Enjoy a few days of reprieve with shorter readings. The flood is coming soon!
11:9-10 "Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven!" I'm not sure why they believed as He came to the city, but then the crowds yelled, "Crucify Him." My guess is that in the triumphal procession, the Jews believed Jesus was coming to take over. But when He allowed Himself to be arrested and was silent before His accusers, perhaps the tune changed, and the Jews doubted. After all, they believed a King was coming to set up his Kingdom on earth now, subduing their mortal enemies. As we discussed in Matthew, they had no idea Jesus came to defeat their immortal enemy so they could have eternal life. Before they could live in the Kingdom with the King, He had to defeat their unseen enemy, which He did successfully. Next time, He will come to defeat their mortal enemies. Also, remember the Jewish custom-a king came on a horse for war, while a king came on a donkey for peace.
11:12-14: A reminder from Matthew. I have heard it said that this tree had false advertising. These kinds of figs only were supposed to have leaves only when they had fruit. The tree was cursed because it advertised what it didn't put out. It was cursed for false pretense. Jesus warned over and over of God's displeasure when we have false appearances of fruit w/o the reality. We talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. Perhaps He was also making this strong statement to the Pharisees about their lack of life-giving fruit. There are probably many other applications that can be gleaned as well.
Another Messianic prophecy, especially of the Millennial Kingdom. We see the river, God lives in the city, kingdoms crumble, the Lord Almighty is here among us, wars end, and He is honored throughout the world. Sounds amazing!
Questions for reflection:
Are you fruit publicizing or false advertising? Does everyone have false advertising or hypocrisy to some degree? I know I sure do! Do you think we can easily tell this about ourselves, or is this an area of blindness for people? If it is, how do we go about self-inspection for genuine fruit? What would be the steps for ridding our lives of hypocrisy (or at least reducing it)?
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