Family Bible Study lesson for June 3: Devoted to the King
May 18 2001 by Catherine Painter , Matthew 21:1-17

Family Bible Study lesson for June 3: Devoted to the King | Friday, May 18, 2001

Friday, May 18, 2001

Family Bible Study lesson for June 3: Devoted to the King

By Catherine Painter Matthew 21:1-17 The first day on the job," Jeremy recounted, "the men invited me to lunch. They stopped at a topless bar. I declined and waited in the car. Afterward, I became 'goody-goody' and the butt of their jokes." Later, the boss called him in. "I've started your demotion process," the boss sneered. "Stick around and you'll soon be sweeping floors!"

Jeremy contacted a job agency. He was dejected.

Who has not been scorned for not blending with the crowd when following Christ? How many ministers have "turned their faces toward Jerusalem" rather than forsake their calling for some troublefree "Galilee" (Matt. 20:18; Luke 9:51)?

During childhood I often read the last chapter of a book when my hero encountered trouble. Knowing the happy ending provided strength for conflict. Jesus' early followers couldn't flip to the end to know His road to Jerusalem would become their road to redemption.

We miss the grandeur of Jesus' choice if we think. He was forced to make it. He could have stayed in Galilee, avoiding Jewish authorities. Instead, Jesus entered on a donkey, signifying peace. It was a decision made in the beginning with God to fulfill Zechariah's prophecy in every detail (Zech. 9:9).

Jesus sends two disciples to secure a colt and its mother with a simple password: "the Lord has need of them" (21:3 NAS). We wonder whether Jesus' password is still in effect as we consider our gifts, talents and tithes - "the Lord has need of them."

Praising the King (Matt. 21:6-11) Courageous Jesus, the most wanted man in Israel (John 11:57) enters to shouts of "Hosanna!," meaning "save now!" Spiritually insensitive, they miss seeing the cross upon His heart and fail to recognize the Redeemer-Creator in their midst. From lowest to highest "the whole city was stirred" (v.10), as is every city where people rise to His level of thought and action.

Understanding the King (Matt. 21:12-13) Noisy dickering greets His entrance to the temple. Not removing idol worshipers, only idols themselves, He overturns tables, watching as traders scramble for coins bouncing around on the stone floor. What would He overturn in today's church? Does he find His followers seeking the lost (Matt. 29:1920), or keeping the wheels turning? A house of prayer (v.l3) or a house of bingo and bake sales?

Responding to the King (Matt. 21:14-16) Crowds receive Jesus' words and healing and children openly praise, but Pharisees shake their heads.

What little child does not love Jesus when told about Him? Our Lord condemns the sordid work of those who silence the freshness of a child's praise (Matt. 18:5-6). Equally sad are Christians who allow their earlier enthusiasm to be dulled by age or materialism.

I study faces in that Passover crowd and think I spy my own. Am I following or applauding? Cheering or jeering? I long to cry, "Jesus, I'm riding with you!" but the warning comes, "... let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor. 10:12 KJV).

Applause comes easy. At my wedding it was easy to smile, look pretty and smell good to the "happily ever afters." It was waking the next day to my husband's stubby beard and learning to make money stretch when the following through began.

No doubt the crowd pounded each other on the back, assuming Jesus would bring quick fixes to national problems. No so! In the beginning God took man into partnership, giving him dominion, and He won't go back on that (Gen. 1:26). "What? You're God, and You won't fix things for us? Then away with hosannas - CRUCIFY!"

Jesus is not surprised. We call it fickleness of the crowd. Jesus calls it what it is - consistency of the flesh. The week passes. We hear hammering on Calvary. But we've read the last chapter. "Ride on, King Jesus!" we shout. "Ride on to die, and win the crown!"

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5/18/2001 12:00:00 AM by Catherine Painter , Matthew 21:1-17 | with 0 comments
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