Vs. 3, “If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.” I think that’s a pretty good reason to give him your colt. Jesus is about to enter Jerusalem outside of Bethany (2.5 miles away). The Mount of Olives is elevated about 2600 feet, so it gives a beautiful view of Jerusalem. As Jesus entered Jerusalem, from the Roman perspective it was inconsequential (vs. 1-11). Their leader would ride on a chariot with many armed soldier’s, and here is Jesus riding on a donkey. Though, for the Jews, riding on a donkey was significant because only kings would do such a thing. We then are reminded of the fig tree (12-14, 20-26)…I’ll talk about that in the applicationj. Additionally, we see Jesus clear out the Temple from those who were making it a den of thieves (vs. 15-19). And lastly, we see Jesus show the weakness and pride of the chief priests, teachers of the law and elders as they came to challenge him.
Regarding application...Are You Bearing Fruit? Vs. 14, “Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.” This is a very interesting section because figs were not in season. Yet, when Jesus came up to this tree, He was expecting it to have figs. Question: Huh? Isn’t that illogical on Jesus’ part? Of course, the fig tree represented Israel. Now, how does this apply to us? You see…there are times in our lives when we are not bearing fruit. Times when we are in the valley of life, times when we are so busy…yet, Jesus still expects to see fruit in our lives. Even though it was not the season for it from our logical perspective…there is always a season for spiritual fruit from Jesus’ perspective. It’s time to start bearing fruit brothers and sisters! Review Galatians 5:22-23 and decide what you want to produce today!
Vs. 11, “I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” Okay…let me try to explain what’s going on here. Jesus is talking about John the Baptist because John had sent him a message (vs. 2). That message was an “honest” question like we talked about yesterday at church. Basically, John was asking…”Uhhhh…Jesus, I thought you were the Messiah.” John had been in prison now for months by Herod. John also misunderstood how the coming Messiah would respond in this world. Yes, Jesus will come in power, but first He had to come with mercy. Notice, after gently reminding John’s messenger’s and then they left, Jesus would go on to tell the crowds how legit John the Baptist is! They would reject John and now they would reject Jesus (vs. 18-19). And speaking of rejection, Jesus would essentially curse the cities that outright rejected His works and message (vs. 20-24).
Regarding application…Find Rest. Vs. 28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Definitely one of my favorite all-time passages! When I think about the storms of our lives and the weariness of living in this sinful world…it’s amazing comfort to know Jesus is there. We don’t have to be perfect. We even can be the chief of sinners, but Jesus still tells us to put our trust in Him and find rest! The Lord knew I needed it these days and I’m sure there are you who are so busy you don’t even have time to breathe. Slow down and just spend time rejuvenating your heart in the prescense of our Lord! Be honest with Jesus about your feelings. Open His word and pray that you would hear the Holy Spirit speak to your mind and heart. So rest up this weekend and be ready to start a new week on our blessed Sunday at church!
Vs. 8, “But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.” The history of the Jews is the record of covenants…God would make them and unfortunately His people would break them. He made a covenant with Abraham when He called him, and He would confirmed this covenant with Isaac and Jacob. The Covenant (promise) was the basis for all the blessings God desired to give His people. These were a people that looked like Godly people by their so called actions, but their hearts & actions in the dark would bring destruction. Their hearts were so bad that God would not listen to their crys when destruction would come. Jeremiah would find that the message would not bode well to the audience He was preaching to.
Regarding application…Enemies. Vs. 19, “I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree and its fruit; let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.” Jeremiah’s words remind us of Jesus who was a lamb led to the slaughter. A lamb will not fight back…Jesus & Jeremiah would not fight back, but God & His timing is everything. God would not let the enemies of Jeremiah conquer his ministry at this time. For Jesus…God knew that Jesus must be overtaken by His enemies. Here’s the bottom line…When we walk with God, boldly live for God…we WILL have enemies!!! If you are loved & liked by all…there perhaps is something wrong. Our biggest foe obviously is Satan…but, we must realize and not be suprised when we have enemies in our lives. But the most striking part about this all is what Jesus has to say about our enemies…”But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) We are not to love Satan, but we must love people made in God’s image who have yet to know Him. So the next time an enemy steps into your life, pray for them & love them with the Love Jesus gave you! And if God puts His vengenence upon them, may His will be done.
Vs. 13, “All these people were still living by faith when they died…” This is the chapter that is known to many of us as the “Hall of Faith.” In this chapter, we see faith demonstrated throughout the Old Testament. Some people are named, others are not. All these men and women, nevertheless, are among the giants of the faith. Some victories were public and miraculous, such as deliverance from death…others were private and rather ordinary, such as “out of weakness were made strong.” Some were delivered by faith…others did not escape. Though faith would give them the strength to to stand firm, it wouldn’t be until Jesus that the promises of God would be fulfilled.
Regarding application…Faith Examined. Vs. 1, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Someone would once say, “Faith is not a luxury, it is a necessity.” Faith is needed in pretty much every aspect of our lives…Faith in worshipping, faith in working, faith in studying, faith in walking, faith in waiting (patience), faith in tribulations & trials, etc. Romans 14:23, “But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.” In any area in life…if you ignore faith…it leads to sin. It’s important to note that not everyone who lived faithfully for God and who live faithfully for God now…are delivered from trials & struggles (Vs. 36-40).
Question: Do you want to know where Faith comes from? Perhaps you are thinking from yourself…or from something God automatically programmed in you. But take a look at Romans 10:17, “...faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” Pretty amazing stuff!!! The Word of God can increase your faith, the word of God (both written and spoken) can help you become a person who lives in faith for God! Until the Lord decides to take me…I will never stop teaching the utter importance of the reading the Word of God DAILY!