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John 12:1-8 - Sunday Scripture Reflection

Updated: Apr 3, 2022

On this Fifth Sunday of Lent, we read from the Gospel according to John and hear the story of Jesus sharing a meal with his good friends (Mary, Martha, and Lazarus) and his disciples. John's Gospel account is often filled with imagery and deep meaning, and this story does not disappoint in this regard! The tension of Jesus' impending death and the joy of spending times with those close to him is an important part of this lesson; and the tension of Jesus' presence among his friends and his departure (which will lead to living life in new ways) are both important aspects of our life to consider. All these lessons are part of an overall theme of God's unconditional love and the abundance of grace: how to receive these in our lives and how to share them with others.

Our Scripture passage is found in the Gospel according to John. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (John 12:1-8).

For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):

  • The context of our Scripture lesson this week: Jesus has joined his disciples for a dinner at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. The arrest, persecution and crucifixion of Jesus is just ahead, but for now there is the immediate joy of sharing time with loved ones.

  • Read the assigned Scripture lesson from John 12:1-8. Did you hear any words or phrases that resonated with you in a particular way? What is your reaction to what happened in the story, especially any actions or comments from those highlighted in the lesson?

  • Read the “WHAT…” paragraph in the guide below, and reflect on the following questions: Why do you think Judas was focused on the financial part of Mary’s extravagant action, and do you agree that the act could have been done without such extravagance? Why does Jesus, on this occasion, seem to put aside his usual emphasis on helping the poor? (What does the author say about this topic, and do you agree?)

  • Read the “WHERE…” paragraph below, and reflect on the following questions: Do you think Judas is beyond the saving grasp of the Good Shepherd? Other than Judas, do you believe there are those who are unable or unwilling to be found, loved, or saved by Christ?

  • Read the “SO WHAT…” paragraph below, and reflect on the following questions: How have you experienced the extravagant grace and truth of God in ways you didn’t ask or expect? The author notes that “Jesus consistently acts on his own terms, always revealing the grace and truth of God…and he acts not because his is asked to do so, but because he chooses to give himself in these ways.” How do you see the strength of Jesus, always speaking and acting to proclaim the truth of God, to be sources of strength for you in your life?

  • Read the “NOW WHAT…” paragraph below, and reflect on the following questions: Why do you think Mary anointed Jesus in this way, and with such extravagance? What was the significance of the great expense of her gift? What things of great value in our life can we offer to honor Christ in our own day, and in our own way?

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