Talk 1
The Language of love
Matthew 26:1-16

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Discussion questions

Warm up

  1. What action/s from someone close to you, assures you, you are loved?
  2. Mike suggested that the people who show lavish displays of love for Jesus in the gospels, are usually women. What examples of this can you recall?

Read Matthew 26:1-16

Looking at the text

  1. Why doesn’t Matthew tell us the woman’s name? What is Matthew’s emphasis?  See v7.
  2. What is the reaction to the woman’s extravagance? See v8.
  3. What was Jesus’ reaction to the complaints of extravagance? What did he mean by ‘you will always have the poor with you’? See v11.
  4. How did Jesus understand the significance of the anointing? See v12.

The anointing is a lavish display of love and lavish love is the right response to the death of Christ!

The passage begins and ends with a plot to kill Jesus – see v4 and v14. We are to see the contrast here between the woman “who gave all she had to save her soul, and a man who sold his soul for a few pieces of silver.” “There you see the heart of this woman, and there you see the heart of that man.”  Mike Raiter.   (Feel free to discuss and explore these two comments further or to move to Q 7.)

Reflecting on what it means for us

  1. Mike shared some of the unhelpful ways in which some preachers might seek to apply this text. Do you recall some of the examples? What did Mike suggest was the problem with such application?
  2. What happens in a person’s life when they grasp the extraordinary nature of God’s love for us?
  3. When someone spontaneously gives of themselves and their possessions in response to God’s love, what reaction might they sometimes expect from those who aren’t believers?

Do you still love Jesus?

Are you still amazed at the cross? Do you still wonder at his grace? Do you still glory in his beauty?

Pray that we will grasp Jesus love all the more this Lent, and then spontaneously show it by our lavish love.