Essential Jesus - Online Bible Study #31

Peter Jensen

Archbishop Peter Jensen’s weekly online series on The Essential Jesus (the gospel of Luke). In each study the Archbishop will lead us through the book we intend on giving away to as many people as possible.

STEP 1: READING

Read Luke chapter 19, verses 28-48.

STEP 2: REFLECTION
Luke begins and ends his story in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem temple was appointed by God to symbolise his royal presence. It was like a palace. It was a place of sacrifice and of prayer. Jesus deliberately approaches the city as a King, fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 in the Old Testament. It was a claim to be the true King, to have the right to ask for the obedient loyalty of his people. Many greeted him with enthusiasm. Other were alarmed and begged him to stop. He is grieving deeply because he knows that the failure of Jerusalem to greet him would be followed by a day of destruction, as had happened before. He was the King. He would not act differently. Instead he visited the temple and treated it as his own domain, cleansing it of commercial accretions. Little wonder that his murder is being planned.

STEP 3: DISCUSSION
1 Why was there only one temple in Israel? What were sacrifices for? What is wrong with calling churches 'temples' and saying that they have altars?

2 Why was Jesus so divisive? Could he not have been more tolerant and less troublesome?

3 Is Jerusalem still spiritually important for Christians?

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Prepare for the next study by reading Luke chapter 20.