Knowing his time with his followers was limited, Jesus brought them together for one last meal. Jesus demonstrated his love and power by washing their feet, sharing with them about the coming Holy Spirit, and sharing with them about the importance of sacrifice. The night ended with his betrayal from one of his own followers, and his response surprised those closest to him and remains a great example for all of us.
Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. Do you most often think about Jesus as God (divine) or human? Why do you think that is & how does the affect your relationship with Him?
2. What stood out to you from the message?
3. Read Matthew 21:12-17.
a.) Make some observations about this passage (What does the text say):
• Who is talking? What is the circumstance?
- Any repeated phrases?
- What surprised you?
- What stood out to you?
b.) Make some interpretations (What does the passage mean)
- What questions do you have?
- Summarize the passage in 1-3 sentences – what are the main points?
- What do you learn about the nature and character of God as you read this?
- What do you learn about yourself or the world around you?
c.) Now make some applications (what’s my response)
- How do you respond to what you are reading?
- How could this apply to your life today?
- What is the central truth that you could put into practice from this?
- Who could you share this with for the sake of encouragement?
4. Re-read Matthew 21:12-13. Jesus was righteously angry, because the temple (the place where people went to meet with God, had been turned into a place of business and greed. Instead of worship of God being accessible, barriers had been put up. God wants to remove barriers that keep us apart from Him and all He has for us. What are the barriers between you and God? Is it a person who has hurt you? Is it a particular doubt that seems to plague your heart? Is it a particular regret that seems to haunt your mind?
5. Read Matthew 24:1-2. Jesus tells the disciples that this temple isn’t going to exist for much longer. That would have been VERY disturbing for them to hear. Temples, in most cultures, were where humans got to meet with the divine. But, Jesus was trying to show them (and had been trying during the whole time he was on earth) that the way to God was through a relationship with Him and not dependent on a place.
a. How does it feel to know that connection to God is yours through Jesus (you don’t have to clean yourself up to be accepted)?
b. Do you regularly connect with God, if so what does that look like for you?
6. Read Matthew 26:47-50. Jesus knew suffering. He lived a life that had much suffering including being betrayed by one of his closest friends. We try to protect ourselves and those we love from difficult things, but hard things could be exactly what we need to be ready for the great things God has for us.
a. Have you really ever stopped to consider just how much suffering and sadness Jesus went through to make a way for you to reconnect to God? What thoughts or emotions come up for you as you stop and consider this right now? How does it make you want to respond?
b. Are you willing to trust God through the suffering?
c. God wants us to lean into our faith and lean into our church family when we suffer. Have you done this before? If so, what happened?
7. Read Luke 23:34. This is Jesus’ heart toward those who crucified him, those who betrayed him, and even toward us today who choose to ignore Him and act as if we are our own God (putting my ways and will first in my life).
a. Have you received God’s forgiveness through Jesus? If not, what holds you back? Do you regularly extend forgiveness to others? What does that look like?
Matthew 21:12-17 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’ The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
Matthew 24:1-2 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; everyone will be thrown down.”
Matthew 26:47-50 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.
Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Spend some time each day this week following Jesus through this week we call Passion Week or Holy Week. Click on the attached guide to trace the steps of Jesus and his followers and work through the prompts to connect your heart to the heart of the one who gave everything for you. PASSION WEEK READING GUIDE
Want to keep learning? Here are a few resources related to the message today.
A message in Judas: https://www.ericbryant.org/2016/10/10/the-encounter-the-surrender/
The Bible Project on Exodus: https://youtu.be/0uf-PgW7rqE