Read: Matthew 21
As much as I’d like to cruise through the book of Matthew, I simply can’t! There is so much to consider even in this single chapter of Matthew. As Hurricane Irma knocks out power and disrupts the lives of so many in Florida (in particular), I pray we can slow down and listen to the quiet voice and learn.
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was significant and worth pausing to consider:
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Matthew 21:10-11
He was certainly well known and far from hidden as Passion Week begins. Crowds of people honored Him as He came into the holy city of Jerusalem. Matthew’s careful wording of this verse is interesting:
But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. Matthew 21:15
The religious leaders saw wonderful things He was doing and even the children were participating in His triumphal entry. Their response: indignation. Their concern was all about Jesus’ credentials:
“By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?” Matthew 21:23
Where did you go to Seminary? Do you have your doctorate? Is it honorary or real? Who was on your dissertation committee? The list goes on and on. Anything to dispel credibility compared to their own.
We tend to do the same thing today, even if we don’t admit it. The first thing we do is surround ourselves with those of like mind. This makes sense for building friendships, but not necessarily for building the kingdom. When we all think alike, it’s easy to conclude that our thoughts are always right and here’s where we start to slide down the slippery slope we see the religious leaders of Jesus’ day.
I’m not suggesting we surround ourselves with contrarians or people who just want to argue, but to be an effective voice for Christ, we need to be representative of all kinds of people. Something to consider when building a team that is designed to reach beyond our own understanding and knowledge.
Parable of the Tenants: Matthew 21:33-46
This amazing parable directly convicts the religious aristocracy of the day. They might be dim, but they’re not stupid:
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet. Matthew 21:45-46
They identified with the horrible people in the parable…so they looked for a way to arrest him? Lord, do we sense guilt when we hear a word against us and become defensive? I pray we will not become so pious, that we would learn lessons from these remarkable words and humble ourselves before you.