NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.
Bible Passage: John 12:12-19
Discussion Questions: Has our present-day culture made death more or less fear-inducing than it was when your parents were your age? Have you been witness to a “good” death? How did that experience differ from a “bad” death? How have you experienced God’s presence in the valley of the shadow of death?
Food for Thought:
The Beloved Disciple recorded in John 12:12-19 the event we typically know as the triumphal entry. Jesus’ popularity among the people was at an all-time high. He had only recently raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11). While that wondrous work had caused His esteem to soar among the people, it had also elevated to a crescendo the hatred and loathing of the religious leaders toward Jesus, so much so that “from that day on they plotted to kill him” (John 11:53).
With that backdrop, come the Sunday before the Passover, Jesus entered Jerusalem. For all the world, His entry resembled the arrival of a conquering king. People lined the streets, shouted praises to Him, proclaimed Him to come in the name of the Lord, and lined His path with their cloaks and with palm leaves. But what a difference a few days makes. Come Friday morning, Jesus no longer looked like a conquering king, regardless of the title placed above His head as He hung on the cross. His enemies believed they had successfully squelched the talk about Jesus being the Messiah, the King of the Jews.
But beginning three days later, those who knew Him best — and any who would trust Him by faith — came to recognize the truth. Jesus was — no, make that IS — the Conquering King. Circumstances and appearances might or might not attest to that fact at any given moment, but its reality doesn’t waver, regardless of what we think we see.
In 1925 Eric Liddell, the great sports superstar of his day, left Scotland to go to China as a missionary teacher. He was both a Scottish Rugby internationalist and an Olympic gold medalist in the 1924 Olympics in Paris (memorialized in the movie Chariots of Fire). Liddell died in a Chinese internment camp on February 21, 1945. His last reported words were, “It’s complete surrender.”
It is now a century later. Jesus Christ was King then. Jesus Christ is still King now.
Whether your circumstances put you on the gold-medal podium, in death-inducing internment, or anywhere in between, Jesus remains the Conquering King.
MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at www.lifeway.com/masterwork.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.