Explore the Bible Study: Worshiped

9:24 AM

Hero worship, leader worship, and celebrity worship are not new to humanity. Throughout history, certain individuals have risen to the top so much that they are almost worshipped as saviors, heroes, or even deities! When we think of our Lord and all He has done for us, what can we do but worship Him? He is worthy of worship above anyone or anything else! God has made us to be worshipers, but Jesus is the only One deserving of that worship. This the focus of LifeWay's Explore the Bible Study: Worship as we look at Luke 19:29-40.

In Luke’s Gospel account, Jesus had been moving toward Jerusalem, each step bringing Him closer to the cross. In this session, we will explore what is often called “The Triumphal Entry,” where Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a colt. Jerusalem! The goal is attained. Now the tension mounts. How will the Messiah be received in God’s holy city? 

This is the beginning of the greatest week in history! It was celebrated with many acts of worship. Let’s see what we can learn regarding how and why we should worship Jesus Christ.

Luke 19:29-34 - Obedience and Worship
Jesus used very specific phrases with His disciples as He prepared them for what would take place as they entered Jerusalem. He used the phrases: He sent, go into, as you enter, untie it, bring it, and the Lord needs it. There is so much one needs to consider regarding what is being communicated to these disciples. The donkey was to be a colt on which no one had ever yet sat. In the Old Testament, a cow that was designated for a sacred task must never have worked as a common beast (Numbers 19:2; 1 Samuel 6:7). Likewise, the colt that carried the Messiah must never have been ridden before. The explanation they were to give, the Lord needs it, could mean that Jesus had possibly prearranged the exchange. There is also a custom known as angaria which allowed dignitaries—including not only government officials but also traveling teachers—to borrow beasts of burden when they visited a city. 

Jesus approached this moment with deliberate actions and determined continuation. He was not only preparing for God’s plan for Himself but was giving instructions that would prepare the disciples for a time of worship like one they had never seen. Jesus gave clear directions, and the disciples responded with swift obedience. Preparing one’s life and walking in obedience to Christ’s commands are keys to healthy worship.

We must ask ourselves:
  • What is the relationship between obedience and worship? How does one impact the other?
  • In what ways are we expected to prepare for worship?
Luke 19:35-38 - Motives for Worship
Many in the multitude expected the Messiah to establish a divine kingdom for Israel. They thought they were worshiping someone who would bring peace, restore Israel’s power, and unite them under one king again. They had misplaced and misunderstood motives for worshiping Jesus. They couldn’t sustain this kind of worship because it was only focused on what they desired Jesus to do for them.

Although this was a grand expression of worship, so much so, that we celebrate it today, we need to understand that most of the people in this audience walked away from Jesus only days later. They scattered, hid, became disillusioned, and some might have even been in the crowd later in the week that shouted, “crucify Him.” 

Their worship was only surface level at this point. Their worship was based on what they perceived Jesus could do for them in the temporal. They were only looking for the quick return from Jesus’ power and fame. They were caught up in this moment of worship, but their hearts had not yet been transformed by the Savior.

Luke 19:39-40 - Threatened by Worship
Notice that these leaders did not address Jesus as either King or Lord but referred to Him merely as Teacher, not even granting Him the title of rabbi or master. Instead of making a respectful request, they told Him what they wanted. The Pharisees urged Jesus to rebuke His disciples. While much of the praise came from Jesus’ disciples, the entire multitude joined in the chorus of praise. The word rebuke includes an element of repudiation. The religious leaders did not want Jesus merely to quiet the people, but they demanded He reject the people’s assertions about Him.

Jesus’ response was assertive, yet to the point in verse 40. Jesus once again points back to something the Pharisees would understand from the Old Testament when He uses the phrase, cry out. When Cain murdered his brother, it was said that Abel’s blood cried out to God “from the ground” (Genesis 4:10).  When Habakkuk listed the sins of Babylon, the Old Testament prophet predicted a time when “stones” would “cry out from the wall” against those who had taken advantage of the poor (Habakuk 2:10-11). When payment is withheld from impoverished workers, the money “cries out” in harmony with the lamentations of the poor (Deuteronomy 24:15).  In each of these Old Testament texts, the outcry was a cry of accusation.

Consider This:
  • Do you worship Jesus, or do you worship the experience or feelings you have when you worship? 
  • What has this past year of pandemic turmoil done to your worship of Jesus? 
  • Have you become disillusioned with Jesus because circumstances are difficult or because following Him hasn’t given you what you desired?
Evaluate your relationship with Christ this week and your motives for worship. Make sure you know Him. Make sure your worship is not impaired by disobedience. Make sure you are coming to worship with the right understanding of Jesus. Make sure you aren’t defining your worship by what you feel or expect but by Who you know and desire to honor with worthy worship – Jesus Christ our Lord!

This is not the end of the greatest week in history but only the beginning. Read further in the gospel of Luke about how Jesus responded when entering Jerusalem. Prepare your heart for a week of worship that reflects on all Christ did for you. Come back next Sunday ready to worship, together, the risen Savior. Bring someone with you who needs the hope you have in Christ!

The downloadable teaching helps provide more details for this study along with some tools you can use in guiding a group Bible study. Be sure to use this as a supplement to your study of the Explore the Bible Study resources provided by LifeWay.

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