1. When you hear the word, “devotion” what do you think of? What does devotion look like?
2. When you hear the word, “humility” what do you think of? What does humility look like?
3. John chapters 11 and 12 is the heart of the Gospel of John. What are some key details that
you find in John 12:1-19 that reflects the entire message of the Gospel of John?
1. Look at John 12:1. This is the turning point in the Gospel of John. It is the center of what is
called a “chiasm.” (think of an ‘X’). Chapters 1-10 focus on Jesus’ teaching and miraculous
signs. Chapters 13-21 focus on Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection. What is happening at
the center of the chiasm (Chapters 11 and 12). Why is this important?
2. Look at John 12:3. What do you think Mary is doing? Why does she do it?
3. In New Testament times, Jewish women kept their hair up in public, unless they were
grieving. What do you think Mary is conveying to Jesus by wiping his feet with her hair?
4. Look at John 12:5. A denarius was a day’s wage. At 300 denarii, what would be the value
today of this ointment that Mary used to anoint Jesus’ feet? (Hint: 300 days x 8 hours per day
x 7.25 per hour minimum wage). Does the value of the ointment change or deepen your
opinion about Mary’s action toward Jesus? Why or why not?
5. Look at John 12:4-6. What is your opinion of Judas Iscariot? Have you ever wondered why
Jesus would allow him to be in charge of the group’s moneybag? What does the text say about
Judas Iscariot’s character?
6. Look at John 12:7. In John 10, Jesus talks about wolves coming after the sheep. How does
the good shepherd respond to the wolves? How does Jesus respond to Judas Iscariot who is
7. Do you think that Mary knows that Jesus is going to die? How does the previous event of
Lazarus’ resurrection help to understand Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem? Why is the
crowd crying ‘Hosanna’ (Help me/save me I pray) to Jesus according to John 12:9-13?
1. Have you ever been to a funeral? Share your experience with the group. Why are funerals important?
2. Belief in the resurrection is fundamental to Christianity. What do you think happens after we die? Do we go straight to heaven? Do we rest in peace until the last day? What are your thoughts on what comes next?
3. Death is simply, “Not being able to do anything anymore.” Death is not limited to our physical death. Where do you see the signs of death in your everyday life? How does Jesus enter into your everyday life to combat death on your behalf?
1. Look at John 11:17. What is important about the detail that Lazarus had already died and been in the tomb for four days?
2. Look at John 11:20. Martha and Mary give us two examples of how people cope with death. What are the differences between Mary and Martha? (Hint, look through all of John 11:20-44 to see how Mary and Martha respond to Jesus. What is different, what is the same?)
3. Look at John 11:25. Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live…”. What is Jesus asserting about himself?
4. Look at John 11:26. Jesus says, “…and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die…”. What do you think Jesus means by this? (Hint: take a look at John 11:11-15 to get a sense of how Jesus sees physical death. If physical death is sleep, what death is Jesus talking about when he says ‘shall never die…’?)
5. Look at John 11:33. What do you think it means that Jesus was “deeply moved in his spirit” and “greatly troubled?” What was bothering Jesus?
6. Look at John 11:39. Martha does not want to open the tomb of Lazarus because of the smell. What is she asserting to Jesus? Where can we find hope in a hopeless situation?
7. Look at John 11:43-44. Notice that Jesus calls Lazarus by name and then “the man who had died came out…”. The fear of death brings with it hopelessness and despair. What does faith in Jesus in the midst of death give you? Which is stronger, death or Jesus? Why or why not?
1. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” What do you think he means? Is it offensive for Jesus to claim this?
2. What is truth and why is it important? What are some things that are true for you? Is truth in the “eye of the beholder?” Why or why not?
3. How have you experienced death in your life? What are some ways that we cope with death? Do we deny the reality of death in our culture? Why or why not?
1. Look at John 14:1. Jesus says, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” How would you respond to someone who said something like, “Don’t worry about it,” when you have experienced tragedy or loss? What makes Jesus saying this different than someone else?
2. Look at John 14:6. Jesus says, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” What do you think Jesus is saying here? What is the only route to the Father’s house?
3. Look at John 14:9. Jesus says, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” How do you understand the relationship of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? What do you think Jesus is saying here?
4. Look at John 14:12. Do you think Christians can do the works of Christ? What do they look like?
5. Look at John 14:14. Jesus says, “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” Do prayers asked in Jesus’ name always come about as you expect? Why or why not? Why would Jesus choose not to answer your prayer the way you want?
6. What do you think heaven will be like?
7. Are there other “ways, truths, and lives” that are as valid as Jesus? How should Christians respond to other religions and worldviews of goodwill?
Scripture: John 10:1-18
1. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd.” What do you think he means? What does a shepherd do?
2. What does abundance look like to you? How about an abundant life? How is this different from materialism (finding personal value in possessions)?
3. Do Americans have an abundant life compared to the rest of the world? Why or why not?
4. How do you feel about Jesus referring to you as “sheep?” What does this say about our relationship with Jesus?
1. Look at John 10:3. Jesus said the “sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” How have you heard Jesus’ voice? Share you faith story.
2. Look at John 10:9. Jesus says, “I am the door…” What is the purpose of a door? What is Jesus saying about himself and salvation? What is the “pasture” that he is referring to?
3. Look at John 10:10. Who is the thief? What does the thief bring? What does Jesus bring?
4. Look at John 10:11. Martin Luther said that in this simple word, “shepherd” comes all of the good and comforting things for which we praise God. What do you think he means? What good and comforting things has God given to you?
5. Look at John 10:11. A sheep was the primary animal used as a sacrifice of atonement between sinners and God in the Old Testament. A sheep would lay down its life for the sins of its owner. Here Jesus says “I lay down my life for the sheep.” What is the significance of this?
6. Look at John 10:16. Who are the other sheep ‘not of this fold?’ Who is this promise for? What is the proof that you belong to the ‘flock?’
7. Look at John 10:18. Why do you think Jesus goes to the cross? Who does he die for? Why is Jesus’ death necessary for God?