Jesus is Anointed at Bethany – Mark 14:1-11
Should money be given to the poor or to God?
1 After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death.
2 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.”
3 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.
4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted?
5 “For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.
6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me.
7 “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.
8 “She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.
9 “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them.
11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.
Food for Thought
1. When have you ever been criticised for doing something good?
2. What do you think motivates parents to do so much for their children?
3. What would you consider to be a major thing you have ever done for someone else?
4. Why would Jesus go to dinner in a leper’s house? (14:3)
5. What was amazing about what this woman did while Jesus was in the house of Simon the leper? (14:3)
6. Why did her actions provoke so much outrage? (14:4-5)
7. What does this incident tell us about some people’s understanding of the identity of Jesus and the reason for his coming? (14:4-6)
8. Who did Jesus rebuke and why? (14:6)
9. What was Jesus’ appraisal of the actions of the woman who poured the perfume? (14:6)
10. What did Jesus predict? (14:9)
11. What did Judas do? (14:10-11)
12. How did Judas betray Jesus? (14:10-11)
13. How did the chief priests react to Judas’ visit and why? (14:10-11)
14. Should money be given to the poor or to God?
15. What do you think of the report that some members of the Anglican church bought a pipe organ costing two hundred million naira for their church?
16. What beautiful thing would you like to do for Jesus that some might see as wasteful?
17. How does Jesus define what we should do for God?
18. What kinds of things can a person give to God?
19. What can we give to God that would not be wasted?
20. How can we demonstrate our devotion to Christ?
21. Why do you think the woman poured the perfume on Jesus’ head?
22. What should one do with such an expensive perfume?
23. What is the relationship between this woman’s anointing of Jesus and Judas’ betrayal?
24. In what way can a believer betray Jesus today?
25. What do you think might motivate someone to give up on Jesus, as Judas did?
26. When are believers tempted to give up on their faith?
27. For what reasons do people reject Christ?
28. What can we learn about values from the woman in this story?
29. How should we deal with the criticism and scorn of unbelievers?
30. How should you respond when others rebuke or harshly criticise your actions?
31. How does Jesus want us to treat the poor?
32. What tends to distract you from being fully devoted to Christ?
33. What do you think God wants you to do for the sake of the gospel?
34. What is one way you can show your devotion to Christ above all other things, people or ambitions in your life?
35. When do you intend to do this?
36. What is one step you could take this week towards helping the poor in a practical way?