Matthew 21- Cleanse The Temple

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, Matthew 21:12-15

Jesus didn’t just Cleanse The Temple once, he actually did this twice, Christ cleansed the Temple at the beginning of his ministry in John 2, and Christ is cleansing the Temple here during Holy Week, right before He is going to the cross. To understand why Jesus Cleansed The Temple , we need to understand the purpose of The Temple

Before Christ came to Earth, The Temple was the only place where God dwelled with His people on Earth. The Temple of God was to be a sacred space, however the Jews made The Temple a “Den of Thieves”. The Jews turned Gods Temple into a marketplace, selling merchandise and making profit, this is why Jesus famously flipped the tables and chased the merchants with whips. The Jews were bringing sin into Gods sacred space on Earth.

We see this alot today in Christianity, the Church sanctuary , should be a sacred space for Christians to gather and worship The Lord, however many Pastors have allowed their sanctuaries to be polluted with sin and idols. You can’t expect The Holy Spirit to dwell in a sinful space, this is why alot of Churches today have lost the Holy Spirit. The candlestick has been removed from their congregation , just as Christ warned to the Churches in Revelation

The Apostle Paul taught us that our bodies are the Temple of God and the Holy Spirit lives inside of us (1 Corinthians 3:16, Romans 8:11) We must treat our bodies as a sacred space also, we can’t allow sin to pollute our bodies and expect the Holy Spirit to remain in us

And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there. Matthew 21:16-17

Jesus declared himself The Christ and King, The Lord cleansed his Fathers House, The Temple, Christ is now ready to go to the cross, to pay for the sins of the world! Notice also the Apostle Matthew is revealing Jesus is fulfilling another Messanic Prophecy referencing Jeremiah 7:11 and  Isaiah 56:7. Matthew continually does a great job of bringing together the Old and New Covenants

The Children in The Temple were shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David” instead of the religious leaders. All the theological knowledge of the religious leaders couldn’t save their souls, only faith like a child in Christ, can save you! Amen!

Matthew 21- Palm Sunday

And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. Matthew 21:1-7

Palm Sunday is one of my favorite days of the year, when we wave the Palm Branches at Church, it’s like stepping back in time when Jesus rode down the streets of Jerusalem. It’s an incredible event before it’s a fulfillment of prophecy in Zechariah, but it’s also a future event in Revelation 7, when the Great Multitudes are waving their Palm Branches for the King of Kings, Lord Jesus Christ! Palm Sunday is an event that connects Christians from the past, present , and future, it’s almost like when Christians partake in Communion

Another interesting detail is the topic of Palm Sunday has been one of the most popular topics on my blog. Of all the things I wrote about, Palm Sunday drew the largest views, and other articles I have written on Palm Sunday are some of the most viewed on my website. What that tells me is Christians understand the importance and significance of this event. Christ is bringing total fulfillment of the Old Covenant, and sharing a revelation of the New Covenant

The Apostle Matthew confirms to us that the event of Palm Sunday is a fulfillment of the Zechariah prophecy “All this was done, that is might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet” The disciples at the time probably didn’t understand why Jesus demanded a donkey, but they were faithful and obedient. The donkey was symbolic of peace and meekness, as Christ didn’t come to destroy the Roman Empire but to bring salvation to the world

And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. Matthew 21:8-11

We notice “The Great Multitude” spread their garments and cut down the Palm Branches, this is the same language we see in Revelation 7, “The Great Multitude”, crying Hosanna, to the Son of David” We see the multitude are affirming that Jesus is The Christ by calling him Son of David, which is a Messianic Title. The Palm Branches has multiple meanings, as they meant Victory and Eternal Life, both which are fitting for the coming of The Lord and King Jesus Christ

This was the very first time Jesus publicly declared himself the Christ and King! At the beginning of the week, the crowds were shouting “Hosanna”, by the end of the week they will be shouting “Crucify Him”! The question still today is which crowd are you a part of? Is Jesus your Lord and King? Or do you stand with the sinners who crucified The Lamb of God? The King of Kings is returning again soon! Amen!

Matthew 20- The Blind Receive Sight

And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him.And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. Matthew 20:29-31

There are alot of things that can be said about this story, the two blind men crying out to The Lord Jesus to heal them. First we recognize that they know who Jesus is, they call him Lord and Son of David, which is a title for the Messiah (Christ) So they understand that Jesus is Lord and Christ. Secondly, by faith they are pursuing Christ, even though the crowd is rebuking them, they keep calling out to Jesus in faith to be healed

What are the signs of the Messiah? If we remember from Matthew 11, John the Baptist asked the question “Are You (Jesus) the One (Christ)?” And notice the response by Jesus, he quotes Isaiah “The blind receive sight” (Matthew 11:4-6) By Jesus healing these blind men, he is actually also fulfilling the prophecy of the Christ, Jesus is giving signs that he is the Son of God, the Messiah

Now we can also look at this in a spiritual sense, even though these men were physically healed, we were all spiritually blind. And when we became Born Again, we were all healed from our blindness. The Holy Spirit removed the scales from our eyes, and now we can see righteously. 

And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him. Matthew 20:32-34

Jesus asked the men “What do you want me to do for you?” They replied “Lord that are eyes may be opened” Are you asking Christ for the same thing? Are you seeking for our eyes to be spiritually opened by the Holy Spirit, so you can understand God and his word? So that you can discern good and evil from a Biblical perspective. This is why we must become Born Again to enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:3)

Once they received their healing, they followed Christ. Once you are Born Again, there is no going back , you are a New Creature. Are you calling upon The Lord for salvation? Lord Jesus may our eyes be opened! Amen!

Matthew 20- Right Hand of Christ

Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. Matthew 20:20-22

 Over and over again we talked about humbling ourselves as Christians, Jesus told us to “deny ourselves and carry our crosses” (Matthew 16:24) However the Zebedee brothers did not seem to get the memo, in fact they had their mother make a special request to Christ, to have one of her sons to sit at the right hand of Jesus. The fact that somebody would ask this, would indicate they either didn’t know what they are requesting or they are very arrogant with pride. 

Notice Jesus’ response “You don’t know what your asking” no offense mother Zebedee, but your totally out of your mind. However this shows you how our own human pride and ego can be so dangerous to think we could even comprehend a position of this authority. To sit at the right hand of Christ, would elevate yourself to almost a God-like position. Christ asked “Are you able to drink of the cup I shall drink”? Now I’m going to assume they had no idea what Jesus was referring to, however we know Christ it talking about his position as the Son of God, to lay down his life for the sins of the world, and then resurrect defeating death forever

Nobody can even come close to being able to sit at the right hand of Christ , however our human pride and egos want us to believe that. Notice the Zebedee brothers response “We are able”, these guys are Apostles, however their sinful flesh has overtaken them. Nobody is able or worthy except Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords

And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:23-28

Many ask why are there so many different Church denominations? Well look here, the 12 Apostles are already being divisive, as the Zebedee brothers tried to elevate themselves greater than all the Apostles, this obviously caused alot of friction between the disciples. As the scriptures say “They (Apostles) were moved with indignation” what is happening? The Zebedee brothers were putting their will and pride ahead of Gods, we must remain in God’s will to receive God’s blessings. 

Jesus summed it up when he said “The Son of Man came not to be served (ministered) but to serve (minister) and give his life as a ransom for many” Think about that, God in the flesh came to give his life for his elect. Christ didn’t look to exalt himself but he humbled himself to the cross to save us from our sins! Amen!

Matthew 20- The Gospel

And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again. Matthew 20:17-19

Here we see for the third time, Jesus prophesied about his death and resurrection to his disciples. Even after he told them this, time and time again, they still didn’t get it. When Jesus finally went to the cross, as Christ predicted, they were shocked and felt defeated. The disciples felt defeated, even though this is exactly what God told them he was going to do! They just didn’t understand God’s plan, just as we still don’t understand God’s plan for our lives, however we need to keep the faith in Christ, because God knows what he is doing!

Today’s reading is only 3 scriptures, and we could have easily skipped over it, but these 3 scriptures are the entire gospel, it’s the foundation of the entire BIble. Without the gospel message there is no hope or salvation for humanity. Why is the gospel message so difficult to grasp? No matter how many times we heard the gospel, why does it seem almost impossible? 

Here’s the reason why the gospel is so radical, because first we need to acknowledge our sinful state. Most people believe they are “good” people and there sin is not that bad, but they are wrong. All wages of sin lead to death, there is a price to pay for our sinfulness, someone has to pay the penalty! But first we need to acknowledge our sins against God and repent (turn away from our sins). Many people can’t get past this first step, they love their sin more than they love God or eternal life

Next we need to understand that God became a man to pay for the penalty of our sins (John 1:14, Isaiah 53) This is almost impossible for our minds to grasp, that God can become human, fully God and fully man (Philippians 2) and die on the cross for our sins. But this is exactly what Jesus did for us!  The fact that Christ knew you before the foundations of the world, choose you, and died for you to redeem you (Ephesians 1:4) 

And then we have the Resurrection of Christ, that Jesus not only paid the penalty for our sins on the cross, but Christ also defeated sin and death by rising from the dead  to live forever! (Luke 24, Matthew 28) Because Christ is Risen , we can also be risen forevermore at the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15) We can be redeemed and restored because of Jesus Christ

This is the gospel message , the only message that can bring hope to the entire world, a message that Satan doesn’t want to be heard or preached, so the world will continually have a strong resistance to the gospel message, but the gospel must be preached because it’s the living hope for our faith in Jesus Christ, Amen!