In Today's Scripture 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 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 unto them, It is written, My House shall be called the house of prayer; but ye 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 doest Thou these things? (Matthew 21:23). They were referring to His accepting all the praise that the multitude had given Him as the Messiah, as well as questioning who gave Him authority to dismiss their money changers. For these reasons they conspired to kill Him (26:4).
The Temple belonged to God, who was in their midst. Jesus' cleansing of the Temple illustrates the cleansing that Christ alone brings into our lives through His atoning blood (26:28; I John 1:7; Revelation 1:5).
After pronouncing His judgment upon the Temple activities, Jesus . . . spake unto them again by parables, and said, The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son . . . . The wedding is ready. . . . Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid 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 horrifying torments of eternal hell as a lake of fire (Revelation 20:10) 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 . . . disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate (Titus 1:10,16).
21:2 over against you =b> facing you; 21:8 strawed =b> scattered, spread; 21:33 husbandmen =b> tenant farmers; 21:42 The Stone . . . is become the Head of the corner =b> Christ (Psalm 118:22-23) who is the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20; I Peter 2:6).
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.
Pray for Executive Director of the IBRA: Reverend Michael Hall • Government Officials: Rep. Artur Davis (AL) and Sen. Trent Lott (MS) • Country: Luxembourg (429,000) in western Europe • Major languages: Luxembourgish and German • Religious freedom • 84% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; .1% Eastern Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Let your faith in the Word of God overrule all fears (Psalm 18:30).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:6