Christmas creates a commotion. Just like crowds gathered around Jesus during his triumphant entry, we often culturally gather around the Christmas season without fully understanding what has created the commotion and what our response should be to it. This week Pastor Brian challenged us to observe five things about Jesus' entry into Jerusalem that mirror biblical themes about what is at the heart of Christmas for all of us.
Let's study together.
Read this from the Bible together:
12 The next day, when the large crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 they took palm branches and went out to meet him. They kept shouting:
“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord—the King of Israel!”
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written:
15 Do not be afraid,
Daughter Zion. Look, your King is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt.
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first. However, when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.
17 Meanwhile, the crowd, which had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify.18 This is also why the crowd met him, because they heard he had done this sign. 19 Then the Pharisees said to one another, “You see? You’ve accomplished nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!”
Some key statements and questions put forward that are important for us to talk about…
Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it. Jesus is the correct focus of Christmas and when we focus on him in this moment we see that his humility is matched to his triumph. In what ways have you "found the donkey" and humbled yourself or confessed sin of pride recently? Have you experienced the secret of joy by doing so?
Do not be afraid. The arrival of the King wages war against the fears we have. What are some paralyzing fears that you have this season? Have you asked God to replace those fears with the gift of knowing him more? If not, do that now.
Look, the world has gone after him! This humble king brings those who were far off, near. Have you ever been an outsider and experienced Jesus bring you near? If so, how can you extend that same pursuit to those who are considered outsiders among us?
"The secret of life comes from posturing ourselves humbly and pouring ourselves out for others." Do you agree with Pastor Brian that this is the secret of life? If so, can you identify any areas of your life that aren't in alignment with that belief?
“Fear is meant to take a backseat to joy if you know the King." Is the fear of loneliness, abandonment or grief a part of your story? If so, how have you seen Jesus take those fears and replace them with joy? Have you experienced this instantaneously or has it been a process?
"Understand the commotion. Hold nothing back. The King came for you." In the final takeaways, Pastor Brian left us with these three thoughts. Which one resonates mostly with you? Which ones are you still growing in or asking for a deeper belief in this season?