Dying for the People

Read: John 11:38-57

  1. Review your answer to question four from last week. Why does Jesus make the comment, i.e. pose the question, he does to Martha in verse 40? When did he ever state this to her before? How do you connect the two encounters together logically?

  2. Jesus' prayer in verse 41b-42 is a powerful one. In order to getting a clearer picture of what Jesus is saying, rephrase the prayer in your own words while paying specific attention to the verb tenses. Ad lib as required to draw out the meaning. You may wish to look at a couple of other translations or paraphrases to assist.

  3. After such an incredible miracle, it is almost "unbelievable" that "many" and not "all" of the Jews there put their faith in Jesus (verse 45). Even more unbelievable is the logic used by the chief priests and Pharisees in verse 48. Why are they concerned that "everyone will believe in him"? What are they afraid of? (Follow their logic!)

  4. Caiaphas' prophecy in verses 51-52 and his resulting answer in verse 50 amaze me. Explain what's going on in these passages. Do you believe the prophecy was from God? Can you connect the first part of verse 50 with the part "than that the whole nation perish"? What do you think Caiaphas was thinking?

  5. The result of the high priest's and Pharisee's "summit" was quite conclusive (verse 53; 57) which will have a major impact on the remainder of Jesus' ministry. As with many early Christians, many Christians in the world today live with a death sentence over their heads. Today we live in a society without a similar death sentence. Jesus did not flinch. Yet today we seem to fear the honour of sharing in the Lord's sufferings (Phil 3:10). Reflect on this. What are your thoughts?

Copyright © E. J. Ritzmann.
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