The Narrowing Effect of Following Jesus

The Narrowing Effect of Following Jesus
John 12:1-26

  1. As revealed in Jesus’ visit to Lazarus’ house (12:1-11).
    1. The broader view of the Christian life: good deeds.
    2. The proper view of a follower of Christ: a strong commitment to the message of Christ’s love and redemption for the world.
  2. As revealed in the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem (12:12-19).
    1. The broader view of the Christian life: interested in “the intermittent experience.”
    2. The proper view of a follower of Christ: surrender to His rule and reign as King.
  3. As revealed in Jesus’ words (12:20-26).
    1. The broader view of the Christian life: knowing more about Jesus.
    2. The proper view of a follower of Christ: forsaking all to follow Jesus.
  4. Conclusion: How does this better instruct me in the vision of the church? How does this better form my role as a part of the Body of Christ?

Discussion Questions for Further Study:

  1. Jesus Anointed at Bethany – John 12:1-11
  2. When have you indulged another person with an expensive gift? How did you feel? How did they feel?
  3. If you have a year’s wages, on what would you spend it?
  4. How do you deal with the tension of helping people in need while enjoying your wealth and possessions?
  5. When did Jesus arrive in Bethany? (John 12:1)
  6. What was done in honor of Jesus in Bethany? (John 12:2)
  7. What did Mary do to Jesus? (John 12:3)
  8. How did Judas respond to Mary’s act? (John 12:4-5)
  9. What motivated Judas’s response to Mary’s act? (John 12:6)
  10. Why did Jesus say that Mary had anointed Him with perfume? (John 12:7)
  11. What did Jesus say about the poor? (John 12:8)
  12. Why did the large crowd come to Mary and Martha’s home? (John 12:9)
  13. What did the chief priests plan to do? (John 12:10)
  14. They were going to kill Lazarus too. Do you see the irony?
  15. Here is a great outline of John 11 and 12…
    1. Lazarus was dead – John 11:14, 39 – who can tell the story of YOUR death, and coming to life?
    2. Lazarus was disabled – John 11:44 – in what ways have you been disabled, unable to life as God intends for you?
    3. Lazarus was dangerous – John 12:10-11 – when have you been this dangerous to the adversary? Is this your desire, to be evangelistically and great commission inclined?
  16. What motive did the chief priests have? (12:11)
  17. If you had a dinner in honor of Jesus, who would you invite?
  18. How do you worship Jesus with your resources?
    1. Have you developed the habit of tithing?
    2. Does anyone have the gift of giving?
  19. What concern should we have for the poor among us?
  20. What are your thoughts on the guys at intersections with cardboard signs?
  21. When have you helped due a compelling story but later realize you had been duped?
  22. In what way can we help those less fortunate than ourselves?
  23. What organizations do you support, or with which you volunteer?
    1. When/how do we know if what we are doing is helping the poor?
    2. Do we give them what they ask for or give them what they need?
  24. Why are there poor people?
  25. Can poorness be cultural? Self-perpetuating? A preferred lifestyle? A rut into which a generation will not get out?
  26. What did Jesus mean when he said the poor are always with us?
  27. How do we selfishly use God’s resources for our own pleasure?
  28. What about missions and benevolence?
  29. Do we/you sacrifice in giving or give out of your/our excess?
  30. When have we masked our own selfishness with the appearance of concern for others?
  31. How can you worship and honor God with your resources today?
  32. When have you been the most dangerous to Satan, our enemy?
  33. How is your budget a reflection of your spiritual priorities?
  34. How can you help someone less fortunate than yourself this week?
  35. If you had a year’s salary to spend on the kingdom of Christ, what would it be?
  36. What impure motives do you need to confess to God and ask Him to purify?

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