"The State of Salvation"
TEXT: John 18:36; Luke 12:13-21; Matthew 15:21-28; Deut. 10:12-22
1. Palm Sunday is now widely celebrated, but on the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem, a tragic and sobering situation was unfolding. The same crowd that shouted “Hosanna” was the same crowd that roared “Crucify Him” in the days to come. The people of Israel mistakenly thought Jesus was arriving to restore power to them over the Roman Empire. They had the wrong expectations of what Jesus came to accomplish. He did not come for a political revolution—He came for redemption.
2. We can often be just like the Palm Sunday crowd. We look to Christ with the wrong expectations and misunderstand the purpose of His ministry. Jesus is not interested in saving America, fixing all our worldly problems, making life fair for all, or giving us better earthly lives. Jesus came to rescue sinners and to make us into a holy nation—into a people that have been delivered from being oppressed by the devil.
3. When someone approaches Jesus (Luke 12:13-21) about being treated unfairly concerning a family inheritance, Jesus seemingly dismisses his plea for help in dealing with the situation. This reveals that Jesus is not concerned with bringing fairness to all of the life issues that pertain to the material world.
4. In Matthew 15:21-28, a Canaanite woman comes to Jesus desperate for Him to deliver her daughter. But there is a problem. God’s people were prejudiced against the Canaanites and viewed them as “dogs.” The exchange between Jesus and this woman shows us that Jesus is not concerned with fixing all the problems that we will encounter in this fallen world. But this woman knew who Jesus was, knew there was something more important than asking Jesus to fix the racism she experienced, and persisted in her asking. Jesus responds by healing her daughter.
5. We must be careful to not let offenses cause us to miss why Jesus came to earth. Jesus came to deliver the oppressed from the devil. If we think Jesus came to protect us from all offenses and difficulty, we will miss out on the true work Jesus wants to do in our hearts.
6. Don’t hide your sin from Christ—He came to defeat it! When we bring our sin before the Lord and humbly open our hearts to His Spirit, we will experience a joy and freedom that cannot be found in chasing and hiding sin. Following Christ is not a laborious task that is absent of joy.
7. What does God expect from His people? If we love God we will be concerned with how we treat others and we will endeavor to point those around us to the grace, truth, and mercy of Jesus.
TALK TO EACH OTHER: 1. What are some of the wrong expectations that believers commonly put on Jesus?
2. How should we handle offenses so they don't keep us from missing out on the true work of Jesus?
3. How does one go about "hiding their sin" from Jesus? What does doing such a thing look and feel like?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following area(s):
- Recognizing the true work Jesus wants to accomplish in us and in the world
- To not let offenses cause us to miss out on the work of Jesus
- That we would love, serve, and proclaim the gospel to those around us