Thursday, March 17, 2016

Matthew 23 Woe to the Pharisees

SLIDE 1 Last week Jesus indicated the Pharisees in the parable of the King’s Wedding Feast and previously the parable of the wicked husbandman. Now Jesus no longer cloaks his message in a parable but speaks plainly of the scribes and Pharisees.     
Matthew 23
·         Explanation to the Crowds
·         Condemnation of the Pharisees
·         Lamentation over Jerusalem
Jesus spends the first half of this chapter explaining to the crowds the false concepts of righteousness, ministry, and greatness displayed by the Pharisees. No doubt they were shocked because the Pharisees were considered righteous. Jesus still recognized their official capacity as teachers of the law. (the seat of Moses) "Synagogues had a stone seat at the front where the authoritative teacher sat and instructs the crowd. “Clarke
 Jesus instructed the crowds to “to practice and observe whatever they tell you---but not what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” The Pharisees crush people with unbearable religious demands but they neglected them themselves. These religious leaders were burden bringers; Jesus was a burden taker. Remember following rules won’t get you into heaven. There is salvation in no one else but Jesus.
SLIDE 2 *How many of you really like football? Do you have a jersey or hat for your favorite team? The weeks before the Super Bowl everybody and their grandmother wore a Panthers’ shirt. Our outward dress shows our passion. Do you think these guys want attention from the cameras?
SLIDE 3 The Pharisees also wanted the attention of men. 5 Pharisees do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their click fringes long,6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues7 and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others.
By widening their phylacteries, the Pharisees they were asking to be noticed and implying that they were better and their prayers held more weight because of their rank.  Their self-righteousness kept them out of the kingdom of God. The instructions to the disciples concerning titles in vv.8-9 were in light of the pride of the Pharisees “who demand unquestioning submission to themselves and their opinions “ (Carson)
SLIDE 4 This Israeli soldier is praying before a battle. Phylacteries The small leather boxes contain the Hebrew Scriptures, and long straps which wrap around their forehead or arms which spiral down to their hand; it was a very visible thingto look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them.”  It showed those around them that they were in prayer.
Ladies I want us to pause now and pray for Israel.
SLIDE 5 Again Jesus is reminding us to put other first. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant.12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
God has a way of humbling us when we are prideful for our works. You can testify the demons of technology, so any lecture I share has been prayed over and guided by His Holy Spirit. If I try to claim any knowledge or wisdom for myself, I can be sure to be brought low. Our knowledge and good works aren’t enough. There is salvation in no one else but Jesus.
SLIDE 6  Your commentary provided the headings for the SEVEN WOES. If we included verse 13 from the KJV which is noted in Mark and Luke we have eight woes to the religious leaders. These eight woes stand in contrast to the eight beatitudes in  Matthew 5:3-11. 
The days for questioning are over. Jesus shows his disdain by pointing out their false teaching and calls the Pharisees “sons of hell,” “hypocrites,” “blind guides” and “serpents, you brood of vipers.” Not all of the Pharisees were hypocrites; a few were righteous like Nicodemas and Joseph of Arimathea. There were over 6000 Pharisees during this time. Most of the Pharisees were middle-class businessmen, and no doubt they were sincere in their quest for truth and holiness. The name “Pharisees” came from a word that means “to separate.”
SLIDE 7 1) Shutting the Door to the Kingdom-13"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.
It was bad enough that the religious leaders reject the message Jesus taught but even worse the kept others from the kingdom of heaven by teaching man-made traditions instead of God’s truth.  They took “away the key of knowledge” and closed the door to salvation. Their disputes with Jesus and their false accusations were preventing other from hearing the Good News and following Jesus.
SLIDE 8 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye devour widows’ houses, taking advantage of their helpless condition and trusting spirits, to obtain money or their property. By their "long prayers" they want people to believe they were righteous and spiritual. But There is salvation in no one but Jesus.
SLIDE 9 2) Proselytizing for Hell-15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
A proselyte is a convert to a cause. Their teaching was a legalistic system and their way could not introduce the proselyte to a loving God. The child of the devil is one who has rejected God plan for salvation. Following the Pharisees in self-righteous behavior they will miss heaven. Their teaching was false and judgmental.
SLIDE 10 3) Swearing Evil Oaths'17 You blind fools!
 For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 22 And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.
Matthew 5:34-35 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
37 Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from evil.
They were blind to the true values and had their priorities confused.
SLIDE 11 4) Inappropriate Tithing 23"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
If you have these herbs in your garden or spice rack, you know how very small an item cumin and dill are. While outwardly bringing their tithes, they neglected the principles of Christian giving under grace. They were scrupulous about small things like staining their wine to make sure they did not swallow a gnat which could not be considered kosher but lost their sense of priority over spiritual matters.
24 You blind guides, straining out a click gnat and swallowing a camel! The gnat was supposedly the smallest living creature while the camel was the largest animal in the region.
SLIDE 12 5) Clean Outside / Rotten Inside "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.26 You blind Pharisee! The Pharisees were careful to paint the outside the things that are seen by men yet harbored greed and self-indulgence in their hearts. 
You can’t purify the water by painting the pump? “Blessed are the pure in heart” was our Lord’s promise. We too must be careful to store in our heart pure thought and kind words. “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Prov. 4: 23 NASB). Will typing and tweaking my lecture a wrong keystroke can delete the whole lesson. The undo button is essential for recovery. Don’t we wish we had an undo button on our mouth?
SLIDE 13 6) Whitewashed Tombs27"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Their hearts were filled with defilement and death.
Numbers 19:16 Gives us the law. Whoever in the open field touches a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. Because of all the foreigners entering Jerusalem for the Passover the tombs were whitewashed with lime so they could be easily seen and prevent any Jew from being ceremoniously unclean by accidently walking near the grave.  Throughout the year, rain and mud would wash the white lime off and would have to be re-applied every year in the month of Adar, the month before Passover.    
SLIDE 14 7) Murdered the Prophets "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
*On you will be the blood of the first martyr Abel, and the last recorded murder in the Hebrew Bible was the prophet Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest. Remember the bible story about 7 year old king of Judah, Joash, 2 Chronicles 24:2 And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.  He worked most of his life restoring the house of the LORD.  Until this lesson that is what I remember about King Joash. Later in the chapter we learn Jehoiada the priest died. His son Zechariah by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD. 22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah's father, had shown him, but killed his son. And when he was dying, he said, "May the LORD see and avenge!"  Romans 12:19 “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
The army of the Syrians with few men, the LORD delivered into their hand a very great army, because Judah had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers. Thus they executed judgment on Joash.
These are prophetic words of Jesus. Matthew 23:33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? 34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town.
SLIDE 15 It was no accident that I found this blog. Here are five marks of a modern-day Pharisee.
  1. Having a Performance-Based Relationship with God
  2. Looking Down on Others
  3. Loving Outward Signs of Holiness
  4. Loving Honor and Recognition
  5. Always Needing to Justify Yourself
Notice in the review for day 7 in your commentary a challenge to root out seeds of “Pharisaim” that may afflict us. Remember confession is a necessary part of a healthy prayer life. There is salvation in no one else but Jesus.
SLIDE 16 37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! John 1: 11 Jesus died for the sins of the world, including the nation of Israel: But “his own received him not”
SLIDE 17 The image of the mother bird gathering and covering her brood is a familiar one. It is a picture of love, tender care, and a willingness to die to protect our own. Psalm63:7…for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
Jesus came for Israel He wanted to bring her peace and comfort. As Gentiles we reap the benefits of His great and sacrificial love to redeem us from our sins. This Easter Season let’s remember the costly gift we are given freely by Jesus’ death on the cross.
SLIDE 18 Throughout the bible (birds, eagles, sparrows) depict rescue, shelter, and safety in the arms of our LORD. Moses used this imagery in his farewell sermon talking about the LORD’s providence over His People Israel.
Deut. 32:11         Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young,
spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions,

38 See, your house is left to you desolate.39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"
SLIDE 20 What a remarkable lesson I learned from one of my Core Leaders last week.
I remarked to Debbie, let’s see how I can work that into our lecture. No surprise that God knew before either of us, your commentary on page 121 brings notice of the rebirth of the nation of Israel in click 1948. Zechariah was given a message 13:89
In the whole land, declares the LORD,
2/3 shall be cut off and perish,
and 1/3 shall be left alive.
And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.   Click melting point of goldclick
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, 'They are my people';
May we never forget…Of the nine million Jews who lived in Europe before the Holocaust, an estimated 2/3 were murdered. The Jews were put through the fire and refined.
 ……… BUT One day they will say 'The LORD is my God.'"

SLIDE 20 Ladies let’s remember there is still injustice and innocent victims here in Gastonia and Charlotte today. Our daughters  A shelter aptly named On Eagles Wings.
Praise God for all He did in 2015!
·         11 teen survivors of sex trafficking, as young as 14 were provided hope, empowerment, and a brighter future at OEW Hope House.
·         19 survivors of sex trafficking were provided paid, educational fellowships and job skills training at Fields of Hope.
Save  the  National  Human Trafficking Hotline in your phone 1 888-373-7888.
SLIDE 21 Will you trust in Jesus alone for your salvation and peace with God? PRAY

Friday, March 11, 2016

Matthew 22-Parable of the King's Wedding Feast

SLIDE 1 Avoid conflict. David Moore in Vital Speeches of the Day.
*Two men who lived in a small village got into a terrible dispute that they could not resolve. So they decided to talk to the town sage. The first man went to the sage's home and told his version of what happened. When he finished, the sage said, "You're absolutely right." The next night, the second man called on the sage and told his side of the story. The sage responded, "You're absolutely right." Afterward, the sage's wife scolded her husband. "Those men told you two different stories and you told them they were absolutely right. That's impossible -- they can't both be absolutely right." The sage turned to his wife and said, "You're absolutely right."
There was no conflict but there was also no truth.
How many of you like to debate? Argue? Disagree? Defend? Although I do like to instruct others in the truth of the bible and correct false teaching, I do not enjoy negative talk, politics, or conflict.
This week Jesus is challenged by different groups, He uses wisdom and knowledge of the scripture to finally quiet His foes.
Matthew 22 Conflicts in Jerusalem
         Parable of the Wedding Feast
         Three Questions
o   Herodians,
o   Pharisees,
o   Sadducees,
o   Lawyers
         Jesus Asks His Own Question
Aim: Listeners will humble themselves before the Lord’s wisdom and authority.
SLIDE 2 Chapter Divisions • (22:1-14) To anyone that has planned a wedding, you know how much time and expense goes into the wedding dinner. Care is taken to choose the perfect invitations and the best food for the occasion. Prince Charles and Dianne had the most expensive wedding in history costing $110 million when adjusted for inflation. Television viewers watched in awe at the pageantry and expense. The adoration of English citizens for Dianne gave us a play by play view into the planning of a royal wedding. We can’t imagine anyone turning down an invitation to this Wedding of the Century.
In our study of the King’s wedding feast for His son we recognize the analogy of God sending prophets to announce His salvation plan in the form of a Messiah. Many were ignored and some were killed. Matthew 3:11 John was sent to invite Israel to Jesus.
SLIDE 3 4'Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.'5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business,
An invitation to a wedding feast is an honor. The King is so excited and ready for his friends to come share. Some made lame excuses 6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.
SLIDE 4 7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
Many prophets, including John the Baptist, had been murdered (Matthew 14:10). The king’s reprisal against the murderers can be interpreted as a prophecy of Jerusalem’s destruction in A.D. 70 at the hands of the Romans. But more likely the king’s vengeance speaks of the desolation mentioned in the book of Revelation.
SLIDE 5 8 Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.'10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.
 I must admit I was puzzled at the treatment of the man not dressed properly since the  people were gathered from the streets.  Some scholars believe that the king provided the proper attire for his guests. It would be a major insult to the king to refuse to wear the garment provided to the guests.
SLIDE 6  13 Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'14 This is the final judgment before God.
For many are called, but few are chosen." Throughout the Gospel of Matthew the Kingdom of Heaven has been the focus of the teachings and parables of Jesus.
 “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 7:6
SLIDE 7 Israel and her leadership had been known as the “Chosen,” but even their privilege in status is lost through their rejection of Jesus’ invitation to the kingdom of heaven. God is patient, but He will not tolerate wickedness forever. His judgment will come upon those who reject His Son and the offer of salvation.
In the book of Revelation, we see those in heaven wearing “white robes” (Revelation 7:9), and we learn that the whiteness of the robes is due to their being washed in the blood of the Lamb (verse 14). We trust in God’s righteousness, not our own (Philippians 3:9).
Will you be attending the Wedding feast? We must humble ourselves before Jesus and accept His righteousness.
SLIDE 8 This is the Tuesday of Passover week, our Lord’s enemies tried to trap Him by using a series of “loaded” questions. Herodians are usually in conflict with the Pharisees  but they join together to “tempt” Jesus.
The Pharisees sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher,(Rabbi) we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone's opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances.17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"
This was a highly volatile issue to the people under the rule of the Romans, but Jesus saw through their false flattery. They were probably referring to a census or annual head tax or a poll tax. It is estimated that a Jewish family paid about 49% of its annual income to these various taxes to Romans and the temple.
SLIDE 9 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax." And they brought him a denarius.20 And Jesus said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?"21 They said, "Caesar's." Then he said to them, "Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."22 When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.
Short and sweet was Jesus answer-no argument, no debate. We can see our Lord is tiring of this dogged repartee with the temple leaders. They hoped to trap Him into saying something that would cause His arrest.
We are God’s creation, made in His image. Are you willing to give yourself to God?
Next up the Sadducees
SLIDE 10 What a ridiculous question for the Sadducees who deny resurrection, and angels and the spirit world. This group only accepted the first five books of Moses; the Pentateuch. Their unlikely illustration comes from Jewish law of “levirate marriage” from Deuteronomy 25: 5– 10. (The word levirate comes from the Latin word levir which means “a husband’s brother.” ) The surviving brother of a childless widow is to marry his sister-in-law and provide an heir to preserve the genealogical line for his deceased brother as well as an inheritance.

Matthew 22: 28 In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her."
29But Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
Think about the reason made man and women-to populate the earth.
There will be no need for marriage in the next life because there will be no death. Therefore it will not be necessary to bear children to replace those who die.

 *Jesus did not say that we would be angels with wings when we are glorified in heaven. He said we would be “as the angels.”
31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God:32 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living."33 And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.
SLIDE 1235 A Pharisee schooled in the law, asked him a question to test him.36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37 And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.38 This is the great and first commandment.39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
These two summarize all the laws and commands in Scripture.
The Ten Commandments deal with our relationship with God and with other people. Our love of God will overflow to others. It is impossible to love others with their flaws and demands if we cannot commit to a loving, infallible God. Only when we are transformed by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit we are able to begin to love others as ourselves. 
 SLIDE 13 (22:41-46) 41Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question,42 saying, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" They said to him, "The son of David."43 He said to them, "How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
44            "'The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet'?
45            If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?".
Psalm 110:1
teaches the deity and the humanity of Messiah.
There is only one answer to this question. As God, Christ is David’s Lord; as man, He is David’s Son. He is both “the root and the offspring of David” (Rev. 22:16).
When He was ministering on earth, Jesus often accepted the messianic title “Son of David”
         Matthew 9:27;  2 blind men
         Matthew 12:23; crowds after healing
         Matthew 15:22; woman of Canaan
         Matthew 20:30–31; 2 blind men
         Matthew 21:9; multitudes in Jerusalem
         Matthew 21:15; children in temple
         Matthew 22:42; Pharisees
The rulers had heard the multitudes proclaim Him as “Son of David” when He rode into Jerusalem. The fact that He accepted this title is evidence that Jesus knew Himself to be the Messiah, the Son of God.
46 And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.
Warren Weirsbe once again provides additional thoughts to this questioning.
“But there was another reason for the questions, one that His enemies did not realize. Jesus was going to die as the Lamb of God, and it was necessary for the lamb to be examined before Passover (Ex. 12: 3– 6). If any blemish whatsoever was found on the lamb, it could not be sacrificed. Jesus was examined publicly by His enemies and they could find no fault in Him.  
What would you ask Jesus? Do you accept His wisdom and authority as Immanuel, God with us?
Are you will to accept His invitation to the Wedding Feast?

Wiersbe, Warren W. (2015-08-18). The BE Series Bundle: The Gospels: Be Loyal, Be Diligent, Be Compassionate, Be Courageous, Be Alive, and Be Transformed (The BE Series Commentary) (Kindle Locations 2864-2865). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Matthew 21-Conflict in Jerusalem

Jacques Joseph Tissot (15 October 1836 – 8 August 1902), depicts the life of Christ through his art. In 1885, Tissot had a revival of his Catholic faith, which led him to spend the rest of his life making paintings about Biblical events. 
SLIDE 1 Saturday, members of the Leader’s Council attended in a production with a new twist to the Resurrection story. Our food was served by the cast and we entered into conversations with them during intermission. My front row seat gave me a chance to pet and perhaps purchase a donkey for mere shekels. We experienced the joy of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, heard the adorations of the crowds and saw children interact with the one who played Jesus. We can only imagine the powerful connection for anyone who has visited the Holy Land. But for a few hours our group was transported back to the time when Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem.
SLIDE 2 As we study the parallel gospels of the following events, John is the only one that recorded the death and resurrection of Lazarus. Although Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter and the widow’s son, these were not entombed for four days. John 12:17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. This was an extraordinary event unparalleled to this day.
As He enters the gates of the city abnormally large crowds are in attendance. Some states as many as 2 million Jewish pilgrims filled Jerusalem. Rosen
SLIDE 3 Matthew 21-Give Jesus Authority over your Life.
o   Authority as King
o   Authority to Judge
o   Authority in the Temple
SLIDE 4 Matthew 211Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Beth-fuh-gee, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,2 saying to them, "Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me.3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord (Master)needs them,' and he will send them at once."
Citizens were required to submit to the King any item or service that He or one of his emissaries might request.  In making such a request, Jesus is claiming to be King.  He is speaking as one in authorityAnd the Angels were Silent, Max Lucado
 Most of our bibles label this event the triumphal entry¸ however Jesus comes not as conquering military leader on a massive stallion, but as a King riding an unbroken foal of a donkey to symbolize peaceful intentions. The animal had to be perfect and unused, never having a yoke upon his neck.
Finding the colt was not due to a coincidence or a previous arrangement with the owner. It showed the omniscience and authority of Jesus in fulfilling the prophecy written about five centuries before the birth of Jesus
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, Zechariah 9:9-10.
5"Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'"
SLIDE 5 6The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them.7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks and he sat on them.
Can you imagine trying to ride an animal before it is broken? Especially a baby donkey riding through a yelling crowd! “In the midst of all of this an unbroken young animal remains totally calm under the hands of the Messiah who controls nature, and stills the storm. Jesus is the Lord of all and under his hand nothing but harmony and peace comes about. The animal knows and loves his true master for who he is. Don Carson
8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
Spreading garments before a dignitary was a symbol of submission. They paid homage and reverence to the coming King. (see 2 Kings 9:13). Palm branches symbolized Jewish nationalism and victory.
9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"
 Calling out “Hosanna,” “O, Save” or “Save Now” brings expectation liberation from Rome. The Jewish Festival of Lights or Hanukkah celebrates the recovery of Jerusalem by Judas Maccabeus who delivered Judea and Judaism by recapturing their temple from Syrian King Antiochus Epiphanes 164 B.C.
10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, "Who is this?"11 And the crowds said, "This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee."
Egyptian Hallel in Psalms 113-118 which are sung during the Passover Season.
No longer does He tell His disciples to be quiet about Him (Matthew 12:1616:20) but to shout His praises and worship Him publicly. Jesus was openly declaring His authority to the people. He was their King and the Messiah promised by God for their redemption. 
But as we have learned in the study of Matthew it is all about God’s timing. Now as Jesus enters the city with pageantry and intentional publicity. Jesus is fulfilling many prophecies with this display.
Where would you be in that crowd? Have you recognized Jesus Christ as your LORD. Many are willing for Him to be their Savior, but what about LORD of your life. Those who take Christ for their King, must lay their all under his feet. Are you willing to lay all under His feet, to give Him the authority over your life, To wake up each day and ask, “How can I serve you LORD?”
o   Authority to Judge
SLIDE 6 Jesus performed two acts of judgment: He cleansed the temple, and He cursed a fig tree. Both acts so unlike the humble Jesus we have seen with the multitude.
Many Jewish worshippers came a great distance and traveled too far to bring the animals for their Passover offering. They also brought foreign money. The temple tax required of each male was had to be exchanged to CLICK a Tyrian Shekel acceptable coin by the temple priests. What had begun as a service and convenience for visitors from other lands soon turned into a profitable business. The dealers charged excessive prices. No one could compete with them or oppose them since the former high priest, was the manager of this enterprise.
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
SLIDE 7 12And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.( which were set up in the Gentile court13 He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you make it a den of robbers." Isaiah 56:7
*Do we need to be cleansed, washed in the blood of the lamb? What is in our “temple” that needs to be driven out? Sometimes we just need a purge from all the bad things we put in our bodies? Worldly thoughts must be purged from our minds. Ungodly images we see on television. Perhaps election campaigning. Trust God to sort it out.
Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
Is there anything in your mind that needs to be purged? Does Jesus have authority over your temple?
Romans 12:2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
14-16 Though normally restricted from temple worship because of their imperfections  ”the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. When the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did they were indignant. Again children recognized the majesty of Jesus and cried “Hosanna to the Son of David!" "'Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise'?"
SLIDE 8 Here Matthew’s order of events varies from the other gospels.
 On the map notice the close proximity of Bethany the home of Lazarus, Mary and Martha to Jerusalem. During this next week Jesus will travel to and from the city.
Bethphage, a village on the Mt. of Olives is named "house of unripe figs"
SLIDE 9 Clarke’s commentary explains that Jesus did not curse the fig tree out of resentment for not having any fruit, but to illustrate to His disciples the judgment of God on the state of the Jewish people— an abundance of leaves but no fruit. They practiced rituals of religion and prided themselves as God’s chosen people—but were only hypocrites without fruit.
20-20When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, "How did the fig tree wither at once?"
Jesus use the fig tree as lesson in faith. "Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' it will happen.22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith."
Do you have faith enough to give Jesus complete authority over your finances, your family, your daily life?
o   Authority in the Temple
SLIDE 10 23       And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, "By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?"
Jesus has created quite a stir in Jerusalem. He is announcing to the world His true identity as the Son of God. It is time! He pulls no punches with the religious leaders. Presenting two parable Jesus uses the metaphor of grapevines and vineyard to levels allegations to the high ranking priestly line. They externally obeyed the law but rejected God’s messager, John the Baptist.
SLIDE 11 Have you ever had co workers or friends who willingly agree to comply but then never follows through? My learned sister would say this is passive aggressive behavior.
31-3 3”Which of the two did the will of his father?"  They answered “the first “because his actions showed his obedience.
The chief priests and the elders rejection of John was actually a rejection of God the Father. But God is gracious, and instead of sending judgment, He sent His Son. This leads to the next parable.
SLIDE 12 The master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country.
It is clear that God has blessed the nation of Israel. From time to time, God sent His servants (the prophets) to the His people to receive the fruit. But the people mistreated the servants, and even killed some of them.
Verse 37 says Finally he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.'”
This parable shows a loving Father believing His people would acknowledge, respect, and receive His Son.
SLIDE 13 The reference, of course, is to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Instead of receiving and honoring the son, the men cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Hebrews 13: 12  So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.
43Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him."
                    Jesus quoted Psalm 118:22-23
SLIDE 14 42"'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?
Have any of you been to Reed Gold Mine in Cabarrus County? Here was the first to discovery of gold. North Carolina led the nation in gold production until 1848
SLIDE 15 In 1799 a twelve-year-old boy Conrad Reed who went fishing one Sunday and  found a yellow "rock" in Little Meadow Creek on the family farm. For three years, the rock served as a bulky doorstop. In 1802, a jeweler from Fayetteville identified the rock as a large gold nugget. He told John Reed to name his price. Reed, not understanding the true value of gold, asked for what he thought was the hefty price of $3.50, or a week's worth of wages. The large nugget's true value was around $3,600.
 Jesus is the precious rock God has given us to be the both the cornerstone and the capstone of our lives. His love is worth more than silver or gold.
SLIDE 16 Will you choose to give Jesus complete authority over your Life?