As we begin the final phase of our study your group members should be developing as mature ministry leaders. In this phase, we recommend that you intentionally meet with each individual in your group to, convey your confidence in them, revisit certain lessons and principles, and (if you haven’t already) ensure that each is active in a ministry which reflects their unique strengths and gifts.
Our study today tackles the events on Palm Sunday found in Sections 128a,b.
You might like to revisit and share again the Holy Week Mini Series and handout for Palm Sunday. We’d also suggest that you generate a PDF and print out the Index for Phase 5d and encourage them to read the entire passion each month (or week) as you continue your weekly study.
Podcast: Coming Soon
Holy Week Mini Series Podcast:
Section 128a | Arrival at Bethany
Bathany, near Jerusalem
John 11:55-57; 12:1, 9-11
55 Now1 the Passover2 of the Jews was at hand3 . Many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.4 56 Then they5 sought for Jesus and spoke one with another, as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that he isn’t coming to the feast at all?” 57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had commanded that if anyone knew where he was, he should report it, that they might seize him.
1 Then six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany,6 where Lazarus was, who had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.7 9 A large crowd therefore of the Jews learned that he was there, and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests conspired to put Lazarus to death also,8 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.
Section 128b | Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
From Bethany to Jerusalem and back again
[one_fourth last=”no” class=”” id=””]Matthew 21:1-3,6-9,4-5.10-11,14-17
1 When they9 came near to Jerusalem, and came to Bethsphage, to the Mount of Olives,10 then Jesus sent two disciples,11 2 saying to them, “Go into the village12that is opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey13 tied, and a colt with her. Untie them, and bring them to me.
3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and immediately he will send them.”
6 The disciples went, and did just as Jesus commanded them,14
7 and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their clothes on them; and he sat on them.15 8 A very great multitude spread their clothes on the road. Others cut branches from the trees, and spread them on the road. 9 The multitudes who went in front of him, and those who followed, kept shouting, “Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, 5 “Tell the daughter of Zion, behold, your King comes to you,humble, and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”16
10 When he had come into Jerusalem, all the city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?”17 11 The multitudes said, “This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” 14 The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.18 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children who were crying in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” Jesus said to them,“Yes. Did you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing babies you have perfected praise?’ ”19 17 He left them, and went out of the city to Bethany, and camped there.[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth last=”no” class=”” id=””]Mark 11:1-11
1 When they came near to Jerusalem, to Bethsphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 2 and said to them, “Go your way into the village that is opposite you. Immediately as you enter into it, you will find a young donkey tied, on which no one has sat. Untie him, and bring him. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs him;’ and immediately he will send him back here.” 4 They went away, and found a young donkey tied at the door outside in the open street, and they untied him. 5 Some of those who stood there asked them, “What are you doing, untying the young donkey?” 6 They said to them just as Jesus had said, and they let them go. 7 They brought the young donkey to Jesus, and threw their garments on it, and Jesus sat on it. 8 Many spread their garments on the way, and others were cutting down branches from the trees, and spreading them on the road. 9 Those who went in front, and those who followed, cried out, “Hosanna!Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
11 Jesus entered into the temple in Jerusalem.
When he had looked around at everything, it being now evening, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth last=”no” class=”” id=””]Luke 19:29-44
29 When he came near to Bethsphageand Bethany, at the mountain that is called Olivet, he sent two of his disciples, 30 saying, “Go your way into the village on the other side, in which, as you enter, you will find a colt tied, which no man had ever sat upon. Untie it and bring it.
31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say to him: ‘The Lord needs it.’ ”
32 Those who were sent went away, and found things just as he had told them.
33 As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They said, “The Lord needs it.”
35 Then they brought it to Jesus. They threw their cloaks on the colt, and sat Jesus on them.
36 As he went, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was now getting near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works which they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees from the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” 40 He answered them, “I tell you that if these were silent, the stones would cry out.”20 41 When he came near, he saw the city and wept over it,21 42 saying, “If you, even you, had known today the things which belong to your peace! But now, they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come on you, when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, surround you, hem you in on every side, 44 and will dash you and your children within you to the ground. They will not leave in you one stone on another,22 because you didn’t know the time of your visitation.”[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth last=”yes” class=”” id=””]John 12:12-19
12 On the next day a great multitude had come to the feast. When they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
13 they took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet him, and cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!” 14 Jesus, having found a young donkey, sat on it. As it is written, 15 “Don’t be afraid, daughter of Zion. Behold, your King comes, sitting on a donkey’s colt.”
16 His disciples didn’t understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified,23 then they remembered that these things were written about him, and that they had done these things to him. 17 The multitude therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead was testifying about it. 18 For this cause also the multitude went and met him, because they heard that he had done this sign. 19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “See how you accomplish nothing. Behold, the world has gone after him.”[/one_fourth]
- What is your impression of the events in today’s Bible story? What are your church memories of Palm Sunday? What might you have been doing and feeling if you were present?
- What is it to trust in the Lordship of Jesus? More than to obey, what does it mean for Jesus to be the Lord of your life?
- Given the nature of Jesus, what is his authority? What authority has he given us?
- Have you ever had the experience of God telling you to do something and when you did things worked out just he way he promised, or just as important as it seemed?
- What does it mean to “glorify Christ”? How do you do that?
- How is Jesus’ nature, character and destiny exhibited throughout the events on Palm Sunday?
- In the Harmony the preceding vs 54 is found back in §119 which should be read as you study this passage.
- This would have been the fourth Passover since the beginning of Christ’s public ministry. The Month of Nisan was the beginning of the Biblical calendar. Before the Babylonian Captivity the OT sometimes refers to the month as Abib, however, both Abib and Nisan refer to the same month. Scholars say it was the 10th of Nisan – the day that Jewish families there would have selected their Passover lambs as the sacrifice for each member of their household. Aurthur Blessitt writes “Every devout religious Jew was to be at least ‘three’ times a year Jerusalem. “Three times in the year all your men shall appear before the Lord, the Lord God of Israel”. (Exodus 34: 23) Foremost among the many religious feasts was the ‘Passover’. Surely both Mary and Jesus attended the yearly Passover. Remember in Jesus public ministry of 3 years He was once at “Feast of Booths” (John 7:2) in Jerusalem and once He was at the “Feast of Dedication” (John 10:22-39). He was in Jerusalem during that 3-year period at least three times for the “Passover” (John 2:13-22; John 5:1-47; John 12: 12-19). You have Jesus during His 3 year public ministry making ‘at least’ five separate trips to Jerusalem from Galilee. Under the law He would have made at least 9 trips to Jerusalem from Galilee. Five are listed but four are not spoken about yet surly He made them as required by the law.” Thomas & Gundry assert (Essay 11) that the first Passover Jesus celebrated during his public ministry was in AD27 (§18), then AD28 (not mentioned in the Gospels but calculated as months after Jesus’ statement in Jn 4:35 (§35c) and six months before the Feast of the Tabernacles (Jn 5:1, §49a) then in AD29 (§72c), and his final Passover in AD30. In this regard with the dates of his life explained in Essay 10 we see his public ministry was over a period of 3.5 years, ending in AD30 (with an alternative less favored date of AD33).
- The Passover would take place in six days. This was the appointed time for Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for the propitiation of humanity. The events of the week clarified who there was for him and who was against him. True believers today don’t struggle with the fulfillment of these prophetic events events. The facts have stood the test of time, the ongoing errancy, arrogance, and violence of humanity have not blotted out the effect of Jesus’ sacrifice but proven its metal.
- The expositor John Gill suggests that the reason for this purification is that they had touched a dead man (ahem Lazarus!) CR Num 9:6.
- Perhaps some for a blessing and learning (Jn 12:9) but others (Jn 11:57) certainly sought to find Jesus because the chief priests and the Pharisees had commanded that anyone getting word of the whereabouts of Jesus should inform them so that they might arrest and kill him, putting an end to him and scatter his followers in fear.
- about two miles from Jerusalem. This was most likely at the house of Simon the leper (§141: Mt 26:6; Mk 14:3) where Jesus Mary soothed and anointed Jesus on Wednesday later the same week. Lazarus also appears to be an honored guest at the home. Though the Harmony places §141 Jn 12:2-8 we suspect that Martha was also present during the festivities and meal on Palm Sunday helping serve as is true to her nature (CR §104 Lk 10:38-42).
- Read the story in §118a,b.
- It seems that they were “hell bent” ready to put an end to Jesus and his followers – especially Lazarus who’s miraculous life was testimony to Jesus’ power that greatly surpasses anything they lot of them were able to demonstrate.
- Jesus, the Apostles, his disciples and a multitude of people who had found him there in Bethany where I suspect they sat listening for days on end to his teachings and the adventurous stories told by the Apostles.
- See the HBR handout for Palm Sunday
- There is no telling which two disciples he sent. Some suggest it could have been Peter and John because Jesus sent them (on Maundy Thursday) to prepare the Passover (§143 Luke 22:8).
- The village would not have been Jerusalem (a city) but either Bethany, Bethphage or perhaps even Nob – a sacerdotal village which would have been befitting for Jesus the High Priest (Heb 4:14-15; 5:6; 6:20; 7:11, 15, 25-26; 9:12-14, 24; 10:12). The exact location of Nob is still disputed but by some accounts it sat on a peaked hill, just east of Shafat, two miles north within eyesight of Jerusalem.
- This was to fulfill the ancient prophesy in Zech. 9:9 a symbolic message pronouncing himself publicly as the King of Zion, something which the people recognized as they shouted out “Blessed is the King!” (vs 9 and parallel passages in Mark, Luke, and John.
- The disciples had witnessed before the omniscience of Christ (Jn 1:48; 13:11; 16:30; Mt 9:4; 12:25; Mk 2:8; Lk 6:8; and later Jn 21:17; Mt 22:18; Rev 2:23 (CR Jer 17:10)) and they had no reason to doubt him or delay. They went straight away, and doing what he said the events unfolded just as he said they would (Mk 11:5-6).
- Though Jesus had been to Jerusalem a number of times as far as we know this is the only time in which He rode an animal of any sort into Jerusalem. Jesus, Yeshua is the Lamb of God (Jn 1:29) . His person and work were portrayed through the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb. Interestingly, in those days the Jewish people there having selected their sacrificial lambs would have left them there with the priests from the 10th day of the month until the 14th so that the lamb could be examined to see that it was without spot or blemish. In the same way, Yeshua, God’s Passover Lamb was examined in the Temple by the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians (§132a– 137b who having heard the truth were still determined to put him to death (§140).
- CR Isa 62:11; Zech 9:9-10.
- Though Jesus had traveled throughout Israel teaching, blessing and healing countless people there where many who still had not heard. CR Great Commission.
- What a marvel, amidst the jeering and plots of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians Jesus was well composed, compassionate and able to heal many more.See Jesus the Healer and His Miracles.
- Jesus is quoting Ps 8:2; 29:1; Isa 13:3.
- Either against them (Mt 27:51-54), or in a declaration of the Glory of the Messiah. CR Isa 55:12; Ps 98:7-9
- At this time his weeping was not over his own sure death and sacrifice for which he came, but for those people like these priests who would still not believe nor receive the blessings he is able to impart to all those then and now who believe, trust and honor his every word.
- CR Dan 9:27; Eze 22:26; 2Chr 36:16; 1Kings 9:7-8; Micah 3:12.
- After Jesus having been crucified (§164) rose from the dead (§170), (walked out of the tomb (§171), taught them for 40 days (§173–183) and then ascended to heaven where he was crowned with glory and honor (§184) (and then sent the Holy Spirit to infill and empower every believer today to continue the ministry of reconciliation) where he rests still now sitting at the right hand of God the Father as our advocate, pascal lamb and great high priest (1Jn 2:1; 1Tm 2:5; Rm 8:34; Tit 2:11-13; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 7:24-26, 9:24; 1Pt 3:18).