[Thought questions for Jesus in Jerusalem June 16, 2015]
1. The last week. With what emotional armor did Jesus face the trials and rewards of the last week of His earthly life? Could He have confronted them with dignity if He’d had any spark of worldly desire within Him? All of the world spun in suspension, as it were, as some of the greatest events of all time unfolded, right on time, right on content, right on relationships. Jesus is King!
2. The Parade of Royalty. From the perspective of the disciples, what did the royal parade (“the triumphal entry”) say about Jesus? Why were Jesus’ followers so eager to see this triumphant event unfold? Was that a mistake? Why? or Why not? Do you and I ever anticipate too much when we ask for a blessing from God? Did Jesus “give it to them straight” about what would happen? Do we pay as much attention as we should to what is happening in God’s world today?
3. Cleansing the temple. Within hours the function of the temple as followed for centuries would vanish. Why did Jesus still feel that the temple should be honored and respected? Do you think the people who saw this event unfold understood why Jesus was so emphatic about observing its holiness? A “den of thieves” is strong language. Did the Jewish worshippers deserve such a condemnation? All of them?
4. The Vineyard. If the owner of the vineyard had stayed with his workers, do you think they would have been more careful in their work? Did the vineyard’s owner take any responsibility for the behavior of the workers? How did the workers respond? What emotions bring on a desire to “take a break” from the difficult work of sharing the wine of God’s mercy with others? Do you and I ever express disrespect, rudeness, scorn or other negative emotions against God’s workers? If so, what should we do about it?
5. Putting Jesus on the spot. Taxes. How did the clever devil manage to confuse the issue about supporting the ruling government? What could he accomplish by convincing Jesus’ followers to defy the authorities and refuse to pay taxes? How does Luke describe this showdown? Should we obey the tax laws of the country where we live? Even if we can get by without paying them? Why?
6. The Lord’s Supper. Just a meal, but what was its eternal significance? Do you think Jesus’ disciples attending that meal understood to any degree what the Savior was about to endure? Why is the death of Jesus so critical to our understanding of His provision for our salvation? Are you glad your church participates even in an abbreviated Lord’s supper to remind you of His love and care for us?