Today is Tuesday, April 9, 2019. I love this passage. Jesus returns to Bethany and Mary shows her extravagant love for Christ in anointing him with costly perfume, though not everyone in the scene understands how Christ is worth more than all the world and worthy of all our hearts. Matthew Henry says it well, “Those who love Christ truly love him so much better than this world as to be willing to lay out the best they have for him.” --Monica
The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate. It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.
CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?
SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community. A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).
DISCOVER (IN LARGE GROUP)
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
[ John 12.1-8 ]
Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3 Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
_ (v.1) Yesterday we learned the Pharisees placed a warrant for Jesus’ arrest and he left Bethany and traveled in Ephraim. Where does he go now? This is the Passover that Jesus would die. Why would he return into danger?
_ (v. 2-3) We know this family. Jesus is eating with the man he raised from the dead! At dinner, how does Mary honor Jesus?
_ (v. 3) A pound is about 11 ounces, or about a soda can of costly perfume. Why might Mary pour such an extravagant gift on Jesus? What does this indicate about her view of Jesus?
4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
_ (v. 4-6) How does Judas respond to this gesture? Notice his concern with the monetary value of the gift. A denarius is a day’s wage, so this is an incredibly expensive gesture. What is his motive for criticizing her gift?
_ (v. 7-8) Look at Jesus’ response. He affirms Mary, while calling out Judas’ messed up motives. What does Judas miss in the moment? What is the symbolic significance of her gesture?
_What good-news about Jesus (salvation, forgiveness, help, comfort) do we discover in this passage?
PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)
+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_ Do I have the same extravagant, generous, abandoned love of Jesus that Mary did? If not, why?
_ Are there places in my life that I value more than Christ that I need to turn away from? Do I need to confess?
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)