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Chapter 26: The End Game-Jesus Heads for the Cross This chapter marks the beginning of what is generally called  the passion narrative. Passion is the Christian theological term for the events and suffering of Jesus Christ as he completed his mission here on earth.

1. Read chapter 26, verses 1-5. Jesus is concluding his time of teaching and announces the Passover will begin in two days. What is the Passover and what do you think is the significance of Matthew concluding a reference to it as he begins this next session?             

2. What does Matthew say the Chief Priest and the elders are doing at this same time.

3. Read verses 6-13. Where does Jesus go, what town? Do you remember anything about Bethany from any of the other Gospels? What had happened earlier in Bethany?

4. To whose home does Jesus go? What do you think about the significance of his host being a leper?

5. What happens while Jesus is dining?

6. What is the response of the disciples? (Note they are talking among themselves.) What possible reason could they be thinking of the poort at this time?

7. Jesus reads their minds and he responds. What does he say about the woman who had anointed him?

8. the poor will always be with you Does this mean Jesus is saying the poor are unimportant?

9. Why was it important for this woman to do what she did for Jesus?

10. Jesus concludes with a promise about the kingdom. What is it? What will be her role in all of these things?

11. Have you ever done anything extravagant on behalf of Jesus?



  1. What other gospel is this story told in? Is the woman identified in that story? What do you think knowing who she is adds to this story and perhaps her motive for doing what she did?

  2. The gospel of John identifies her as Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus. I think maybe she had a better idea of what was coming and who Jesus was. She probably had much gratitude because Jesus raised her brother from death. I think it is interesting that both Mary and Martha comment that “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Martha even says that she believes her brother will rise again in the last days, and Jesus says He is the resurrection and the life. After which Martha proclaims that she believes He is the Messiah. Perhaps these sisters had a better understanding of what that meant. Mary is also remembered for sitting and listening raptly at Jesus’ feet–she seemed to have a deep love and devotion for Him. This was an expression of her love for Him and the value she placed on Him.

    • One of the things that got Mary into trouble with her sister Martha was that Mary had learning from Jesus as a higher priority than hosting Jesus. I suspect she heard everything that Jesus said as he taught, because she was focused on him. In her own home she had already demonstrated that “there always be housework and guests, but there will not always be Jesus teaching at her dinner table.” Just as Jesus says, you will always have the poor, but I won’t always be here teaching; Mary had learned something about spiritual priorities.

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