Lesson 12

Jesus in Jerusalem

(Luke 19, 20 & 22)
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Introduction: Luke 19:28 starts out "After Jesus had said this." What had Jesus had just said? The story we studied two weeks ago about the servants, the minas and executions! Recall that Jesus rewarded those who were diligent, and even gave the fellow with the most wealth the mina of the lazy servant! Then the king's enemies were killed. It was not a typical Jesus' story, but it is the lead into our study of Jesus' last week on earth. Is there a connection? Let's dig into our study of the Bible and find out!

  1. Jesus Entering as King


    1. Read Luke 19:29-31. How would you feel if you were stealing a horse and your excuse was "The Lord needs it?" (I would take confidence in the fact that Jesus knew all about this horse (colt) and therefore He would know about anyone who would challenge me.)


    2. Read Luke 19:32-36. This unusual request works out perfectly! But then some other bizarre thing starts happening: people are spreading their clothes on the ground for Jesus to ride over. Why do that?


    3. Read 2 Kings 9:12-13. What is the crowd thinking? (Not only do the colt owners recognize that Jesus is Lord, but we see that the people, by spreading their clothes on the ground, are recognizing that Jesus is King!)


    4. Read Zechariah 9:9-10. How is this related to the minas' story? (Part of that story was the opposition to the future king, and his triumph by killing those who opposed him. This is a prophecy about the future King.)


    5. Read Luke 19:37-39. Why should Jesus rebuke His disciples? (Read Matthew 21:9. The parallel record affirms that Jesus' disciples are proclaiming Jesus is Messiah and their promised Lord and King! This was not just blasphemy, it would be seen as insurrection against the Romans!)


    6. Read Luke 19:40. How does Jesus handle this problem? (He endorses what the crowd is doing. He says that nature would continue the praises if the disciples were stopped.)


      1. How do you think the disciples viewed this? (Imagine how excited they are! What they had hoped would happen (Jesus becoming King) is finally taking place!)


    7. Read Luke 19:41-44. Read this back into Luke 19:27. What is the attitude of the King over the destruction of His enemies? (Jesus cries! This corrects our assumptions about the end of the minas' story!)


      1. How does Jesus say things could have been different? (If they had recognized Jesus as their Messiah, they could have known peace and not destruction.)


        1. Is this a message for us today?


  2. Money Changers.


    1. Read Luke 19:45 and Matthew 21:12. Luke tells us that Jesus was "driving out" those who were selling, and Matthew tells us that He was turning tables and benches upside down. This seems violent, do you agree?


    2. Read Luke 19:46. What does this suggest the "sellers" were doing? (Robbing people. Without going into the details, there was a special temple coin that was needed by visitors and sacrifices could be purchased. These "sellers" were providing a service, but they were dishonest in their dealings with those who had come to worship God.)


      1. How do you feel when you have been cheated? Can you see how the temple visitors would be focused on having been cheated as opposed to focused on prayer?


    3. Read Luke 19:47-48. Why don't the religious leaders appreciate Jesus' reforms? (The fact that they wanted to kill Jesus shows how involved they were in the dishonest practices. If the people resented being robbed, and that dishonesty tainted their religious experience, responsibility for this rested at the highest levels.)


    4. Read Luke 20:1-2. Who do you think the chief priests thought were the proper authorities? (They were!)


      1. Why are they reduced to asking questions? Why not assert their authority? (This gets back to Luke 19:48 - Jesus was extremely popular with the people.)


      2. What are the "things" for which Jesus needs authority? (Violently overturning the tables and benches of the sellers.)


        1. Put yourself in the place of a religious leader. Do you want to defend theft? What do you think the ordinary people think about the dishonest practices of the sellers? (Suddenly, we have a better view of the reason why the religious leaders are reduced to asking questions. Jesus has them in a tough spot. Murder is their best answer.)


    5. Read Luke 20:3-8. What would be wrong with saying that John the Baptist was a prophet? (Read John 1:29. John said that Jesus was the Messiah! The issue of the religious leaders not believing John had to do with what John said about the authority of Jesus.)


      1. Why didn't Jesus want to directly say the source of His authority? (That would raise the blasphemy issue again.)


    1. Think about the last few verses about overturning the tables and the discussion of authority. Why was Jesus spending His precious last hours on this kind of activity? (Think first about the big symbolic picture. Jesus is about to become, as John predicted in John 1:29, the sacrificial lamb that takes away the sin of the world. This reflects the Day of Atonement, when the temple was cleansed of sin. Thus, Jesus is removing sin from the temple just before His death - a picture that the people will be sure to remember. In the smaller picture, the people can focus on Jesus' teaching rather than the commerce and cheating that previously distracted the people.)


  1. The Vineyard


    1. Read Luke 20:9-15. How does this compare with the servants and mina story in Luke 19:12-27? (The Jesus figure in the mina story triumphs. The Jesus figure in the vineyard story dies.)


      1. Why does Jesus tell this second story about the vineyard? (He will die before He triumphs.)


    2. Read Luke 20:16. Notice that Jesus answers His own question: The owner of the vineyard will kill those who killed His Son. When the people respond, "May this never be," what are they talking about? (I think the murder of the son.)


    3. Read Luke 20:17-19. We know for some time now the Jewish leaders were looking for a way to kill Jesus. What warning is He giving them? (He has now told two stories (the mina and the vineyard stories)in which those who resisted the king died. Now in Luke 20:18 Jesus says His enemies will be crushed.)


      1. Why do you think the Jewish leaders continued to seek to kill Jesus?


      2. Notice something here. The Jewish rulers were afraid of the people. What should they have remembered? (In Luke 12:4-5 Jesus told them to fear God rather than people. People can just kill you. God "has power to throw you into hell.")


  2. Last Supper


    1. Read Luke 22:14-21. When the disciples heard about the Kingdom of God coming, what do think they thought Jesus meant? (Read Luke 22:24. They want Jesus to become King and they will be His rulers. However, Jesus has said some troubling things about the future.)


      1. What do you think the disciples concluded about a betrayer being present at the table? (This is more troubling stuff.)


      2. What do you think the betrayer thought? (Likely that he was doing Jesus a favor. He would force Jesus to become King - and then he would take credit for forcing the matter.)


    2. Read Luke 22:31-33. What does this show about the thinking of the disciples? (They (or at least Simon Peter) got the message that Jesus was in for a very difficult time - notwithstanding His entry into town as King and Messiah.)


    3. Friend, are you open to God's warnings? There is always the message that we want to hear, and the message that we would rather not think about. Ask Jesus today to make His will clear to you and to keep your heart open to listen so that you will be in line with God's Kingdom.


  3. Next week: Crucified and Risen.

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