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?