Resurrection Sunday Heart Preparation
Evangelizing and Discipling the Next Generations
The Triumphal Entry

Read John 12:12-19
-Read through the scripture twice. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and help understand and appreciate the depth of Jesus' humility, love, and teaching as He journeys to His death. Be aware of God's presence with you as you read slowly and intentionally. Try to grasp the entirety of the event.

-Read the Barclay Commentary on John 12:12-19

- Ask yourself these questions and talk with Jesus about them:
Today I'm placing myself in the scene of scripture using the painting above. I contemplate what the verses teach me while walking through the scene with my eyes. As I do this, I'm asking these questions:
-What would it be like to be at such a "parade" with Jesus as the focal point? What would the emotion and energy be like?
-According to scripture why is everything magnified in this particular situation? (See commentary for help)
-How might Jesus have felt riding into Jerusalem, on a donkey, knowing that he was going to face death? Knowing that the people who are praising Him will curse Him in a few days?
-How would I feel if I had been there: confused? excited? concerned? Take some time to talk with Jesus about these questions.
-Who are the different people groups in attendance? Why are they there? What are they expecting from Jesus?
-How did the expectations each people group had of Jesus (as Messiah, as King, as Political Ruler, Healer, raising dead to life) "blind" them from seeing what was actually unfolding before them?

Questions to consider:
  • As a result of today's study, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal those ways am I looking to (expecting) Jesus to come in power in my life YET Jesus is asking me to follow Him in deeper humility and sacrifice to others? 
  • Am I willing to ask Him this? Why or why not? 
  • Am I willing to obey what He reveals? If you can't fully say yes, tell Him about it. Ask Him to help you say "yes" all the way. Talk with Him about it all.

Jesus Predicts His Death

Read John 12:20-36
-Read the scripture slowly. And again. I'm asking the Holy Spirit to increase my desire to lose my life for Jesus' sake and for the furthering of His Kingdom as a result of reading this passage.

-Questions to consider:
I love how the verses in this chapter build and expound the more you read through it. It builds on the idea of time, possessions, and expectations that we looked at already:

TIME: In the story of Mary anointing Jesus, we see He indicates "time" is important and we must seek Him while He can be found. In this passage Jesus again references time "The hour has come." There's no repeating, no going back.

We also see that the "light" of Jesus' ministry was about to go out. Referring to time being limited.
v.20 Reveals some Greeks came to the festival and wanted to see Jesus. Nowhere in the text does it say they got to see Him.

For an amazing take on this interaction with the Greeks, read the Rev. Scott Hoezee's commentary on this passage:

  • How does this repeated theme apply to me? Am I taking advantage of the limited time I have with Jesus? To reach others for His sake.

PRECIOUS POSSESSIONS: Building again in Mary's anointing we saw she offered her most valued possession and poured it out as a love offering to Jesus.

In this passage, we see Jesus aware He is about to die. Aware He is about to offer Himself (His precious self) to die a violent death. He knew His purpose. He knew and obeyed His mission so others could be brought into His Kingdom.

  • How regularly do I think about the fact that is also is God's purpose for me? To lose my life, my most precious possession, for Christ's sake? What do I need to do to bring that more to the core of my life?
  • Am I actively looking for those areas where God is asking me to give of myself for Him? For others? For the "hard" others? Am I then obeying Him in the ask? Spend some time in confession as the Holy Spirit reveals things to you.

EXPECTATIONS: In verses 34-36 questions indicate that the crowd had been taught only those passages from the law which spoke of the Messiah's triumph. Only the stuff that "tickled their ears." They were mostly unaware of those passages in the OT that taught the Messiah's sufferings (Ps. 22 & Is 53)

What Jesus was saying to them about death did not fit their expectation of who the Messiah would be. And they were blind to what He was saying. They expected a political conqueror. Jesus lived not for their approval, their expectations, but lived for the favor of His heavenly Father.

  • What do I want more than Jesus Himself?
  • What do I prefer more than the favor of God?
  • Where are my expectations of Jesus, of how He will work, of what is "supposed to happen" off?
  • Do I rightly expect to die to myself? To suffer for Christ?

I spent some time confessing my idolatry-"self" worship. Talk with Jesus and ask Him to reveal any areas of sin and invite Him to help you make corrections.

-What about wheat?
Google this: how does wheat grow. 
Learn what it takes to grow a seed to a plant to reproduction. 
How does learning this help to understand why Jesus used it as an example?

Jesus Washing the Disciples Feet and Predicting Judas' Betrayal

Read John 13:1-17

This Passover meal is significant on many levels:
Jesus is eating with his closest friends indicating to them He will suffer and this will be His last meal.
He gives the disciples (and us) symbols of remembrance of His body and blood that would be sacrificed for all mankind.
He teaches them the principle that the greatest are those who humble themselves and serve others rather than expect to be served.

-Read John 13:1-17 out loud, slowly. 
The second time through ask God to point out questions you have, special insights He has, and ask for help to make this well-known passage fresh and new.

  • What things strike you as new in this passage?
  • What questions came to mind as you read it?
  • How do we see the love of Jesus in new ways in this reading?

-Read the Barclay Commentary on this passage: (5min read)

Questions to consider:

Humility: The commentary highlights Luke 22:24 where an argument among the disciples as to who was the greatest, might be a possible reason for Jesus getting up to wash the disciple's feet. He did what none of them was prepared to do. He gave an example of how we should think and act towards each other.

  • What are those areas in my life, will, and heart that I am unwillingly to serve another? What is my excuse? Is there pride there?
  • Are there areas of my life where, like Peter, I am too proud to let someone else serve me? Am I willing to admit my need?
  • Spend some time talking and confessing what the Holy Spirit reveals to you.

Judas: The commentary brings a new insight to Judas for me. I am amazed at the love of Jesus. OVER AND OVER again he appeals to Judas out of His love for Him. He even gives Judas the job of handling the money - when He knew well what was in Judas' heart and what would happen. Jesus kept pursuing and offering opportunities for Judas to change. Sadly, He didn't.

  • Are there areas in my life where, like Judas, I am playing a game? 
  • Am I a hypocrite? Where (at home, at church, at work) am I pretending to be someone that I'm really not?

Earnestly ask Jesus to show you even if you think there's not. Jesus is not fooled. Humble yourself before Him and confess what He shows you. Thank Jesus for loving the REAL you, no show - just as you are.

Where is Jesus offering appeal after appeal to me? 
Is there a particular area of obedience He is appealing to me that I am willfully not responding to? What will I do with that?

Jesus treated Judas with a love, respect, and position he didn't deserve. In doing this, Jesus was calling Judas to His vision of who He knew Judas could become. 

Is that my attitude towards those in my life? How could my attitude towards others better reflect Jesus and call them to be more of who God wants them to become?