Grow Groups 3/27/2024

March 24, 2024   /   Pastor Jeff Weidenmeyer   /   JamestownFirstAssembly

Something to Talk About

PALM SUNDAY

Week of January MARCH 24-30

Grow Groups Sermon Discussion Guide

PREPERATION FOR CHRIST

Matthew 21:1-17

 

INTRODUCTION:

We all prepare for things in our own way. What kind of preparation do you go through to take a family trip? What is the easiest part and what is the most difficult?

What kind of preparation have you gone through to prepare for the return of Christ? What has been easy to do and what has been most difficult?

 

 

TEXT:

Matthew 21:1-17 (NIV) 1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

5 “Say to the Daughter of Zion,

`See, your king comes to you,

gentle and riding on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ “

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

12 Jesus entered the temple area 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. 13 “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.’ “

14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

16 “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 have ordained praise’ ?”

17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

What stands out to you in these verses?

 

Highlight and Background:

It is Passover time—which corresponds with Easter—and this is a particularly sacred time in the Jewish calendar. During this season thousands of people would converge on Jerusalem. Jewish law was that every male within 20 miles of Jerusalem must come to Passover; thousands more from every corner of the world would also make the journey there every year. As Passover approached, Jesus and his disciples prepared to go to Jerusalem.

At this point Jesus was at the peak of his popularity. For the last three years he had been traveling throughout the area preaching and teaching and healing people, and word about him had spread like wildfire. Now that people had come to Jerusalem from all over the world, they were eager to see this “new prophet.”

As Jesus prepared for His entry into Jerusalem. He sent some of his disciples into a nearby village to get a donkey and a colt, and he rode them through the streets of Jerusalem. This was not insignificant; it was the fulfillment of a prophecy from the Old Testament book of Zechariah. Matthew quotes it verse 5…

Matthew 21:5 (NIV) Say to the Daughter of Zion, “See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

What do you think it was like that day to be in the crowd?

It is obvious, that Jesus knew what He was going to face in the city of Jerusalem. There is great symbolism in the culture of Jesus’ day – to ride into the city on a colt, rather than to walk was a public declaration that He was a King. You see, in times of war the conqueror would ride upon a prancing stallion. But in times of peace, the king would ride a colt to symbolize that peace prevailed. So, for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem upon a colt is to declare that He is the “King of Peace.”

As Jesus entered Jerusalem, a large crowd gathered. Some spread their cloaks on the road, others spread palm branches—and as Jesus’ rode through the streets they followed him, shouting…

Matthew 21:9 (NIIV) “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!”

Do you have anything right now in your life to praise the Lord for? Let’s hear it!

 

 

Four statements we need to live to be ready for Christ soon return:

1. SAVE US

Matthew 21:9 (NIV) “Hosanna!”

The word “hosanna” means, literally, “God save us.” These people were acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah, as the one who would save the people of Israel. They saw him as their Savior—they just didn’t know at this point what that meant. They saw Him as political liberator not necessarily as soul savior. They saw Him as one who would over through the Roman government. But He came to be ruler of our hearts!

Are there any similarities today with how people see Jesus? Why do you think that is?

Why did the people of that day want political liberation? Do people today want to use Christianity for political purposes?

What was Christ’s stated purpose?

Why do people struggle with Christ being the ruler of their hearts?

Have you called out to Hosanna in your life?

 

 

2. CLEANSE US

Ephesians 5:25-27 (NIV) “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

What do these verses say about the cleansing we need?

What is meant by being “holy and blameless?”

2 Peter 3:14 (NIV) “Dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.”

Why is it important to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Christ at his return?

What do you know about the return of Christ? How important is His return to how we live our lives?

Matthew 21:12 (NIV) Jesus entered the temple area 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.

What was going on here?

Matthew 21:13 (NIV) “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.'”

Jesus will not ignore corruption or hypocrisy, either in the system or in people’s lives—especially when it comes to matters of faith. Why do you think this is so important for a fully devoted follower of Christ to understand this?

If Jesus came into the temple of my life, what tables would he overturn? What elements of my life would he want to drive out? In what areas of my life have I made an alliance with corruption that goes against the grain of what he has called me to be?

 

 

3. HEAR US

Matthew 21:15-16 (NIV) But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.

Why did they become indignant with the children?

Matthew 21:16 (NIV) “Yes,” Jesus replied, “have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?”

Jesus was quoting Psalm 8:2 here and this is what he wants to hear from us—Praise. How do we live a lifestyle of praise?

Deuteronomy 32:3 (NIV) I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh praise the greatness of our God!

1 Chronicles 16:25 (NIV) Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise.

Psalm 96:2 (NIV) Sing to the Lord, praise his name. Proclaim his salvation day after day.

Hebrews 13:15 (NIV) Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess his name.

We are to EXALT, WORSHIP, HONOR GOD. Any thoughts on this?

Do you ever feel unworthy to praise? What should we do when we feel this way? Why?

 

 

4. USE US

Matthew 21:14 (NIV) The blind and the lame came into the temple, and he healed them.

Where did these people get healed?

People’s needs are important to God! How can we best get them into God’s presence?

Jesus came to Luke 19:10 (NIV) Seek and save the lost

He sent us to do the same, John 20:21 (NIV) As the father has sent me, I am now sending you…

What should we be about according to these verses?

How do you best fulfill these verses in your life?

Matthew 21:14 (NIV) The blind and the lame came into the temple, and he healed them.

Who could you bring next week that needs to be touched by Jesus?

CONCLUSION:

What are you most challenged with out of this lesson?

 

 

PRAYER:

How can we pray for you tonight?

 

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