Going Deeper… (John 11:55 – 12:11)

Here are some questions based on last Sunday’s sermon text (John 11:55 – 12:11), in case they’re helpful to you for personal growth or group discussion…

  • [12:1] The “therefore” indicates that Jesus went to Bethany, making his way toward Jerusalem and the Passover feast, because of what we see in the prior verse (11:57): because the religious leaders sought his arrest. How does that make any sense?
  • [3, 7-8] (See the parallel accounts of this occasion in Mt 26:6-16 and Mk 14:3-11.) Jesus declares that Mary’s act is beautiful (Mt 26:10; Mk 14:6), he assigns it a significance that is likely beyond what she intended, and he makes a connection between her extravagant gift and his own approaching (willing!) death. What is the nature of the beauty Jesus is talking about? How does this beauty reflect the acts of Jesus himself in the Gospel? Does our culture value beauty like this? Have you seen beauty like this have transformational power in the lives of people you know? In evangelism, do you share the beauty of the Gospel, or the “mere truths” of the Gospel?
  • [4-6] Apparently, Sensible People might not think that Mary’s act was good. Why not? Can you honestly imagine how you would have responded to Mary if you had been there?
  • [8] (See Dt 15:1-11; 1 Jn 3:16-17.) Reluctance to help the poor reflects Judas-like core values. How might our generosity to the poor among us (especially in the church family) reflect the extravagant love we see in the Gospel and God’s core values?