Matthew 22

Vs. 2, The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.”  Yesterday, Jesus ended the chapter with two parables and would share one more to show their true heart of the Jews.  God the Father would invite His first chosen, but they would reject his son (vs. 1-21).  The Pharisee’s, Sadducee’s and teachers of the law were definitely not happy with Jesus’ parables of rebuke.  So they devised a plan to find ways to accuse Jesus and trap him.  First they presented paying taxes (vs. 15-22)…If Jesus opposed the tax, he could be considered a traitor, if he favored it…he could lose standing among the Jews.  But Jesus, knowing their intent answers only as our Master and Lord can!  But that doesn’t stop them.  They now present a question about resurrection (vs. 23-33).  The Sadducee’s did not believe in resurrection and they were hoping to catch Jesus in their example.  But Jesus would remind them that resurrection will happen and relationships binded on earth will not be the same in heaven.  And we also see expert in the law sent by the Pharisee’s to trap Jesus in the greatest commandment.  Jesus would quote Deut 6:5 and summarize the 613 laws to one.  And lastly, Jesus masterfully uses Scripture to stump the so-called experts of scripture by quoting King David in Psalm 110:1, how was it that King David would call his eventual offspring, Lord?  David was refering to Jesus.

 

Regarding application…Jesus Says.  Vs. 37-40, “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Jesus Says…  Question: Why would we listen to him?  Because God the Father has given Jesus as His son authority.  We do things because people tell us to.  We pay our taxes, stop at the red light, pay for our food, do our homework, read our bible…why?  Because someone tells us to.  However, when it comes to loving God and others…We are told to do this, but so often we don’t.  Question: Why is this?  In part, I believe we don’t look at this like a real command.  It’s like it’s a suggestion…please do this.  But not a command…Love or else.  We don’t like to wrap our minds around love as a command.  We think of love as a choice.  I’ll love him if he does this for me.  But if, not…then I don’t have to love.  That’s not love.  Jesus told us to love.  That’s a pretty good reason to love.  Do it because Jesus says.

Jeremiah 22

Vs. 1, “This is what the LORD says: “Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and proclaim this message there.”  The last four kings of Judah were evil and God would use Jeremiah to present a prophecy/judgment upon them.  All these kings would sit in the throne of David and benefit from the covenant of God, but the kings were not serving Kings.  Yet, it seems as if God was communicating through Jeremiah that there were still small windows of opportunities if they would just turn from their sins.  Eventually, the ruins of Jerusalem would be their only monument representing wickedness.  These kings would make themselves richer and the poor poorer.  God would put some of the most harsh judgments on these kings.

 

Regarding application…The Poor.  Vs. 16, “He (Josiah) defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well.  Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the LORD.”  This was the cause of King Jehoiakim…He was obviously so corrupt that he would feed off the poor to making himself even more filthy rich.  Remember Jesus’ own words, “Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 16:20).  And unfortunately…things haven’t changed too much since then.  The rich still get richer and the poor seem to get poorer.  It is sad to admit that we live in a land of incredible wealth compared to the world at large.  But who really is more blessed?  We are so quick to thank God for all of our physical needs…but perhaps some of these physical possessions are not as good as we think.  It is no suprise that the poorer a family is…the closer they are.  The poorer you are…the more thankful you are for a simple meal.  I”m not saying we must sell and give up everything…but perhaps we should stop and consider how much we have and what we don’t need!  We live in a world where children are literally dying by the thousands because of no food or money.  Let’s have perspective this week and remember to allow the Master Potter to work on His clay!

Revelation 22

Vs. 7, “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.”  Jesus makes sure to remind us three times in the final chapter of the final book in the whole Bible that He is coming soon!  Question: Are you ready for Jesus to return?   For most of us…we probably are not completely ready.  It’s safe to say there is still much to do when it comes to preparing the way of the Lord.  I love the promise that we are given if we follow His word…we will be blessed.  Being blessed by God isn’t always what we see as being blessed…just remember the life of Paul and all of his hardships.  But, we are reminded about how glorious it will be when He brings the final chapter to fruition!.”  Jesus makes sure to remind us three times in the final chapter of the final book in the whole Bible that He is coming soon!  Vs. 7, ”

Regarding application…All Who Are Thirsty.  Vs. 17, “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”  What a wonderful way to end the whole bible with the reminder that we are invited to drink from the Living Water (Jesus)!  By the time you are 70, you will have required 1 ½ million gallons of water.  If you lose 2% of your body’s water supply, your energy decreases by 20%. If you lose 10%, you’re unable to walk.  If you lose 20% of your body’s water supply, you’re dead. You can only survive about 72 hours without water.  Everyday we wake up and drink water or something to quench our thirst.  How much more than should we be drinking from God’s word & prayer?!?!  Dearest brothers and sisters…it is no coincidence that God would end his final chapter of His Word with the reminder of being thristy and quenching our thirst!