Read Matthew 21 -- 22
In Today's Reading:
Jesus' triumphal entry; Temple cleansed; fig tree cursed; authority of Jesus questioned; parables; taxes; the greatest commandment; weeping and gnashing of teeth in eternal darkness
On the Monday preceding His crucifixion, and just one day after His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus went into the Temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought. . . . And said to them, It is written, My House shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves (Matthew 21:12-13; see Isaiah 56:7).
The chief priests were outraged and dispatched a delegation to interrupt Jesus as He was teaching, and said, By what authority do You these things? (Matthew 21:23). They were referring to His accepting all the hosannas and praises that the multitude had given Him as the Messiah, the Son of David, and they demanded to know who gave Him authority to dismiss their money changers. For these reasons they conspired to kill Him (Mark 11:18).
The Temple belonged to God, Who was standing in their midst, but they refused to recognize Him. Jesus' cleansing of the Temple illustrates the cleansing that Christ alone brings into our lives through His atoning blood.
After pronouncing His judgment upon the Temple activities, Jesus spoke to them again by parables (story examples), and said: The kingdom of heaven is like to a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden (invited) to the wedding: and they would not come. . . . Then said he to his servants, The wedding is ready. . . . Go you therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, bid (invite) to the marriage. . . . And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment. . . . Then said the king to the servants . . . cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 22:1-13).
Because eternal separation from God is so final and so terrifying, Jesus said more about the torments of eternal hell than all the writers of the New Testament combined. In this parable, Jesus exposes all who assume they are good enough for heaven. The Apostle Paul said: There are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers . . . . They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him, being abominable (detestable), and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate (worthless) (Titus 1:10,16).
21:2 over against = opposite, ahead, in front of; 21:8 strawed = scattered, spread; 21:33 husbandmen = tenant farmers, vine-growers; 21:42 The Stone . . . is become the Head of the corner = Christ (Psalm 118:22) Who is the Chief Cornerstone.
For Matthew 21:5: See Isaiah 62:11; Zechariah 9:9. Matthew 21:9: See Psalm 118:26. Matthew 21:13: See Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11. Matthew 21:16: See Psalm 8:2. Matthew 21:33: See Psalm 80:8; Isaiah 5:1-2. Matthew 21:42: See Psalm 118:22-23. Matthew 22:24: See Deuteronomy 25:5. Matthew 22:32: See Exodus 3:6. Matthew 22:37: See Deuteronomy 6:5. Matthew 22:39: See Leviticus 19:18. Matthew 22:44: See Psalm 110:1.
BP Staff: Karen Hawkins · Pray for Way of the Cross Ministries and Bob Franklin · Government Official: Sen. Trent Lott (MS) · Country: Tunisia (10 million) in North Africa · Major languages: Arabic and French · Islamic state — no open ministry for Christ is permitted; strict surveillance of all Christian activities · 99+% Muslim; .3% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray each day for the Lord to protect you from evil (I Peter 5:8).
Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 5:10