Passage: Mark 11:1-11
Guide for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection
Read Mark 11:1-11:
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’”
4 And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. 5 And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go.
7 And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. 8 And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. 9 And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
11 And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. (ESV)
- What is your favorite part of Holy Week, and why?
- What are some ways you could enter into Holy Week and fully engage with it this year?
- Many stories include people longing for a good king to come, who will bring justice and make things right again. Why do you think this is such a common storyline?
- The people shouted “Hosanna!” which means “Lord save us!” What did they want Jesus to save them from?
- What are some ways people tend to misunderstand the word “freedom”?
- True freedom is not avoiding all constraints, but finding the constraints that actually liberate what you’re made for. If you’ve experienced this in some area of your own life, share about that.
- Read Jacob’s final blessing of his son Judah in Genesis 49:10-11: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes.”
- What connections do you notice between this prophetic blessing on Judah and Jesus? What does this passage add to your understanding of what Jesus was doing in Mark 11?
- The prophet Zechariah wrote in Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Open your Bible and look at the verses that follow this verse in Zechariah 9. What do you notice there that points to Jesus?
- To the Greeks and Romans of Jesus’s day, the idea of humility was offensive. For a great person to lower himself to the level of the poor and lowly was considered shameful and even immoral. It’s only because of Jesus that humility has become a virtue that is valued today. Jesus was OK with not being fully recognized in all his greatness. Describe someone you know whose life is characterized by this kind of humility.
- What are some ways that you live life differently because Jesus is your King?
- What did you sense God saying to you in this message?