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[Series?]: Great Expectations Matthew 21:1-11 and John 12:12-19
1. Close Reading: After praying for God to enlighten your mind, read through Matthew 21:1-11 and John 12:12-19 a couple times, slowly. Look for these three things: LIGHTBULB – something that shines from the passage, draws your attention; QUESTION MARK – something difficult to understand; ARROW – a personal application. Share the results of your study with your group.
2. Hosanna: The crowds shouted, “Hosanna!” as Jesus entered Jerusalem, meaning, ‘Save us!’ What did they hope Jesus would save them from (Luke 19:11)? While such a deliverance will be accomplished some day (Dan. 2:31-35, 44-45), what deliverance must be performed first (Matt. 1:21)? Have you ever got stuck waiting for God to do one thing, when He was in fact calling you to cling to faith in your unanswered prayers and to move in completely different direction?
3. King rides a donkey: The context of Jesus’ fulfilled prophecy about mounting a donkey does speak to national deliverance (Zech. 9:9-10), but, at his first coming, Jesus was intent to teach the upside-down kingdom principle of humility. This characteristic was perfectly exemplified in the King (Mark 10:45; Phil. 2:5-11), and should be reflected in His subjects too (Matt. 5:5; John 13:14-15; Phil. 2:3). Where in your daily life do you struggle most to live out this upside-down life – where everything in you is pulling you rightside-up again?
4. Israel’s Tragedy: The Triumphal Entry was a kind of last chance presentation of the King to Israel – it didn’t go well for Israel… Jesus wept over their hardness of heart (Matt. 23:37-39; Luke 19:41-44), overturned the tables of their false worship (Luke 19:45-46), and temporarily revoked their privilege as a kingdom of priests (Matt. 21:33, 43). Kingdom privileges belong to those who produce kingdom fruit. Are there areas of your life which have grown weeds and need pruning so that the King / Gardener can renew your fruitfulness?