11. Lazarus Sick (:40)
John 11:1-6 Why didn’t Jesus go to Bethany when he heard Lazarus was seriously ill? Note: The story will be taken up again short- ly in #13.
12. Woes (1:20)
Matthew 23 Jesus accused the Pharisees of putting burdens on people but not helping lift them. What kind of help do you think
Jesus wanted the Pharisees to give the people? What kinds of burdens do religious leaders put on people today? wondered aloud how the Pharisees could escape Hell. What behaviors doomed the Pharisees to hell?
Were you surprised at the severity of the denunciation of the Pharisees by Jesus? Did his “name-calling” seem out of char- acter for Jesus? Why did he utter his most caustic criticisms against such religious leaders? In Acts 15:5 we find that the early church did include Pharisees in its membership. Would this indicate that Jesus’ strong words got some good results?
13. Lazarus Raised (2:30)
John 11:11-44 Lazarus died. Jesus came to comfort the dead man’s sisters Mary and Martha. Martha said, “Lord if you had been here my brother would not have died.” Then she added, “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” What do you think she had in mind? What prompted her to say that? Was she hoping beyond hope Jesus might be able to raise Lazarus? In forming your answer, remember that when Jesus told Martha Lazarus would rise again, she agreed that he would indeed rise in the general resurrection in the last days. What was the significance of the raising of Lazarus for what happened next in the life of Jesus? (John 11:53 tells how it triggered the plot to finally do away with him.) Why would not even such a dramatic action as raising Lazarus turn the hearts of his opponents? Are there some who simply will not be convinced by anything?
14. Last Supper (4:05)
Matthew 26:20-30 Mark 14:12-26, John 13:34 The most important Jewish festival is Passover (Exodus 11,12). It commemorates an event in Egypt when the angel of the Lord passed over the houses of all who had put the blood on their doorposts. Israel became a nation, escaping from slavery in Egypt. Jesus, like every Jew commemorated the Passover. However, he changed the formulas of the Passover supper and created what is called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist.
At the Last Supper, Jesus urged the disciples to love one another. What is true love? Why did Jesus command us to love one another? If we don’t love, can we call ourselves Christians? Why do you think Jesus said to Judas, “What you are about to do, do quickly?”
What is the meaning of the Last Supper as your church understands it? Why do you think that this important obser- vance of Christian communities from the very beginning has been the source of so much debate and division?
As you consider what Jesus said and did at the supper, is he preoccupied with what will happen to him or does he seem more concerned to prepare his followers for what is to come?
15. Betrayal on the Mount of Olives (1:00)
Mark 14:43-50 Jesus knew he was about to be betrayed. On an earlier occasion when his life was in danger, he had gone “underground” to escape his enemies (John 10:39,40; 11:54). Once he left Israel for a time, apparently in response to opposition (Mark 7:24). Why didn’t he try to escape this time? Do you think there is a time to withdraw and a time to stay? If so, how do we discern the difference? How did Jesus know the difference?
We have all had, at one time or another, the bitter experience of betrayal. Even Jesus was betrayed by one of those in his inner circle. What can we learn from the response of Jesus to betrayal and the betrayer?
16. Jesus Before Sanhedrin (1:10)
Mark 14:53-65 The religious leaders were well aware of Christ’s miracles (See, for example, John 11:47,48). Yet they put him on trial. No doubt they were motivated by jealousy and envy. This alone cannot explain why they rejected Jesus. Why didn’t these opponents accept Christ’s healings, miracles, and raising of the dead?