamus and cinnamon,
with every kind of incense tree,
with myrrh and aloes,
and all the finest spices.[7]

Catholic Church[edit]

In the hispanic iconographic tradition of the Catholic Church, the spikenard is used to represent Saint Joseph.[8] The Vatican has said that the coat of arms of Pope Francis includes the spikenard in reference to Saint Joseph.[8][9][10]

Nard (Italian nardo) is also mentioned in of the Inferno book of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, such as (in the translation of H. F. Cary):

He tastes, but tears of frankincense alone
And odorous amomum: swaths of nard
And myrrh his funeral shroud.[11]


  1. Jump up^ Dalby, Andrew (2000), Dangerous Tastes: the story of spices, London: British Museum Press, ISBN 0-7141-2720-5 (US ISBN 0-520-22789-1) pp. 83–88
  2. Jump up^ Klein, Ernest, A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language for Readers of English, The University of Haifa, Carta, Jerusalem, p.427
  3. Jump up^ "Apicius; De Re Coquinaria". Nemeton. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  4. Jump up^ The origin of most of these quotes comes from Dr. William Thomas Fernie, in his book "Herbal Simples" (Bristol Pub., 1895. ASIN: B0014W4WNE). A digital copy of the book can be read online via google books. 'By the Greeks the name Nardus is given to Lavender, from Naarda, a city of Syria near the Euphrates, and many persons call the plant "Nard." St. Mark mentions this as Spikenard, a thing of great value. In Pliny's time, blossoms of the Nardus sold for a hundred Roman denarii (or L.3 2s. 6d.) the pound. This Lavender or Nardus was called Asarum by the Romans, because it was not used in garlands or chaplets. It was formerly believed that the asp, a dangerous kind of viper, made Lavender its habitual place of abode, so that the plant had to be approached with great caution.'
  5. Jump up^ Upson T, Andrews S. The Genus Lavandula. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2004. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  6. Jump up^ The assumption of the history of Lavender, originating from Naarda, along with the facts about the price in Roman time, are quoted widely throughout the web (over 350 entries in a google search) calling the city Naarda, Nerdus or Nardus. The Bible has many mentions of a fragrant plant called "Nard" and an ancient Jewish Mishna recited daily in Jewish prayers, refers to "Shibolet Nard" (Hebrew for "Nard Spike") as one of the herbs used for making the holy essence at the biblical Temple. Dr. Fernie is the first known to link "Nard" with the city of Nerdus - Naarda, one of the major cities of Jewish study and origin of the Talmud, during the years 150-1100 a.d. Since Naarda or Nehar-D'Ah - river of Ah - was on a canal between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, it could never have been a Syrian city, but rather in present day Iraq, somewhere in the Baghdad area. Dr Fernie refers widely to Jewish studies, probably quoted from a former botanist Robert Turner.
  7. Jump up^ of Solomon+4&version=NKJV
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b "Lo Stemma di Papa Francesco". L'Osservatore Romano (Vatican website). Retrieved 18 March 2013. (In Italian: fiore di nardo indica San Giuseppe...Nella tradizione iconografica ispanica, infatti, San Giuseppe è raffigurato con un ramo di nardo in mano, translates as "...the spikenard represents Saint Joseph...In the Hispanic iconographic tradition, in fact, St Joseph is depicted with a branch of spikenard in his hand").
  9. Jump up^ "Vatican releases Pope Francis' coat of arms, motto and ring". The Telegraph. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  10. Jump up^ "Pope stresses simplicity, ecumenism in inaugural Mass plans". National Catholic Reporter. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  11. Jump up^

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]


John 12 Bible Study

JOHN 12:1-8  1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. 4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. 7 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. 8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”

What is "Passover" (John 12:1)?
Please read earlier notes.

Where is "Bethany" (John 12:1)?
Bethany is a village about 2 miles from Jerusalem.

Where did Jesus come from?
Most likely Ephraim, where He had gone (John 11:54) after raising Lazarus, to wait for the Passover.

How expensive was the "very costly oil of spikenard" (John 12:3) with which Mary anointed Jesus' feet? 
Spikenard is a plant that only grows in the Himalaya mountains of India and Nepal, so this was a rare, imported oil in Israel. One dinarius was the wage for one day's labor, so if Judas' estimate is correct, "three hundred denarii" (John 12:5) would have been someone's annual salary, equivalent to several tens of thousands of dollars today.

According to Jesus, why did Mary used it to anoint Jesus' feet?
To prepare His body for "the day of My burial." (John 12:7)

If she’s preparing for His body for burial, why did she anoint just His feet?
Does the passage above preclude her from having anointed other parts of His body? The account in Mark indicates that she pour it on His head as well: "And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial."(Mark 14:3-8)

What discrepancies seem to exist between the accounts in Mark and John?
Mark says the supper was "at the house of Simon the leper", not Lazarus, and that "they", not just Judas, criticized Mary.

Does that mean there are errors in the Bible?
The account in John above doesn't say the supper was at Lazarus' house. The "they" in John 12:2 refers to the inhabitants of Bethany who most likely wanted to honor Jesus for the great miracle He had performed on His last visit, and the facts that "Martha served" and "Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table"(John 12:2) would have been foregone conclusions that wouldn't have been mentioned if the supper had been at their house. As for criticizing Mary, Judas started it, but given the value of what she used, others had joined in until Jesus put a stop to it. Whenever biblical details seem to conflict, they turn out to be cumulative in the end, not contradictory. There are no errors in the Bible.

Did Mary know that she was anointing Jesus to prepare for His burial?
No, she had done it as an act of worship to express her gratitude and reverence for what Jesus had done to her brother, and perhaps her contrition for not having believed in Jesus' power to raise the dead until He demonstrated it. She probably was taken aback by Jesus' explanation of her action. God may have uses for our acts of worship that are beyond our imagination.

JOHN 12:9-11  9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

Why might the supper have been held at Simon's house instead of Lazarus'?
It may have been the biggest in Bethany and better able to accommodate the "great many" (John 12:9)visitors.

Who was the main attraction, besides Jesus?
"Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead." (John 12:9) Just imagine their questions to Lazarus.

How did the chief priests' plot to murder Jesus change?
It expanded to include another innocent person.

JOHN 12:12-19  12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!” 14Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; 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 were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. 17Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. 18 For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. 19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!” 

Who was this "great multitude" (John 12:12) and why did it go out to meet Jesus?
They were the people who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover "feast" (John 12:12). Since Jerusalem was only 2 miles from Bethany, the word spread overnight that the man who had the power to raise the dead is coming to town, so they went out to welcome Him.

What did the "branches of palm trees" (John 12:13) that they "took" signify in those days?
Victory and conquest.

What did "Hosanna!" (John 12:13) mean? 
“Save us!”

What did they call Jesus?
"The King of Israel!" (John 12:13)

So, what are they welcoming Him as?
A military leader who will save them by conquering the Romans and become the new king of Israel.

What do military leaders ride into town on?

What's peculiar about the scene above?
Jesus is riding in on a baby donkey.

To fulfill a prophecy: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey." (Zechariah 9:9) Everything Jesus did - from the way He was born to how He died to how He entered Jerusalem, He did with humbleness.

Perhaps to set the example for Christians to serve God with humbleness, and to sure that what is preached about Him later will be based purely on content of what He did and said, not "showmanship”, and that should be food for thought for many Christian leaders today.

How many days before the Passover was this?
Based on John 12:1 and John 12:12, this happened five days before the Passover.

What did the people do five days before the first ever Passover?
They picked out the lamb to be sacrificed: "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight."(Exodus 12:3-6)

From a spiritual perspective, what was the multitude doing?
Unbeknownst to them, they were picking Jesus to be their sacrificial Passover lamb.

JOHN 12:20-26  20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus. 23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

What has this Gospel been saying thus far about the timing of Jesus' death?
"My time has not yet come." (John 7:6) "His hour had not yet come." (John 7:30) "His hour had not yet come." (John 8:20)

What does Jesus say in the passage above?
“The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.” (John 12:23)

So what signaled the "hour"?
Gentiles ("Greeks" in John 12:20) - the outside world - asking for Jesus.

What is Jesus saying in John 12:24-25?
To serve Christ ("produces much grain"), we must die to ourselves and what the world tells us to grab onto: the wealth, the status, the ambitions, the self-centered existence and pleasures - i.e., the worldly possessions, positions and passions.

What will those who "love" such things "lose" (John 12:25)?
"Eternal life." (John 12:25)

To gain eternal life, how must we treat such things?
"Hate" (John 12:25) them.

They are not of God, but of Satan, who tries to have us waste our lives chasing them in disobedience to God, and end up losing "eternal life".  

How does Jesus want us to "follow" Him in John 12:26?
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."(Matthew 16:24)

What does it mean to "take up" the "cross"?
Taking up a cross in those days didn't mean picking up a cross, walking around town for a while, putting it down and then going home. When you saw someone carrying a cross, it meant one thing: he was going to die. Once again, Jesus is telling us to die to the ways of this world.

What are the worldly passions, positions and possessions in your life?

JOHN 12:27-30  27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” 29 Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake.

What did God the Father declare from heaven?
 “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” (John 12:28)

How has He already "glorified it"?
He demonstrated His love for us by sending His only begotten Son into the world as a human being.

What would that be comparable to?
Perfectly holy God entering the sinful world as a human being is worse than a human being entering a cesspool as a worm.

How will God the Father "glorify" His name "again"?
He will demonstrate His love for us again by having His Son die on the cross to pay for our sins.

JOHN 12:31-36  31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” 33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die. 34 The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.

Who is the “ruler of this world” in John 12:31?

How will Satan be "cast out" (John 12:31) and how will "all peoples" (John 12:32) be drawn to Jesus?
As long as people remained guilty of their sins, Satan retained his grip on humanity. When Jesus pays for those sins by accepting our death penalty on the cross, Satan's grip will be cast off and Christians from "all peoples" will come to Jesus for salvation that is in and through Him.

What do the people mean by, "We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever" (John 12:34)?
They're referring to a prophecy by the prophet Isaiah, "Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." (Isaiah 9:7)

What does John 12:34 indicate the people to have understood about Jesus' statement in John 12:32?
That being "lift up" meant death.

What two things didn't they know?
That Jesus would return in resurrection, and the prophet Daniel's Son of Man reference to Jesus.

What "light" is Jesus referring to in John 12:35?
Himself and His teaching: "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." (John 1:4-5)

Does Jesus answer their question in John 12:34?
Yes, but indirectly. Instead of saying, "I'm Him!" He tells them to "walk" while the light is still shining and showing them the way since that was about to change in five days.

Why didn't Jesus give them a direct answer and why did He then depart, being "hidden from them"?
Much like the crowd that chased after Jesus following His feeding miracle, this crowd had come to make Him King and lead a rebellion against the Romans. And this is also why He "departed, and was hidden from them." (John 12:36)

JOHN 12:37-43  37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.” 41 These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Whose eyes and heart had God "blinded" and "hardened", and why?
John 12:38-41 refers to a time in the Old Testament when God grew tired of Israel's continued rebellion and disobedience and announced to prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 6:10) His decision to punish them by sending them into exile. In the meantime, He "blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.”

Who are the "rulers" and "Pharisees" in John 12:42?
A "ruler" refers to anyone who was a member of the Sanhedrin, which also included many Pharisees.

What had the Sanhedrin recently decided to do after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead?
Kill Jesus (John 11:53).

To what extent did the believing rulers love "the praise of men more than the praise of God" (John 12:43)?
Enough to kill God. Think about this for a second. These men "believed" (John 12:42) that Jesus is the Messiah. Yet they loved the praise of men and feared being put out of the synagogue so much that they gave their silent consent to His murder.

How much easier is it for people who hold worldly power and position today to "confess" (John 12:42) Jesus?
If it means losing that power and position, not much easier.

What words did Jesus have for such people?
"For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels." (Luke 9:25-26)

JOHN 12:44-45  44 Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.

Who is the "Him who sent Me" (John 12:45)?
God the Father.

So what is Jesus equating in John 12:44-45?
Believing in Jesus equals believing in God the Father.

What's the flipside of that?
One cannot believe in God the Father without believing in Jesus.

JOHN 12:46-50  46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him - the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”

Does Jesus judge those who don't believe in Him?
No, "If anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world." (John 12:47)

But do they end up judged anyway?
Yes, "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him - the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day." (John 12:48)

Why does Jesus call Himself "light" (John 12:46) again?
He is making it clear that He is the light that He spoke of a few days earlier (John 12:35-36) in response to their question recorded in John 12:34.

Why now?
For a couple of reasons. For one, this is not the same crowd that was trying earlier to crown Him king and have Him lead a rebellion. But more importantly, it is now one or two days before the Passover and this is the last occasion for Jesus to address the crowd before His crucifixion. The next seven chapters of John cover the 24 hours that led up to His sacrifice on the cross.