Wow, does Matthew 21 have a lot of great stuff! Tonight/this morning, we take you on a walk through the eyes of a simpleton.
“Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey”
Jesus was all about fulfilling the old testament prophesy…in this case Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey – even on a donkey’s colt.” To me, it is very meaningful that Jesus goes out of his way to fulfill the writings of the old testament…and to validate his prophets. I did wonder what it would be like for the two disciples that were sent ahead to get the donkey. Jesus tells them what to say if they encounter anyone, but it doesn’t say that they did encounter anyone. What do you think the conversation was like between the two disciples on the way there?
“Jesus clears the temple again!”
This one is short, but much to it. It is clear that the people who needed Jesus, put their faith in him and knew who he was. After Jesus drove out the merchants and their customers, “The blind and the lame came to him, and he healed them there in the temple.” Then, once again, he used old testament scripture to set the doubters straight: “Haven’t you ever read the scriptures?”
“Jesus says the disciples can pray for anything.”
Do you ever wonder what “funny” stuff Jesus may have done that wasn’t recorded in the bible? In this case, he wilted a fig tree that didn’t have any fruit…to create an example for the disciples. If they had faith, they could do much more than wilt a fig tree…they could make a mountain thrown into the sea. The verses like this make me wonder how strong my faith is…could I make a grain of sand thrown into a creek? Why couldn’t I have a mountain thrown into the sea?
“Religious leaders challenge Jesus’s authority.”
THESE ARE GREAT! Every time the religious smart guys try to catch Jesus in his own words, he turns the tables on them…baffling them…they have no idea what to do…except get mad. “So they finally replied, ‘We don’t know’.”
“Jesus tells the parable of the two sons”
I wonder what these ‘leading priests’ thought after hearing this parable. Do you think any of them changed their ways? Surely, they all weren’t completely stubborn and set in their ways.
“Jesus tells the parable of the evil farmers”
I really wonder what all of them felt after they heard the parable. “When the leading priests and Pharisees heard Jesus, they realized he was pointing at them – that they were the farmers in this story. They wanted to arrest him, but they were afraid to try because the crowds considered Jesus to be a prophet.”
Our all church study is focusing on “remembering” this week. We had a great discussion tonight going over the Armstrong and the Thomas family history. Shelly and I also shared where we were on 9/11. Shelly was working in the pediatric ICU in Peoria and I was at the State Farm facility in Canada…it was a month plus before we were to be married. I was amazed at how much our kids were interested in these stories. Don’t sell your story short…and share it with others…God may be using it…and/or you!