Biblical References: Luke 19:28-48 and Luke 20:9-26
Jesus spent most of his life working and ministering in the region of Galilee. The closing events of his life, however, take place in Jerusalem.
1. Luke foreshadows Jesus’ passion early in his book. In 9:51, Luke writes, “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” What advantage is there to knowing the time and the place where we will die? What does the word “resolutely” (or, “steadfastly” in some versions) suggest about Jesus’ emotions as he journeys to Jerusalem?
2. Before entering Jerusalem, Jesus sent two of his disciples ahead of him to find an unbroken colt. They knew the Old Testament prophecy which called Jerusalem to rejoice, for “your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). What must have been racing through their minds? Was this prophecy fulfilled in Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem?
3. As Jesus entered the city, the crowd shouted joyfully and noisily. The Pharisees didn’t approve. When in our religious communities is it acceptable to shout—to cry out—in joyful praise?
4. In the midst of the celebration, Jesus wept over Jerusalem, saying, “You did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you” (Luke 19:41-49). This would have been a strange sight; loud, praising crowds surrounding a man weeping on a donkey.
A. The Bible records Jesus crying a least twice, both in public settings. (Hebrews 5:7 suggests other occasions as well.) Do you suppose that he cried often? Was Jesus generally emotional? What do his tears tell us? Do you suppose he ever laughed?
B. How is it possible to miss God’s visit? Could God have made it more clear? Is God’s visit a one-time event, or does God still visit us today? Where do you most easily recognize God’s presence?
5. When he enters Jerusalem, Jesus goes to the temple and drives out those who were selling there. He declares the temple to be a “house of prayer” and not a “den of robbers” (Luke 19:45-46). Historically, what was the situation he was addressing? What might Jesus say to religious institutions today if he were to visit? Could it be said that our place of gathering is primarily a place of prayer? Should it be?
6. On the night he was betrayed, Jesus took special care to keep the location of the last supper a secret (Luke 22:6-12). He clearly wanted to spend uninterrupted time with his disciples.
A. The Last Supper was actually a Passover meal. What event did this meal commemorate?
What are the parallels between Jesus death and the Passover?
B. When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper/communion together, is it primarily a time to look back, or a time to look forward?
C. Imagine you were facing arrest and death. Who would you gather around you for your last moments? What would you tell them?
D. What has been your most meaningful “Lord’s Supper” experience?