We draw ever closer to the events of Holy Week. This Sunday we leave Luke’s gospel and examine a passage from John’s gospel. The Anointing of Jesus at Bethany. It is an interesting passage, Mary uses expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet. This is followed by an argument between Jesus and Judas about whether the perfume should have been used as it was.

The passage is charged with the scent of death. This passage occurs just after Lazarus was raised from the dead and a week from Jesus’ own death. The stakes are high and while those around him didn’t know it, Jesus certainly did.

It is easy for us to criticize Judas in this instance. We know that Judas betrays Jesus and we know that Jesus is about to die. But at this point in time, Judas did not know these things. From Judas’ perspective his response is justified. However, as is often the case we are only aware of part of God’s plan. We do not see the full extent of how God is working in our lives. A key theme that might arise from this passage is trusting in God’s plan, even when it is difficult to see it.

Text: John 12: 1-11

Questions for Sunday

Our questions this week focus on Judas and his role in this passage.

  • Do you think Judas was right to object to the use of the perfume?
  • What motivations are given for Judas’ outburst?
    • Does this change how you view his objection?
  • If Judas was a known thief while with the disciples, why did Jesus tolerate his presence?

Prayer for Sunday

Heavenly Father, as we draw closer to the events of Good Friday and Easter we pray that you would walk with us. Guide us on our Lenten journey and allow us to reflect on the deep mystery of faith that is present in the events on Holy Week. In Jesus name we ask, Amen.