Step 1: Opening and Introduction to the lesson – Personal Testimonies from last week’s study and Reflection: When have you challenged company policy? What happened? If you had a year’s wages to spend on friends, which would you choose: Big party? A glorious trip for a few? A gift for one?
Step 2: Hear – Read: The Plot to Kill Jesus: John 11:45 thru 12:11.
Step 3: Explore – Discover the Passage
- What responses does the Lazarus miracle produce? Why? What are the chief concerns of the leaders? How do they misunderstand the role of the Messiah?
- How does Caiaphas propose to solve, “the Jesus problem”? How does Caiaphas’ murderous threat unwittingly convey prophetic truth about Jesus’ death (see 3:16)? How does Jesus respond to this new situation? Why does Jesus stay with the disciples (v. 54)? What is the extent of Jesus’ reputation?
- Contrast the actions of Martha and Mary (v. 2). Given the value of the perfume (v. 5), how would you react as you watch Mary? Why? How does Jesus interpret Mary’s action? How is his comment in v. 8 especially applicable to Judas? Is Judas concerned for the poor? Is Jesus unconcerned?
- How is the blindness of the priests shown by their reaction to Lazarus? What is ironic about their plan?
Step 4: Connect – Apply the Passage:
- What would you have done if you had been on the Sanhedrin? Would politics or truth win out with you? What is your attitude towards statements by opposition?
- In what ways are you most likely to misunderstand who Jesus is? How have you tried to keep Jesus in line with your religious traditions?
- If you had a year’s salary or time to use for Christ, how would you use it? What do your attitudes (budget) and actions (priorities) reveal about your character? If you gave a dinner in Jesus’ honor, whom would you invite?
Step 5: Reflect: Jesus stayed with his disciples.