When difficult things come to us in life, it brings our focus and energy to the important things – the things that really matter. Jesus seems to have had a keen awareness of this in his life as well. As we lean in to take a closer look at Passion Week passages (Jesus last week on earth) from Matthew, he focuses on the things he is passionate about.
We begin with Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem – a gentle entry riding on a donkey. His first act of triumph is to immediately go to the temple courts for worship. What he finds going on there causes a passionate reaction from Jesus!
When Jesus enters the temple courts he finds some unwanted furniture set up in the Court of the Gentiles. And Jesus wastes no time in a passionate manner to rearrange the furniture. What is it that Jesus is so passionate about? And does his passion in the temple courts translate to similar things today? As we begin our study together into the Passion Week teachings of Jesus, we begin with Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem and his cleansing of the temple. When Jesus enters into anything, including the human heart, he often rearranges the furniture.
Message: Triumphal Entry?! Matthew 21:1-17
See you Sunday!
Look at the summary of the next couple chapters and how it flows:
Matthew 21:1-11 Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem with all the fanfare!! Worthy of a king – palm branches, people chanting…
Matthew 21:12-17 First thing Jesus does is cause chaos in the temple courts… upsets the status quo…
Matthew 21:18-22 Jesus illustrates with a fig tree the temples coming destruction… inconceivable by anyone, including his own disciples, that could ever happen.
Matthew 21:23-22:14 Jesus authority to cause such a disruption in the temple is questioned – and he answers them by telling 3 parables that essentially describe the temple leaders indictment (1st parable – parable of the two sons), their sentence (2nd story – parable of the tenants), and their execution (3rd story – parable of the wedding banquet). Its gripping stuff!
Matthew 22:15-40 The temple leaders design a series of questions and dilemmas designed to trap him… some testy questions about taxes, marriage, resurrection, and the greatest commandment.
Matthew 22:41-46 Jesus turns it around by asking them a question and they are unable to answer. After this, in chapter 23, he goes on with 7 woes on the teachers of the law and the Pharisees and more on the destruction of the temple. This will all lead to Jesus own indictment, sentencing, and execution.
We are entering into the season of Lent in a few short weeks. Lent has a focus on ‘preparing for repentance.’ Sunday, we kick off this last week of Jesus life with two back to back stories – The Triumphal Entry and his visit to the Temple (Matthew 21:1-17). Lets see where this takes us.
See you Sunday,