Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem

I've gotten a little behind between Easter and a few other things, so here is our session from two weeks ago. Our passages (Matthew 21:1-11 and 21:12-17) bring us to some familiar scenes which we come across each year in the lead up to Easter. Yet these opening scenes in Jerusalem are packed with meaning that is only revealed when we look back to the Old Testament scriptures so familiar to the gospel writers. 

  • To prepare for our Matthew passages read Zechariah 9:9-17 (quoted from in Matt. 21:5); Psalm 118 (quoted in 21:9); Isaiah 56:1-8 and Jeremiah 7:1-15 (both quoted in 21:13). How do these Old Testament passages you read affect how you understand the two scenes in Matthew?
  • Read Matthew 21:1-11. While this scene is incredibly familiar try to read it with fresh eyes. What stands out to you? Note that the same crowds that welcome Jesus in this scene will reject him on Good Friday. How often do we welcome Jesus at certain times and then turn around and reject him at others?
  • Read Matthew 21:12-17. How does this Jesus, who confronts and overturns tables, fit with your image of Jesus? Are there times when we may be called to be prophetic and speak out against wrong, turn over tables and make a disturbance to draw attention to things that need to be dealt with? How would we react if Jesus came into our Temple and called it a “den of thieves” something we use to avoid changing our bad behaviour?

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