Vs. 10, “When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” Events are moving quickly now as Matthew takes us to Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. We will see three events transpire from the enttry (vs. 1-11), the cleansing of the temple (vs. 12-16) and the fig tree (vs. 17-22). Each of these events would give us an indication of where Israel was at spiritually. Jesus would fulfill prophecy from Zechariah and Jeremiah and sadly, Israel would reject it’s king. Matthew tells us chief priests and elders were indignant. Question: What’s the big deal with this so-called prophet from Nazareth? Their jealousy would bring about the ultimate prophecy of Jesus dying on the cross. Jesus would share with them two parables in our chapter that would be an indictment toward’s them. The parable of the two son’s (vs. 28-32) show’s Israel’s rejection of God’s word from John the Baptists. The parable of the tenants (vs. 33-46), show’s us as Israel being the vineyard and God being the owner. Such a clear message of their hatred, yet they were too blind to realize they were giving into their hate.
Regarding application…Are you Praying? Vs. 13, “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ a but you are making it a den of robbers.” This is the second recorded cleansing that Jesus would do. In the beginning of his ministry, he did a similar act (John 2). The Jews were making money and hiding their sins. But God wants his temple to be place for prayer. Question: Why? Because it shows our dependance upon Him and because in the end….it pleases God. I think sometimes we make church a lot more difficult than we should. Church is fellowship with God and others. It’s a way to remember the goodness of God and communicate (prayer and bible) to him. So the application we can ask ourselves is…Question: Will you allow Jesus to cleanse You today? Put your dependance upon the Lord today and make today a blessed day!
Vs. 5, “I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in anger and fury and great wrath.” King Zedekiah’s plea to Jeremiah & God does not work…God’s wrath is already set in place. Zedekiah makes a last appeal to God as the Babylonian army is encamped around Jerusalem. But not only would God reject the appeal…God would join the pagan army against His own people. The hand that once fed them was now crushing them. Don’t feel sorry for these people, for they had been warned time & time again. Yet, in this time of desperation…God would give a small way out. If anyone of them would surrender now before the siege…God would spare their lives. But part of their folly was that many of the Jews believed Jerusalem was impregnable…no army could penetrate it’s defence.
Regarding application…Submission. Vs. 8, “Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the LORD says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death.” When God disciplines…we really have two responses to make…life or death. The only safe response for those who had turned from God was to submit to the Babylonians and have another chance at life. But the stubborn & proud would defiantly die in their foolishness. Question: How does that apply today? This pretty much implies that if we don’t take measures to submit to God the things in our life…perhaps God will choose to take it earlier than we think. God is in control (PERIOD). If our lives are unproductive…it is absolutey God’s perogative to choose to keep us on earth or not. He did it to His people then and I’m positive in some ways He does it now. Question: Which road are you on? The road of life or the road of death? Our fear should not be the enemy as much as it should be Godly fear. Only God determines when our time is up. We take vitamins, eat healthy (at least try to), excericse…to live better/longer lives….why don’t we do the same spiritually? We talked about keeping the fire burning yesterday at church. Eat the word of God, be filled with the Spirit and remember God’s love. Romans 6:16 reminds us, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?”
.” God will make that which is imperfect…perfect. Consider it an “extreme makeover” for the earth! God is redecorating and renovating the earth as we know it. No matter how much “Green” we go…only God can make it perfect. And what wonderful changes there will be when we see it for the first time! This city will unite people from both Old Tesatment times and New Testament times…there will be no need for Temple, for God will dwell personally with us…there will be no need for natural light (for God’s glory will be light enough)…and there will be no need for night (for night symbolizes death, sin, sorrow). It is an enourmous city…a city that measures 1500 miles on every side (that’s 2/3 the size of the United States).earthVs. 1, ”
Regarding application…God’s Glory. Vs. 6, “He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.” The most important aspect of this new Heaven’s and Earth…is God’s eternal glory! Question: Why would Jesus give the apostle John this preview? To give all of us the reminder that Jesus is going to prepare a wonderful place for us (John 14:1-6). But another aspect about God’s glory is that it is not something God is holding back until we reach Heaven….God’s glory is something that was promised to us when Jesus asceneded to the right hand of the Father (Acts 1:8). We sell ourselves far too short in this life. We give the excuse that we can’t be perfect so why try in the first place. When you come into the presence of God and see the Glory of the Risen Lord by faith…something changes in our lives! God’s glory gives us the ability to not just wait for the new Heaven’s and Earth…God’s glory gives us the ability to bring God’s presence in the lives of people today!!! The preview and glimpse of the New Heaven is only to motivate us that when we have done His will…He has such a wondeful place in store for us!