Big Idea: God’s people have faced both bitter resistance and full support as they navigate the fickle affections of wayward people. Jesus too enjoyed wild popularity and violent opposition in his walk to the cross. As Christ followers, we should expect such things as we prepare our hearts for the one voice that matters above all others, our master’s.
I. Mordecai had lots of ups and downs throughout his career.
A. He had his sad and lonely days.
B. Lots of people made decisions about what was best for them.
C. Then he was exalted.
II. Jesus also was celebrated and rejected.
A. Jesus had his sad and lonely days.
1. Family intervention (Mark 3:21)
2. A bad day in your home town (Luke 4:28-30)
3. Time to leave (John 6:60, 66-67)
B. Jesus was celebrated . . .
C. . . . Only to be rejected again.
D. “Therefore he is highly exalted.” (Philippians 2:5-11, Revelation 5:9-14)
III. So too will you.
A. As a Christ follower you will have sad days.
Application: Prepare yourself for the emotional whiplash.
B. You will have your lonely days.
Application: Do the right thing even when it’s not popular.
C. You might also have occasion to be celebrated for a few minutes.
Application: Keep in mind what such praise means.
D. Application: Let God’s opinion count over every other.
1) Do you think public opinion can be fickle? Why or why not? Is this something that is unique to our culture or is this true in other times and places? Is it better or worse today?
2) If someone is supporting you because it’s good for them, are they really supporting you? When people follow celebrities, is it really for the celebrities?
3) How can you explain the wild swings of public opinion about Jesus? Why did people flock to him one day and abandon him another? Why do you suppose Jesus was and is such a controversial figure?
4) Why do you think it is harder for our family members to see us as others do? Why is a prophet without honor in his home town?
Have you noticed it’s harder to have certain conversations with family members than it is with others? If so, why do you suppose that is?
5) Why do you think it was necessary for Jesus to suffer?
What is the connection between Jesus’ suffering and His being exalted?
6) Have you had a season in life when most of your friends turned against you? How did you get through? Did you have some friends stick with you? If so, how did that effect your friendship?
7) If Jesus knew he had to go to Jerusalem to suffer and die, how do you think that knowledge affected the triumphal entry?
Do you think Jesus tried to keep the experiences separate, letting the excitement be its own moment and the knowledge that he would hear people scream “Crucify him!” its own separate experience?
Can you keep these kinds of contradictory experiences separate? If so, how?
8) Whose opinion matters to you more than anyone else’s? Whose approval do you seek? Do you sense God’s approval? If so, how or under what circumstances?
9) Is wanting approval from your peers a good or a bad thing? What are the implications of seeking that approval? What are the implications of ignoring it?