The Anointing (March 17)

John 12:1-8


The Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John describes cultural understanding of the time concerning distribution of wealth and resources:

“12:7-8 Instead of Judas’s plans for Mary’s oils, Jesus makes known his own: save the oils for Jesus’ forthcoming burial. Jesus then rebuts Judas’s statement with a proverb from Deut. 15:11 typical of a “limited good” society. In such societies everything than can exist does exist and is already fully distributed. No one can get more unless someone else gets less. The common sentiment was that the current distribution of things should not be altered. The rich will remain rich and the poor will remain poor” (Bruce J. Malina and Richard L. Rohrbaugh, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, p. 206).

Reading the Scripture

Here are some ways you might read the scripture or tell the story:

•    Biblical Storytelling: Helps and audio examples for telling the story from the GoTell webpage:

•    Video:
o    The Gospel of John, is an excellent movie, word for word from the Good News Bible, available on DVD in my office and the clip of this passage is posted on this webpage.
o    WatchWord Bible, New Testament on DVD is available in the library. (These videos display and read the text in Contemporary English Version with background pictures, video and sound. Not exactly dramatized or all that exciting, but could be another way to read the text.)

•    Audio:
o    The Bible Experience: The Complete Bible (“presented by a stellar ensemble of today’s top-name actors, musicians, clergy, directors, and award-winning producers.” Available from Keith).
o    Faith Comes by Hearing: You’ve Got the Time (Dramatized New Testament we used a few years ago during Lent. Available in the library and the church office.)

Teaching Suggestions

•    Maps and pictures of Bethany
o    Illustrations and an article: A Visual Guide to Gospel Events (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2010) pp. 134-135.
o    An interesting map of Palestine includes sites of key “Events in Christ’s Ministry,” including Bethany in Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996) p. 339.
o    Maps including Bethany: Oxford Bible Atlas (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 146, 151.
o    Maps: Atlas of Bible Lands (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1977), B-25, B-26, B-28.
o    Bible Map Guide (Common English Bible, 2011), Maps 16, 17.

•    “The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume” (v. 3): Before class, fill the room with the fragrance of some perfume. This is a great opportunity to use the sense of smell and helps bring the story to life.

•    What in our sanctuary (or anywhere in our church) could be sold and the money given to the poor? Should it be? Is this a legitimate question to ask? Would Jesus’ answer to the question about the best use of the expensive nard have been any different if he had been asked before Mary opened and poured the perfume? Consider both sides: Ask the class to give reasons why we should sell certain things to give to the poor. Ask the class to give reasons why we should not sell certain things to give to the poor?

•    In what ways do we as a church minister to the poor, that Jesus says we will always have with us? Highlight one of our church’s ministries to the poor:
o    Nada: See information about the summer trip (May 31-June 2) included at the end of this session.
o    Soup’s On Us
o    African Refugee Ministry in Morocco
o    Salvation Army
o    Habitat for Humanity
o    What others should be noted

•    Bold and Extravagant: As a class plan, a bold and extravagant expression of your love for Jesus, whatever that means.

•    The Formations Teaching Guide (p. 57) suggests playing a recording of “Broken and Spilled Out” by Gloria Gaither and Bill George. I couldn’t find this version online but I did find one by Steve Green. It is posted on the webpage.


I have set aside a shelf in the library with resources for Sunday School teachers. I will place there resources of general interest and some specifically applicable to current lessons. Other resources are kept in my office.

•    Pictures and maps:
o    Bible Map Guide (Common English Bible, 2011), Map 6.
o    A Visual Guide to Bible Events (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2009) p. 339.
o    Atlas of Bible Lands (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1977), B-25, B-26, B-28.
o    Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996) pp. 99, 102-103.
o    Oxford Bible Atlas (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 146, 151.

•    For additional commentary on the text see these commentaries in our library:
o    Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
o    Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988)

Nada Mission Trip 2013 - May 31-June 2 (Friday-Saturday)
Graduation Celebration

Once again the primary focus of our mission trip to Nada this year will be the graduation celebration to encourage young people in Nada to stay in school and graduate. We need lots of help planning, setting up, and conducting the celebration, which will include, a basketball game, music, cookout, and more. We hope many of you will join us on this trip, but whether or not you can join us on the trip we need your help with prizes of all sorts (souvenirs, fun or useful items, gift cards). We will have prize drawings to encourage community participation and gifts for the graduates.

On Saturday we will work to clean-up the basketball court and repair the goals, organize and set up for the Graduation Celebration, and any other home repair projects that are needed.

Family Movie Night in Lexington
Enjoy a movie with our friends in Nada

Schedule (Tentative)
Friday, May 31
6:00 p.m.      Depart LABC
8:00 p.m.       Cabin Check-in
9:00 p.m.       Devotion & Planning
10:00 p.m.      Hang Out & Snacks

Saturday, June 1
8:30 a.m.        Breakfast in Cabins
10:00 a.m.      Work Project
12:00 a.m.     Lunch at Miguel’s Pizza
2:00 p.m.        Preparation for Graduation Celebration & Work Project
6:00 p.m.        Depart Nada for Lexington
7:05 p.m.        Family Movie Night in Lexington

Sunday, June 3
10:30 a.m.     Second LABC Group Departs for Nada
11:30 a.m.      Cabin Devotions
12:30 p.m.      Sandwich Lunch
1:00 p.m.        Finish Preparations for Graduation Celebration
2:00 p.m.        Graduation Celebration: Games, Activities, Music
3:00 p.m.        Worship with Nada & Graduate Recognition
4:00 p.m.        Graduation Celebration: Cookout, Games, Music
4:30 p.m.        Basketball Game: Nada Hoops Classic
6:30 p.m.        Mission Trip Debriefing
7:00 p.m.        Depart for Danville

Heaven on a Hilltop (how can you beat that?) and Poplar Place. Cozy cabins in the beautiful mountains.

See Keith