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 Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passage: Luke 19:28-48
- What are some ways we may hinder others in their worship of God?
- How can our lives reflect God’s desire for His temple in the Old Testament?
- Where are you in danger of hypocrisy in your life because your beliefs, words and actions do not match?
Food for Thought:
Read Luke 19:35-46. Luke 19 begins and ends with Jesus and thieves, yet Jesus acted very differently in the two encounters. At the beginning of Luke 19, Zacchaeus was an admitted thief, a tax collector who overtaxed his own people so he could line his own pockets. When Jesus went to Zacchaeus’ house for a meal, Jesus did not turn over the tables or condemn him. Instead, Jesus offered Zacchaeus salvation and forgiveness. But at the end of Luke 19, Jesus walked into the temple and saw unfair and distracting commerce taking place. Jesus was livid. He turned over the tables and spoke strongly against those selling, because they were robbing God of His glory and hindering nations from coming to the temple as God desired.
Jesus was angered often by the hypocrisy of religious leaders who pulled people away from God with their self-centered traditions. He was gracious and gentle with those who were called “tax collectors and sinners,” but fierce with those who gave the impression that they worshiped God yet their hearts were far from Him. The temple scene that Jesus observed angered Him because of the toxic mix of hypocrisy and exploitation. Instead of the temple bringing people to God, people were prevented from encountering Him. God was being dishonored in the temple, the place that was to be a house of prayer. So Jesus did something about it to restore the hope for true worship.
After Christ came and died for us, the temple and sacrificial system were fulfilled because they pointed to Jesus. While the Lord met with His people in the temple in the Old Testament, the Lord has now moved into our lives in the Holy Spirit. We don’t just meet with Him in a building somewhere; He lives within us. We don’t worship Him in a certain location; we worship Him now and everywhere. We, both individually and corporately are the temple of His Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19-20).
The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/gospelproject.