Going Deeper… (John 12:12-16)

Here are some questions based on last Sunday’s sermon text (John 12:12-16), in case they’re helpful to you for personal growth or group discussion…

  • [13] Read Psalm 118. The crowds quote Ps. 118:25-26. (“Hosanna!” is “Save!” in Hebrew.) What did they expect Jesus’ salvation to be? How should we understand and pray Ps. 118?
  • [14-15] Crowds have already tried to force Jesus to become king (John 6:15). At that time, he simply withdrew. This time, he allows the crowd to carry him into Jerusalem with their praises, but protests (silently) with the donkey ride. Why doesn’t he resist more actively, to make it more obvious that his plans are different from theirs? Why do his indications often seem so subtle to us? Why are we so quick to interpret his subtle resistance actually as his tacit approval?
  • When things are going well, we can easily assume that God condones our innermost desires and best-laid plans. When things are difficult, we assume he is distant, disapproving. When we pray, we often assume that he would obviously want to change things according to our vision of what is good. Why are these assumptions wrong? What are some particular examples of assumptions like these in your life?
  • Jesus is unpredictable to us, but he is reworking our expectations of him by revealing himself to us truly, through his Word and Spirit. What are some true, biblical expectations about him that we are invited to have? (I.e., what are some of his character traits or promises that he says we absolutely may—and must—depend upon?)