Dean’s Lent Addresses 2018: The Passion according to St John – Betrayed

On this page you can find details of the first of the Dean of Melbourne’s Lent Addresses 2018, The Passion according to St John: Betrayed. 

For Christians, Lent is a period of renewal and growth.

In this address, the Dean of Melbourne, the Very Revd Dr Andreas Loewe, reflects on the arrest of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane at the betrayal of his friend and follower, Judas. In his talk, he draws on the gospel text and the music of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St John Passion to reflect on Jesus’ way to the cross.

You can read the readings Dean Andreas reflects on in his talk, and you can watch his talk.

When you have done so, you may wish to use the questions for group reflection our congregations are using for their Lent discussion, You may wish to conclude by praying the prayer used at our Lent discussion.

Readings for the First Sunday in Lent:

You first may wish to read the Bible readings on which this talk is based: Genesis 3.1-15 and John 18.1-18.

Dean’s Address:

Questions for Group Discussion or Individual Reflection:

  • Reflecting on Dean Andreas’s sermon and our readings today, why do you think Judas, one of Jesus’ close friends, chose to betray him? Have you ever faced disloyalty or betrayal from a close friend? If so, what did you do at the time, and what could you do better?
  • In his sermon, Dean Andreas reminds us how St John believed that the course of action of Judas was foreordained. Jesus knew what was about to happen, and did not interfere in his arrest, knowing full well that it would lead to his death. What do Jesus’ actions teach us about trusting God’s will – even in suffering?
  • The composer Johann Sebastian Bach makes the link between our enjoyment of life, and the suffering of Jesus: Jesus took on our sin so that we might live, the chorale Bach chose to accompany this scene tells. In this light, what may ‘turning from sin and turning to Christ’ mean to you? How can we find joy in obedience to Christ’s call?

Dean Andreas’s invitation for the Week ahead:

“This story is an invitation to focus our minds on the way of the cross, is a reminder to travel in heart and mind alongside Jesus, as he walks the way of suffering. Pondering it may be that we stand in need of giving up, and letting go, what holds us back, of what bonds we might need to be freed”. This week I invite you to reflect and pray about what you want to let go this Lent to become a better follower of Jesus.  

A Prayer at the end of your study time:

Holy God, our lives are laid open before you: as your Son set free his followers and let himself be arrested, set us free from the bonds of sin and death, bring us healing and make us whole through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

© The Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne, 2018



  1. Thank you Dean Andrea’s for this beautiful beginning to the Lenten season. We look forward to the next address. Dr Bryan and Mrs Barbara Speed

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