John 11–13

“Lesson 25: John 11–13,” New Testament Teacher Manual (2018)

Introduction and Timeline

John devoted almost half of his Gospel to the last week of Jesus Christ’s mortal life. Just prior to this final week, the Savior raised Lazarus from the dead—a miracle that emphasized the power and love of the Son of God (see John 11:1–46). Because of the miraculous raising of Lazarus, plans to murder Jesus intensified. Jesus retreated for a time to a place called Ephraim, but then went back to Bethany, where Mary honored Him with an act of sincere devotion by anointing His feet with ointment (see John 12:1–3), and others—including Judas Iscariot—plotted to destroy Him. Jesus Christ manifested His perfect love for His disciples at the Last Supper by washing their feet. He then taught them that love should characterize their lives as His disciples (see John 13:1–17, 34–35). Despite the turbulence of the final week of His mortal ministry, Jesus Christ focused His teachings on obedience, service, and love—attributes that defined His life and should define the lives of His disciples in all ages.

New Testament Student Manual : Religion 211-212

Chapter Overviews

John 11

The Savior’s friend Lazarus became ill and died. Mary and Martha expressed their faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus manifested His power over death by raising Lazarus from the dead. Opposition from members of the Sanhedrin increased, and they plotted the death of Jesus.

John 12

Mary anointed Jesus’s feet as a token of her love and in anticipation of His death and burial. Judas Iscariot objected to her actions. When Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, many accepted Him as the Messiah, while many others believed but did not confess faith in Him. God’s voice was heard from heaven.

John 13

At the Last Supper, the Master washed the feet of His disciples and exhorted them to serve one another. He identified Judas Iscariot as His betrayer. Jesus Christ taught that the Father and the Son were glorified through His Atonement. He foretold Peter’s denial and eventual martyrdom.

Suggestions for Teaching

John 11:1–46

The Raising of Lazarus from the Dead

Tell students that today in class they will be learning about one of the Savior’s most talked about miracles. Invite your students to think about how this miracle is a prelude to the greatest of all miracles, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Ask students to briefly review the accounts of Jesus Christ raising the daughter of Jairus from the dead and the son of the widow of Nain from the dead (see Luke 7:11–17; 8:41–42, 49–56 for details if needed).

Have students read John 11:1–6, 11–17, looking for how the raising of Lazarus was different from the raising of the widow of Nain’s son and the raising of Jairus’s daughter. (The Savior purposely waited until Lazarus had died; by the time the Savior arrived, Lazarus had been dead four days. To help students understand the significance of Lazarus being dead for four days, you might refer them to the student manual commentary for John 11:17, 39.)

To help students understand how this miracle demonstrates that Jesus Christ has power over death and is “the resurrection, and the life,” have students read John 11:20–27, looking for what Jesus taught Martha.

  • How would you summarize the important truths Jesus taught Martha?

  • What do you think it means to say that Jesus Christ is “the resurrection, and the life”? (You might want to invite students to mark this phrase in John 11:25.)

  • What details in these verses show that Martha believed this about Jesus Christ?

Read John 11:28–37 to your class and ask:

  • Since the Savior knew that He was about to raise Lazarus from death, why do you think He wept on this occasion?

Finally, invite students to read John 11:38–46, and then ask:

  • Describe how you might have reacted if you had witnessed this miracle.

  • How might the raising of Lazarus from the dead have helped Jesus’s disciples believe in His Resurrection? (You may want to refer students to the student manual commentary for John 11:1–46.)

  • When Jesus first heard of Lazarus’s sickness, He said that the sickness was “for the glory of God” (John 11:4). In what ways do you think the raising of Lazarus from the dead glorified God?

Invite students to think about a miracle they have witnessed in their own lives or in the life of someone else. Ask:

  • Why would you describe this experience as a miracle?

  • How did the experience increase your faith and hope in the Lord?

Ask a student to read the statement from President Thomas S. Monson (1927–2018) found in the student manual commentary for John 11:25–26. Then ask:

Invite students to share an experience from their lives when knowing the doctrine of the Resurrection brought strength and comfort to them. If time allows, consider sharing your own personal experience or testimony with the students.

John 12:12–34

Reactions to the Savior’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

Because you have already taught about Mary anointing the Savior’s feet with spikenard (see Mark 14:3–9) and the triumphal entry of the Savior into Jerusalem (see Matthew 21:1–11; Mark 11:1–11; and Luke 19:29–44), you might summarize (or have a student summarize) these events as recorded in John 12:1–22. This will help students understand the context of what they will study and discuss next. Help students understand that the Greeks who wanted to see (or meet with) Jesus (see John 12:20) may have been Gentile converts to Judaism. Then write the following on the board:

Jesus Christ came into the world to .

Ask two or three students to come to the board and write how they would complete this statement. Invite the students to explain why they would finish the statement in that way. Have students turn to John 12:23, 27 and mark the phrases “the hour is come” and “for this cause came I unto this hour.” Invite students to search John 12:23–34 to find what the Savior said about why He came to earth. Then ask several students to come to the board and write what they have found. (Possible answers: To be glorified, to die, to bring forth much fruit, to enable people to gain eternal life, to cast out the prince of this world—Satan, to be lifted up from the earth, or to draw all men unto Him.)

As a result of this activity, students should understand this doctrine: Jesus Christ came into the world to die and then rise from the dead in glory so that all those who follow Him might receive eternal life.

Point out to the students the phrases “any man” (John 12:26) and “all men” (John 12:32). Then have students read the student manual commentary for John 12:20–26, and ask:

  • What effect do you think the Savior’s words might have had on the Greeks who were present?

  • Why do you think some of the people responded the way they did in John 12:34?

  • How have you seen the gospel give hope to men and women of various ages, nationalities, and cultures?

John 13:4–17, 34–35

Washing the Disciples’ Feet

Give students a piece of paper and ask them to write “Christlike love is …” at the top of the paper. Tell them that at the end of the lesson, you will ask them to write a paragraph that defines Christlike love, so they may want to write down a few ideas as you discuss John 13.

Ask students to take turns reading aloud John 13:3–12. Ask them to think during the reading about how the Savior’s example of love is different from how some people in the world think about love. Then help students to better understand this experience by asking them to ponder the answers to the following two questions. Pause briefly between each question so students can ponder the answer, and then ask several students to respond to the question:

  • What thoughts and emotions do you think the Apostles experienced as the Master washed their feet?

  • How did Peter respond to the Savior washing his feet? (see John 13:6–10). Why do you think Peter responded in this way?

Invite students to take turns reading John 13:13–17 and identify what the Savior wanted His disciples to learn from His act of service. Have them share ideas from these verses that help them understand what Christlike love is. You might encourage them to mark verse 15 to emphasize that the Savior wanted all of His disciples to follow His example.

  • How would you summarize the Savior’s teachings found in John 13:14–16?

  • How does serving others in a Christlike way result in happiness, as the Savior declared it would? (see John 13:17).

  • How might you follow the Savior’s example of service in your own home?

Help the students make the bridge from John 13:17 to John 13:34 by stating briefly that verses 18–30 contain the account of the Savior identifying Judas as His betrayer, after which Judas left the room. Then ask a student to read John 13:34–35. Have another student read the quotation by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin from the student manual commentary for John 13:34–35, and then ask the class:

  • The Savior gave His disciples a “new commandment”—“that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (italics added). How do you think this is a higher law than the commandment in Leviticus 19:18 to “love thy neighbour as thyself”? (italics added).

  • According to John 13:35, what identifies people as disciples of Jesus Christ? When have you seen people distinguish themselves as disciples of Jesus Christ by the way they treated others?

Write the following gospel principle on the board:

Serving and loving others as Jesus Christ did brings us happiness and identifies us as His disciples.

Ask students to raise their hands if they feel the statement on the board is true. Then ask:

  • How have you come to know that this statement is true? What experiences have you had?

Conclude by giving students a minute or two to finish writing responses to the idea on their paper: “Christlike love is …” Invite as many students as time allows to share what they have written and how they plan to follow the Savior’s example in loving others.