Community Group Questions | John 11:45-12:11 | May 17, 2020
Five Types of People (part 1)
Rev. Blake Altman, Lead Pastor
God intends to change you by His Word. How is He at work in you to do that? Read the following passage and consider these questions.
John 11:45-12:11 (ESV)
11:45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.
54 Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples.
55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. 56 They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?” 57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.
12:1 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. 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.”
9 When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.
QUESTIONS (40 minutes)
1. Describe the caution found in v. 45-46. In what way is this caution a picture of your Christian life?
2. Describe how and why the Pharisess and chief priests were very calculating in their plans to deal with Jesus (v. 47ff).
3. How was Caiaphas (v. 49ff) both wrong and right in his prophecy? Where in the Old Testament do we see examples of the truth of Caiaphas's prophecy?
4. The curious "balconeers" (Spurgeon) represent those who watch from a distance and retain conditions upon their faith, while at the same time see some value in following Jesus (v. 55ff). They have one foot in and one foot out. How does the text show the "balconeers" of our time how to move from conditional to unconditional discipleship? What doctrine(s) move us to having both feet "in"?
PRAYER (15 minutes)
Take prayer requests. Pray together that our caution and curiousity in following Jesus would be subdued by the knowledge of Jesus' atoning sacrifice for us.