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“One Week to Live”​

Week 1

Matthew 21-1-22, 28-32

Verse of the Week

“It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” - Matthew 21:13

Main Idea:

 Sunday to Tuesday of his last week before his death and resurrection, Jesus was obeying God, eliminating religious barriers, investing time with people he loved, and pointing people to eternity.

1. Jesus had resolve to live for God and not the applause of man

On Sunday, Jesus entered the temple riding humbly on a donkey into Jerusalem. He does this in obedience to God.  He is fulfilling prophecies that had been written long ago about the coming Messiah. The people welcome him, singing praises and cutting branches for his path into Jerusalem. We refer to it as “Palm Sunday.” Unfortunately, some of the people see Jesus only as a prophet and not the Messiah (v. 11). Many of them cheering in the crowd on Sunday will be absent or yelling “Crucify!” on Friday. What we can learn is that the praise and applause of man can be fleeting and deceptive, therefore we should live for the glory of God. (See Proverbs 29:25)

Questions for Application:

  1. How has your week been spiritually?

  2. Would the Cross have ever happened if Jesus was living for the applause of man? Why or why not?

  3. Why is it important to find our identity in what God says about us and not what people say about us?

  4. What are the blessings (both for us and others) of living a life of obeying the will of God?

2. Jesus wanted to eliminate religious barriers

On Monday, Jesus flipped the tables of the money changers in the courtyard of the temple. Then on Tuesday, Jesus is disputing with religious leaders about his deity and authority. These events are significant because Jesus is communicating a message to us; he wants to remove religious barriers so that people can come to God. This passage describing the table flipping is often misunderstood. Many leverage this passage as an excuse when they feel anger and act out against someone else. There is much more going on in the passage. The temple was designed to be the place people could come to be in the presence of God and experience life and healing. Unfortunately, the religious leaders had allowed this place created for worship to become a place of business. The house of God had become a place of personal gain and glory for the religious Pharisees, instead of the focal point where people could encounter God. Why did Jesus flip the tables while pronouncing God’s house as a house of prayer? He did so because he wants all people to have access to the presence of God. His action of flipping tables and in other accounts running the money changers out with whips is more motivated by zeal and love and not necessarily out of anger. Reference Isaiah 56:7, and you’ll find that God wants ALL NATIONS to experience the love of God. Jesus is on a rescue mission to reach the whole world and he’s serious about eliminating the barriers to make that happen.

Questions for Application:

  1. What religious barriers exist in our context today that keep people from experiencing God?

  2. We all have a tendency to fall into religion. How can we continue to keep things all about Jesus and the mission?

  3. Why is it important to know that Jesus has a heart for all nations and not just America?

3. Jesus invested time with people he loved

The Bible is awesome. Simple details have great significance. Verse 17 shows us that Jesus traveled and spent the night in Bethany. This is where Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived, some of Jesus’ closest friends. It’s very likely that he went to stay with them in the evenings. Jesus, in his final week before the Cross, chooses to spend time in the evenings with the people he loved. Mary, Martha and Lazarus are recorded many times in all the Gospels. In one specific instance, we see Jesus weep over the death of Lazarus, even though he will raise him from the dead. It’s apparent that Jesus has a strong relationship with this family. After long days of work and ministry, it would appear he wants to enjoy and invest time with people that he loved and that loved him. For us, I think there’s a lot to take from this in our fast-paced world. We need to seize opportunities to enjoy and invest time with the people we love without distractions.

Questions for Application:

  1. Who are the people in your life that you love deeply?

  2. What does it look like to be present and invest time with them?

  3. How important is it that we invest that time well when we are with them?

4. Jesus points people to eternity

On Tuesday, Jesus begins talking with the Pharisees and shares a lot of “Kingdom Parables.” He shares simple stories and examples of what the Kingdom of God is like. In this one, Jesus describes two sons. One son says the wrong thing initially, but then he goes and does the right thing. The other son says the right thing, but doesn’t go and do the right thing. Jesus is teaching us that we can say all the right things and still have the wrong heart. This is religion at its core. It’s our heart that Jesus is after. The Lord finishes the parable showing his audience that tax collectors and prostitutes are entering into the Kingdom ahead of the religious leaders. Why? Simply because they responded correctly to the message of the Kingdom of God. Here it is:


  1. Repent (which means to turn from sin and turn to God)

  2. Believe (this is faith, believing in the message of Christ and the Kingdom)


**When #1 and #2 happens, people will begin to produce spiritual fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control). Fruit is the evidence of repentance and faith. This is what the Pharisees were not producing. They knew all the words of God, but they didn’t have a RELATIONSHIP with God. Therefore, they were not producing spiritual fruit. 


Questions for Application:

  1. Why were the Pharisees not entering the Kingdom of God even though they were “religious people?”

  2. Does God care more about what we say or what we do? Does God start with our actions or with our heart?

  3. What does it look like to produce spiritual fruit in your life?


  • April 2nd - Easter Egg Hunt –v4PM at the Market. Parents bring baskets. A meal will be provided for everyone!

  • April 9th - Easter Sunday! Invite your friends to church! Also, if you’re a H&S member we would ask that you prayerfully consider attending the 9AM service if you’re not serving. We want to make room for many new guests on Easter. Thanks!

  • April 16th - Heart & Soul Class begins – 11AM

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