Archive for August 10th, 2010

Matthew 21

Matthew 21 takes us to Jesus entry into Jerusalem.  He sent a couple of his disciples ahead to prepare the Last Supper for them and they “went and did as Jesus had directed them”.  The instructions were pretty vague – find a donkey tied up – and bring it to me.  If anyone asks just tell them I need it.  Now how does that work out?  Not at all if God is not in the picture.  God plus complete obedience always works.  The disciples listened and followed their charge.  And it happens exactly as He said and He rides the donkey into town.  “The crowd spread their cloaks on the road….others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road”.  Palm Sunday the first time.  Jesus enters triumphantly on the back of a donkey as the crowd prepares the way.  He knew the religious leaders were there waiting to kill Him.  He knew they were trying to find Him to get Him out of their territory.  But He doesn’t go low profile – “the whole city was stirred up”.  Nothing low key about His entry.  And once in town, well it just gets more interesting:

–       “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…..He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

–       the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them

Not exactly how you stay under the radar.  Create some chaos in the temple and then use it as the platform to heal people and do high profile miracles.  The religious leaders were really looking for a way to get rid of Him now.

He goes on to teach His disciples a lesson on faith using a fig tree.  “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. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith”.  So what about the name it and claim it message that some seem to believe in today.  Prayer has never been about me getting what I want when I want it how I want it.  It is about me getting my attitude and requests lined up with what God wants to happen in my life.  It is about me lining up with Him, not vice versa.  We get that backward sometimes.  We think that maybe scripture is telling us to ask for everything and just wait for God to work like a coin operated machine.  We pray – He delivers.  Not how it will work.  God wants us to have faith.  Jesus goes on to really rock the religious leaders by telling them they won’t make it into heaven in spite of their status in their own minds.  “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him”.  The reality is that heaven will not be about our status or what we think of ourselves – it is about what God thinks and whether we have dealt with our sin problem by having a relationship with Jesus.  These religious leaders spent all their time trying to be righteous – yet they fell short.  We will not make it to heaven that way either.  Our only entry will be by accepting “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”.  It is about Jesus and what we do with Him.  Are you ready to meet God and give Him account of your life?  There is no guarantee about tomorrow.  Get with the program and get right with Him today!

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