READ: Luke 19:28-48
THINK: As Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time before His death, people lined the streets, full of expectation. Jesus knew that His earthly ministry was nearing an end, but the crowd had other ideas. Many had heard Him talk of a kingdom and had witnessed extraordinary miracles. They assumed He would rise to power and rescue them from Roman tyranny. But the masses misunderstood the spiritual nature of God's kingdom and would ultimately reject Jesus as their Deliverer. Knowing this, Jesus was overcome with grief--not for himself, but for them. Judgment would eventually come as a result of their rebellion. God's heart still breaks for lost and rebellious people who refuse to repent and accept His salvation.
RESPOND: Why did Jesus ride into the city on a donkey? (See 19:28-44 note.) In what way did this symbolize God's kingdom and how it differs from earthly kingdoms? Why did Jesus weep as He neared Jerusalem? (See 19:41 note.) What does this reveal about God's heart for people? Why did the people ultimately reject Jesus? What kind of peace had He come to bring, and why were they unable to recognize it? What would ultimately happen to the city as a result of rejecting Jesus? (See 19:43 note.) What do Jesus' actions in the temple reveal about His priorities and purpose for the Church? (See 19:45 note.) How does this challenge your attitude about worship and the privilege of gathering in church? What can happen in our congregations if we tolerate deceit, irreverence and worldliness in our churches?
PRAY: Ask Jesus to give you His intense compassion for those who do not know or accept Him. Ask Him to help you do what you can to reach and influence them for Him while there is still time.
ACT: As you walk the halls of your school, or go through your workplace, or are out in the community, try to view the people around you as God sees them--through eyes of intense compassion. Allow yourself to sense God's sorrow over their spiritual helplessness and the judgment they'll face if they persistently reject Christ. Let these feelings inspire you to encourage people, meet their needs and start conversations that may lead them to consider Christ.
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