Signs for the Saints

Today we begin studying what is often called the Olivet Discourse, which Jesus spoke on Tuesday of Holy Week, the pharisees had just passed their final judgement on Jesus, and now he offers a prophetic teaching of the final days and future glory. This section of Scripture will help us explore and understand the relationship of the destruction of the temple to the second coming, the nature of the future Kingdom, the signs of His second coming, and of the end of the age.  Our study over the next couple of weeks should compel each of us to be prepared, alert, and actively serving the Lord with anticipation of His coming.



Section 139a | Setting of the Discourse

From the temple to the Mount of Olives
[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Matthew 24:1-3 
Jesus went out from the temple,1  and was going on his way. His disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. 2 But he answered them,“You see all of these things, don’t you? Most certainly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone on another, that will not be thrown down.”2 As he sat on the Mount of Olives,3 the disciples4 came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?” [/one_third]
[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Mark 13:1-4 
1 As he went out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Teacher, see what kind of stones5 and what kind of buildings!” 2 Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone on another, which will not be thrown down.” 3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple,6 Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately,7 “Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign that these things are all about to be fulfilled?” [/one_third]
[one_third last=”yes” class=”” id=””]Luke 21:5-7 
5 As some were talking about the temple and how it was decorated with beautiful stones and gifts, he said, “As for these things which you see, the days will come, in which there will not be left here one stone on another that will not be thrown down.”8 

7 They asked him, “Teacher, so when will these things be? What is the sign that these things are about to happen?”9 [/one_third]

Section 139b | Beginning of Birth Pains

Mount of Olives
[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Matthew 24:4-14 
Jesus answered them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will lead many astray.10 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars.11  See that you aren’t troubled, for all this must happen, but the end is not yet.12 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are the beginning of birth pains.13       

9 Then they will deliver you up to oppression, and will kill you. You will be hated by all of the nations for my name’s sake. 10 Then many will stumble, and will deliver up one another, and will hate one another.







11 Many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray. 12 Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end will be saved. 14 This Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. [/one_third]
[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Mark 13:5-13 
Jesus, answering, began to tell them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and will lead many astray. 7 “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, don’t be troubled. For those must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places. There will be famines and troubles. These things are the beginning of birth pains.

But watch yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils. You will be beaten in synagogues. You will stand before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony to them.

10 The Good News must first be preached to all the nations. 11 When they lead you away and deliver you up, don’t be anxious beforehand, or premeditate what you will say, but say whatever will be given you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 “Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child. Children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. 13 You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake,


but he who endures to the end will be saved.[/one_third]
[one_third last=”yes” class=”” id=””]Luke 21:8-19 
He said, “Watch out that you don’t get led astray, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is at hand.’ Therefore don’t follow them. When you hear of wars and disturbances, don’t be terrified, for these things must happen first, but the end won’t come immediately.” 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines, and plagues in various places. There will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you up to synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 It will turn out as a testimony for you. 

14 Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to withstand or to contradict. 16 You will be handed over even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. They will cause some of you to be put to death. 17 You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake. 18 And not a hair of your head will perish. 19 “By your endurance you will win your lives.[/one_third]

Group Dialogue

  1. What answers did Jesus offer to the three questions the disciples were asking?
  2. Jesus says that his disciples then and now will face various forms of deception. How would you define deception? How can each of us as individuals, a small group, a church prepare ourselves so that we don’t fall prey to these deceptions?
  3. Why and how do we grow apart from the Lord when we first express such love and claim such devotion? Why is it that we begin to place our trust elsewhere? What are the effects of the change?
  4. How can (should) our trust in God’s plan, and faith in Jesus affect our daily actions, emotions and decisions?
  5. Do you think you place more trust in Christ and the Scriptures or in things or circumstances that surely won’t last? What are some of those temporal things?; good things (family, home, job); religious things (clergy, buildings, programs, traditions, doctrine) that you think you need to realign?
  6. Are you ready for whatever may come in your life, in our nation, and in the world?
  7. What work does Jesus say we His disciples must be about? Does this commandment remind you of other Scripture passages?


5d Five

Integrity and Devotion

Seven woes and the widow’s offering are the texts in our study today. The majority of our reading comes from Matthew which makes sense as we recall that he was presenting the compelling case of the Gospel primarily to Jewish readers.  The lessons in this brief reading concerning integrity, and devotion are essential to the life of every disciple so that we ourselves should not fall prey to nor become false spiritual leaders.

Mini-series 15 min Podcast:

60 min Podcast: coming soon

Section 137a | Seven Woes against Teachers of the Law and Pharisees

Jerusalem, in the temple
[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Matthew 23:1-36
Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples,1 saying,

“The scribes and the Pharisees sat on Moses’ seat.2  All things therefore whatever they tell you to observe, observe and do, but don’t do their works; for they say, and don’t do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens that are grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not lift a finger to help them. 5 But they do all their works to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad, enlarge the fringes of their garments, and love the place of honor at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 the salutations in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi, Rabbi’ by men. 8 But don’t you be called ‘Rabbi,’ for one is your teacher, the Christ, and all of you are brothers. 9 Call no man on the earth your father, for one is your Father, he who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called masters, for one is your master, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you will be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. 13 “Woe to you,3 scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!4 For you devour widows’ houses,5 and as a pretense you make long prayers.6  Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.7[/one_third]
[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Mark 12:38-40
38 In his teaching he said to them,“Beware of the scribes,







who like to walk in long robes, and to get greetings in the marketplaces, 39 and the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts:






40 those who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”[/one_third]
[one_third last=”yes” class=”” id=””]Luke 20:45-47
45 In the hearing of all the people, he said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of those scribes






who like to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts;







47 who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: these will receive greater condemnation.”[/one_third]Matthew 23:14 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for you don’t enter in yourselves, neither do you allow those who are entering in to enter.8 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel around by sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of Gehennaas yourselves.9  16 “Woe to you, you blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obligated.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 18 ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obligated?’ 19 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifies the gift?10  20 He therefore who swears by the altar, swears by it, and by everything on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it, and by him who has been living in it. 22 He who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God, and by him who sits on it. 23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith.11  But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel! 12 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and unrighteousness. 26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the platter, that its outside may become clean also.13  27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitened tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.14 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.15   29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and decorate the tombs of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we wouldn’t have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Therefore you testify to yourselves that you are children of those who killed the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you offspring of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of Gehenna? 34 Therefore behold, I send to you prophets, wise men, and scribes. Some of them you will kill and crucify; and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city; 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom you killed between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Most certainly I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Section 137b | Jesus’ Sorrow over Jerusalem

Jerusalem, in the temple
Matthew 23:37-39
37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to her! How often I would have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not! 38 Behold, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me from now on, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”

Section 138 | A Poor Widow’s Gift of All She Had

Jerusalem, in the temple
[one_half last=”no” class=”” id=””]Mark 12:41-44
41 Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and saw how the multitude cast money16 into the treasury. Many who were rich cast in much. 42 A poor widow came,17 and she cast in two small brass coins, which equal a quadrans coin. 43 He called his disciples to himself, and said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, this poor widow gave more than all those who are giving into the treasury, 44 for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on.”[/one_half]
[one_half last=”yes” class=”” id=””]Luke 21:1-4
He looked up and saw the rich people who were putting their gifts into the treasury. He saw a certain poor widow casting in two small brass coins.

3 He said,“Truly I tell you, this poor widow put in more than all of them, for all these put in gifts for God from their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, put in all that she had to live on.”[/one_half]

Group Dialogue:

  1. Identify the seven woes and compare with the activity, devotion and readiness of Ezra (Neh 8:1-8) which happened fewer than 500 years before.
  2. What is it within religious members and leaders that breeds insipid religion? (Jer 5:31)
  3. How have liberalism and conservatism both obscured the path to heaven in recent times? What then is the solution?
  4. Are there people in your life and circle of friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances who are searching for answers in life, freedom from addictions, mercy and forgiveness, and confidence that they will be comforted in the afterlife? How might you as a disciple help them find peace, power, and an abundant life in Christ?
  5. How has your own life been transformed by the Gospel and your soul empowered to demonstrate: justice, mercy, and faith? How have you see this lived out over the past month?
  6. The Scriptures encourage us to care for the widow, the poor, the fatherless and the stranger. In what ways have you or your church, or small group aimed to do justice and show mercy to these?
  7. How we give, the attitude and thoughts we have are an indicator of our true values, love, beliefs and priorities. What have you learned about yourself  in your giving, saving, and spending?

Study Notes:

5d Five Uncategorized

We Want To See Jesus

Today we will be studying part 2 of 2 on Holy Monday, the events of which are only found in John’s Gospel account. The lesson is of utmost importance, and especially to people on the fence, those who have not fully engaged with the Gospel message, or allowed their lives to be transformed by a Gospel-centered world view.

Holy Week Mini-Series Podcast:

60 min Podcast: Coming soon

Section 130a | The Request of some Greeks to see Jesus

John 12:20-36a
20 Now1 there were certain Greeks2 among those that went up to worship at the feast.3 21 These, therefore, came to Philip,4 who was from Bethsaida of Galilee,5 and asked him, saying, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.”6  22 Philip came and told Andrew,7 and in turn, Andrew came with Philip, and they told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered8 them, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Most certainly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat9 falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.10 25 He who loves his life will lose it.11 He who hates his life12 in this world will keep it to eternal life. 26  If anyone serves me, let him follow me. Where I am, there my servant will also be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.13   27 “Now my soul is troubled. What shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this time?’ But I came to this time for this cause.14  28 Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came out of the sky, saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”15  29 Therefore the multitude who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”16  30 Jesus answered, “This voice hasn’t come for my sake, but for your sakes.17  31 Now is the judgment of this world.18 Now the prince of this world will be cast out.19 32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”20 33 But he said this, signifying by what kind of death he should die. 34 The multitude answered him, “We have heard out of the law that the Christ remains forever. 21How do you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up?’ Who is this Son of Man?” 35 Jesus therefore said to them, “Yet a little while the light is with you.22 Walk while you have the light, that darkness doesn’t overtake you. He who walks in the darkness doesn’t know where he is going. 36a While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become children of light.”

Section 130b | Different Responses to Jesus and His response to the Crowds

John 12:36b-50
36b Jesus said these things, and he departed and hid himself from them. 37 But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they didn’t believe in him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke,“Lord, who has believed our report? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 For this cause they couldn’t believe, for Isaiah said again, 40 “He has blinded their eyes and he hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and would turn, and I would heal them.” 41 Isaiah said these things when he saw his glory, and spoke of him. 42 Nevertheless even many of the rulers believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they didn’t confess it, so that they wouldn’t be put out of the synagogue, 43 for they loved men’s praise more than God’s praise. 44 Jesus cried out and said,“Whoever believes in me, believes not in me, but in him who sent me. 45 He who sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness. 47 If anyone listens to my sayings, and doesn’t believe, I don’t judge him. For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He who rejects me, and doesn’t receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke will judge him in the last day. 49 For I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 I know that his commandment is eternal life. The things therefore which I speak, even as the Father has said to me, so I speak.”

Group Dialog:

  1. As in the Sorites paradox you must admit the presence of a heap sooner or later, so when do you truly become a follower of Christ?
  2. What is it that you value most in life? What would utterly change the meaning of your life if you possessed it?
  3. Failing to practice self denial can cost you plenty: your legacy, as well your own well being and that of others.  What ways have you denied yourself pleasures and gained a greater blessing or spared yourself and other pain, and death?
  4. Having eternal life (salvation through faith) is not the end all goal – It is a new beginning. How does one continue to grow spiritually and gain life that is more abundant (John 10:10)? What godly work began after you became a disciple? What else had to transpire before you were prepared for that service?


We would see Jesus Author: Anna Bartlett Warner (1852); Tune: “Consolation” (Mendelssohn)
(verses 1,2 used in our closing prayer)  


5d Five

The Fig Tree and the Temple

The fig tree – It was one of the most important and recognized trees in Israel. It was a staple food and stories of its value and peril have been woven into Scripture since the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:7). In today’s study we will tackle the morning events on Holy Monday including: a fruitless fig tree and the second cleansing of the temple.

Mini-Series Podcast (map):
(15 min podcast)

Podcast: Coming soon

Section 129a | Cursing of a Fig Tree

From Bethany to Jerusalem
[one_half last=”no” class=”” id=””]Matthew 21:18-19a
18 Now in the morning, as he returned to the city,1 he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree2 by the road, he came to it, and found nothing on it but leaves. He said to it, “Let there be no fruit from you forever!”3 [/one_half]
[one_half last=”yes” class=”” id=””]Mark 11:12-14
12 The next day, when they had come out from Bethany, he was hungry.4 13 Seeing a fig tree5 afar off having leaves, he came to see if perhaps he might find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.6 14 Jesus told it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” and his disciples heard it.7[/one_half]

Section 129b | Second Cleansing of the Temple

Jerusalem, in the temple
[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Matthew 21:12-13
12 Jesus entered into the temple of God, and drove out8 all of those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the money changers’ tables and the seats of those who sold the doves.



13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers!” [/one_third]
[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Mark 11:15-18
15 They came to Jerusalem,11 and began to throw out those who sold and those who bought in the temple,12 and overthrew the money changers’ tables,13 and the seats of those who sold the doves. 16 He would not allow anyone to carry a container through the temple. 17 He taught, saying to them, “Isn’t it written,14 ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations?’ But you have made it a den of robbers!”

18 The chief priests and the scribes heard it, and sought how they might destroy him. For they feared him,15 because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching.[/one_third]
[one_third last=”yes” class=”” id=””]Luke 19:45-48
45 He entered into the temple, and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it,




46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of robbers’!” 47 He was teaching daily in the temple,16 but the chief priests, the scribes, and the leading men among the people sought to destroy him. 48 They couldn’t find what they might do, for all the people hung on to every word that he said.[/one_third]

Group Dialog:

  1. What is “righteous” anger, and how should it be expressed without causing injury to others or a sinful act on my own accord – in deed or thought?
  2. Am I standing in the way of someone else coming to God as did the money changers and vendors? How might I better clear the way for people to get closer to God and worship Him?
  3. In what ways is my life not fruitful? What can be pruned or cultivated to make it so?
  4. John 1:14 says that God in Christ “tabernacled” among us; and both Paul and Peter call the true church “a living temple” in which individual believers are “living stones” and Christ Himself is the “chief cornerstone.” Seeing how Christ cleansed the temple (twice), in what ways might you need to cleanse your life and put it to proper use for the purposes of God?


5d Five

Arrival at Bethany and Into Jerusalem

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. 

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 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
When they9 came near to Jerusalem, and came to Bethsphage, to the Mount of Olives,10 then Jesus sent two disciples,11 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.

If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and immediately he will send them.” 

The disciples went, and did just as Jesus commanded them,14  



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. 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!”

All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, “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
When they came near to Jerusalem, to Bethsphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 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. Some of those who stood there asked them, “What are you doing, untying the young donkey?” They said to them just as Jesus had said, and they let them go. They brought the young donkey to Jesus, and threw their garments on it, and Jesus sat on it. Many spread their garments on the way, and others were cutting down branches from the trees, and spreading them on the road. 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]

Group Dialog:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. Given the nature of Jesus, what is his authority? What authority has he given us?
  4. 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?
  5. What does it mean to “glorify Christ”? How do you do that?
  6. How is Jesus’ nature, character and destiny exhibited throughout the events on Palm Sunday?

Study Notes:

5c Five

Restoration and Responsibility

In this week’s study we examine the last words and actions of Jesus before he enters Jerusalem for the final time. This is the close of Phase 5c. Like Zacchaeus, we would be blessed if in our desire to accept God’s grace through Christ and follow him we were ready to make amends and do well. Similarly we would do well to heed the warning in Jesus’ parable – choosing to honor his reign rather than rebel or resist.

Audio: Coming Soon

Section 127a | Salvation of Zacchaeus

Luke 19:1-10
He entered and was passing through Jericho.1 There was a man named Zacchaeus2. He was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, and couldn’t because of the crowd, because he was short. He ran on ahead, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” He hurried, came down, and received him joyfully. When they saw it, they all murmured, saying, “He has gone in to lodge with a man who is a sinner.”4 Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor. If I have wrongfully exacted anything of anyone, I restore four times as much.” Jesus said to him,“Today, salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Section 127b | Parable to Teach Responsibility while the Kingdom is Delayed

Jericho and on toward Jerusalem
Luke 19:11-28
11 As they5 heard these things, he went on and told a parable,6 because he was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that God’s Kingdom would be revealed immediately.7 12 He said therefore, “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.8 13 He called ten servants9 of his and gave them ten mina coins,10 and told them, ‘Conduct business until I come.’11 14 But his citizens hated him,12 and sent an envoy after him, saying, ‘We don’t want this man to reign over us.’ 15 “When he had come back again, having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by conducting business. 16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina13 has made ten more minas.’ 17 “He said to him, ‘Well done, you good servant! Because you were found faithful with very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18 “The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, Lord, has made five minas.’ 19 “So he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 Another came, saying, ‘Lord, behold, your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief, 21 for I feared you, because you are an exacting man. You take up that which you didn’t lay down, and reap that which you didn’t sow.’ 22 “He said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant! You knew that I am an exacting man, taking up that which I didn’t lay down, and reaping that which I didn’t sow. 23 Then why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank, and at my coming, I might have earned interest on it?’ 24 He said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to him who has the ten minas.’ 25 “They said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 26 ‘For I tell you that to everyone who has, will more be given14; but from him who doesn’t have, even that which he has will be taken away from him.15 27 But bring those enemies of mine who didn’t want me to reign over them here, and kill them before me.’ ” 28 Having said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

Group Dialog:

  1. Where do people in your community turn for help, change or transformation?
  2. How might the salvation Zacchaeus have surprised those who knew him and those who first heard the story?
  3. What hope does today’s story offer you and those you love?
  4. In your own life, how have you felt/experienced Jesus seeking or reaching out to you?
  5. What are some ways Jesus presence, teaching and love has changed you?
  6. Welcoming Zacchaeus as a disciple, Jesus pin-pointed the issue that would catapult his faith. Why is that important among the people you are discipling?
  7. What has been given to you and how are you putting that to use for the Kingdom of God?

Learning Objectives: Jesus Christ came to save sinners. His sacrifice onward in Jerusalem saved believers and disciples then and now.  No one is too small, insignificant, mighty, poor, or too great a sinner to be saved. Jesus calls us all to repent from our sins, revere his sacrifice, and honor him accepting his forgiveness of sins, to a life of service, and eternal life.


5c Five

Good Time of Day

Our study today is a lesson of honor, respect, faith and value. In today’s reading Jesus attends to the cries of a blind beggar from amidst the crowd.  Though he was on his final journey to Jerusalem, Jesus was happy to give him the time of day, recognize his faith, his need, and heal him immediately restoring his sense of value, love, freedom and dignity. Moreover, the story was shared to impress on the listeners that Jesus is the Son of David, the Christ.

Audio: Coming soon

Section 126 | Healing of Blind Bartimaeus and his Companion

[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Matthew 20:29-34
29 As they went out from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. 


30 Behold, two blind men1 sitting by the road,

when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!” 31 The multitude rebuked them, telling them that they should be quiet, but they cried out even more, “Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!” 32 Jesus stood still, and called them, and asked,



“What do you want me to do for you?” 33 They told him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” 34 Jesus, being moved with compassion, touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes received their sight, and they followed him.2[/one_third]
[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Mark 10:46-52
46 They came to Jericho. As he went out from Jericho, with his disciples and a great multitude, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus,3 a blind beggar, was sitting by the road.


47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, and say, “Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many rebuked him, that he should be quiet, but he cried out much more, “You son of David, have mercy on me!”

49 Jesus stood still, and said, “Call him.” They called the blind man, saying to him, “Cheer up! Get up. He is calling you!” 50 He, casting away his cloak,4 sprang up, and came to Jesus. 51 Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “Rabboni, that I may see again.” 52 Jesus said to him, “Go your way. Your faith has made you well.”Immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus on the way.5[/one_third]
[one_third last=”yes” class=”” id=””]Luke 18:35-43
35 As he came near Jericho,6 


a certain blind man sat by the road, begging. 36 Hearing a multitude going by, he asked what this meant. 37 They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38 He cried out, “Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who led the way rebuked him, that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “You son of David, have mercy on me!”

40 Standing still, Jesus commanded him to be brought to him. When he had come near, he asked him, 


41  “What do you want me to do?” He said, “Lord, that I may see again.” 42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight. Your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed him, glorifying God. All the people, when they saw it, praised God.[/one_third]

Group Dialog:


5c Five

Come Labor On

As we study this parable about grace its important to see it in the context of our lesson last week in §124a when Jesus first answered the rich young rulers question about how he might live eternally, and Peter’s question about their own future life, role1 and reward. It is in that context that Jesus offers his disciples another parable – a stern lesson. This is a suitable lesson for today as so many struggle to understand the justice and grace of God, and the responsibility of every disciple.

Audio: coming soon

Section 124b | Parable of the Landowner’s Sovereignty

Matthew 20:1-16
1 “For the Kingdom of Heaven2  is like a man who was the master of a household, who went out early in the morning3 to hire laborers for his vineyard.4 2 When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day5, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 He went out about the third hour,6 and saw others standing idle in the marketplace.7 4 He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went their way. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour,8 and did likewise. 6 About the eleventh hour9 he went out, and found others standing idle. He said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’ 7 “They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’“He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and you will receive whatever is right.’ 8 When evening10 had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’11 9 “When those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius. 10 When the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise each received a denarius.12 11 When they received it, they murmured against the master of the household, 12 saying, ‘These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’ 13 “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong.13 Didn’t you agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take that which is yours, and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you. 15 Isn’t it lawful 14 for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil,15 because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen.”16¯17

Group Dialog:

  1. What was the circumstances around the time that you first began to follow Jesus? Was it always a part of your life like the rich young ruler, as a child? Was it late in life after many sins and other priorities?
  2. How have you labored for Christ?
  3. What is it that you feel you deserve from God? What have you received? What will you receive?
  4. In what ways have you seen envy, strife and ego within the church?  What is its effect?
  5. To what specific ministry are you called? How are you living out that vocation recently?

Media: Come Labor On, Hymn, (lyrics, St. Thomas Choir, ritesong)


5c Five

Who can be saved?

It can be disturbing to see the holiness of God. In today’s lesson we learn of a man who was wealthy, young, religious, and moral yet he knew something was missing in his life.  His habits may have resulted in his success but he knew that his soul was vulnerable and had not reached its potential. In our study today we will examine the condition of our own soul, our mindset and, and devotion.

Audio: Coming soon

Section 124a | Riches and the Kingdom

[one_third last=”no”]Matthew 19:16-30
16 Behold, one came to him1  and said, “Good teacher,2 what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” 17 He said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”3  18 He said to him, “Which ones?” Jesus said,4  “ ‘You shall not murder.’ ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ ‘You shall not steal.’ ‘You shall not offer false testimony.’19 ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ And, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 20 The young man said to him, “All these things I have observed from my youth.5 What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”6  22 But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sad, for he was one who had great possessions.7 23 Jesus said to his disciples, “Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty.8


24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye,9  than for a rich man to enter into God’s Kingdom.” 25 When the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”10  27 Then Peter answered, “Behold, we have left everything, and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Most certainly I tell you that you who have followed me, in the regeneration11 when the Son of Man will sit on the throne of his glory, you also will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.12  29 Everyone who has left houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive13 one hundred times, and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many will be last who are first; and first who are last.14[/one_third]
[one_third last=”no”]Mark 10:17-31
17 As he was going out into the way, one ran to him, knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except one—God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not give false testimony,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and mother.’”


20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth.”15 21 Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross.”16 22 But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions. 23 Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, “How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into God’s Kingdom!” 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches17 to enter into God’s Kingdom! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into God’s Kingdom.” 26 They were exceedingly astonished, saying to him, “Then who can be saved?”18 27 Jesus, looking at them, said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God.”19  28 Peter began to tell him, “Behold, we have left all,20 and have followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News, 30 but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time: houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life.

31 But many who are first will be last; and the last first.”[/one_third]

[one_third last=”yes”]Luke 18:18-30
18 A certain ruler asked him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do21 to inherit22 eternal life?”

19 Jesus asked him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good, except one: God. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Don’t commit adultery,’ ‘Don’t murder,’ ‘Don’t steal,’ ‘Don’t give false testimony,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”



21 He said, “I have observed all these things from my youth up.” 22 When Jesus heard these things, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have, and distribute it to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. Come, follow me.” 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was very rich. 24 Jesus, seeing that he became very sad, said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter into God’s Kingdom!



25 For it is easier for a camel to enter in through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into God’s Kingdom.” 26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But he said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

28 Peter said, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.”

29 He said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children, for God’s Kingdom’s sake,

30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the world to come, eternal life.”[/one_third]

Group Dialog:

  1. What are your talents, the attributes that an employer or others value?
  2. What has offered you the most satisfaction and joy in your life?
  3. Read Ps 139:23 and ask yourself if you feel anything lacking in life, your eternal purpose and value? What is it that keeps you from God? What is it that has taken the place of our first love (first commandment)?
  4. What action of others, with whatever amount of wealth and money they have, for the purposes and glory of God?
  5. What do you think God wants you to do with the amount of money and assets you have acquired thus far?
  6. On an AB scale (merit/godliness and grace) where would you put the fulcrum that determines one’s salvation? If you rely on the blood of Christ (grace), what do you really lack to have eternal life?
  7. What’s our attitude toward the power of grace and who can be saved?

Study notes:

5c Five

Jesus and the Children

Interesting that after 3 years of traveling with Jesus that it would be the disciples themselves who would try to prevent the children of the village from approaching Jesus. Sometimes its difficult for us to shift gears, He had just finished teaching them more about love, marriage, divorce and forgiveness.  Though Jesus is still intent on reaching Jerusalem he’s not about to pass up an opportunity to pass reach out to the children and impart a blessing to each one.

Audio: Coming Soon

 Section 123 | Example of Little Children in Relation to the Kingdom

[one_third last=”no”]Matthew 19:13-15
13 Then little children were brought to him, that he should lay his hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Allow the little children, and don’t forbid them to come to me; for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to ones like these.”


15 He laid his hands on them, and departed from there.[/one_third]
[one_third last=”no”]Mark 10:13-16
13 They were bringing to him little children, that he should touch them,1 but the disciples rebuked those who were bringing them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation,2 and said to them, “Allow the little children to come to me! Don’t forbid them, for God’s Kingdom belongs to such as these.3 15 Most certainly I tell you, whoever will not receive God’s Kingdom like a little child,4 he will in no way enter into it.”

16 He took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands on them.[/one_third]
[one_third last=”yes”]Luke 18:15-17
15 They were also bringing their babies to him, that he might touch them. But when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 Jesus summoned them, saying, “Allow the little children to come to me, and don’t hinder them, for God’s Kingdom belongs to such as these. 17 Most certainly, I tell you, whoever doesn’t receive God’s Kingdom like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.”[/one_third]

Group Dialog:

  1. The Jewish tradition of blessing children on the Sabbath probably
  2. What blessing We can’t physically present our children to Jesus, so we how can present Jesus to our children?
  3. What age can discipleship begin?
  4. Why do you think the disciples not catch the error of their error of their priorities, motivation and actions when trying to prevent the children from coming to Jesus? – Have you ever found yourself in such a predicament? What did you do when you realized you were out of step with the Spirit?
  5. What should be the role and responsibility of spiritual leaders?
  6. What can you learn from the instances in which Jesus rebuked his disciples?
  7. What is it to come to Jesus as a little child?
  8. How might Jesus’ blessing of these children further the multiplication of disciples?

Learning Objectives: keeping in step with the spirit, passing the mantle, blessings, discipleship of children and all people,