Monthly Archives: March 2014

When Looked Upon

Luke 22:61 ” And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice”.

 

The word of God tells us to “choose ye this day whom we will serve”. everyday we are faced with the question as to whom we will serve. Now this is not a question or judgment on ones salvation, it is about ones witness. Each morning we need to ask our self to whom will our life bear witness to, rather it be to the Lord Jesus or to the powers of this world, the decision is a daily and often made many times through out the day.

 

In our text today we have the denial of Jesus by Peter. Now earlier Peter swore he was willing to not only go to prison with Christ but also to die with Him. But as we see he denied Jesus at a time when a witness was needed. How many times have we either through our actions or inactions have we denied Christ. How many times have we had a chance to bear witness to who Christ is and for the love of money, the need to belong, or the fear of judgment did we say we don’t know the man? Now you might  have never verbally said you don’t know Him, but your life style, actions or behavior says it.

 

How will you choose? Will you deny Christ this day? Will that which you choose to do today bear witness to who Christ is in your life or does it deny knowing Him? When Christ looks upon you will He see a life that bears witness or will He see a life that denies knowing Him….

The Entrance Of The King

Sunday School Lesson

 

                                             

 

Lesson: Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:1-11  

                                                                                                  

Golden  Text: 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 (Matthew  21:9).

 

INTRODUCTION.   Jesus had warned His disciples that in Jerusalem He soon  would be betrayed, condemned, mistreated, and crucified (see Matthew 16:10-21;  Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22).  He also told of His resurrection on the  third day.  Later when Jesus made His entrance into Jerusalem, He  was presenting Himself as Israel’s King and Messiah, fully aware that in only a  few days Israel’s rejection of Him would culminate at the cross. Throughout His  ministry, Jesus warned that the time of His public presentation as the Messiah  had not arrived (see Matthew 9:27-30; 16:20; and 17:1-9).  This  week’s lesson shows that the time had finally come.

 

THE  KING’S ARRIVAL FORETOLD (Zechariah 9:9.  The prophecies in Zechariah  chapters 9 through 11 focus primarily on the first coming of Israel’s Messiah,  while chapters 12 through 14 foretold the Second Coming.  The  passage preceding our lesson text, Zechariah 9:1-8, is usually considered to be  a prophecy of the campaign of Alexander the Great through Israel in 332  B.C.  While the  surrounding countries were overtaken, Alexander spared Jerusalem, merely  visiting the city (see Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 11.8).   In contrast to Alexander’s imposing military presence and  character, Zechariah presented the Messiah entering Jerusalem as a humble  King.  Our first verse says Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter  of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having  salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an  ass.”  By saying Rejoice greatly,” Zechariah was encouraging Jerusalem to look forward with joy to the arrival of  its true King.  The phrases O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem”  both refer to the inhabitants of  Jerusalem.  “Zion,” which is another name for  Jerusalem, was the name of the ancient Jebusite fortress situated on the  southeast hill of Jerusalem at the junction of the Kidron Valley and the  Tyropoen Valley (see II Samuel 5:7).  After David captured “the  stronghold of Zion” by defeating the Jebusites, he called Zion “the city of  David” (see I Kings 8:1; I Chronicles 11:5; II Chronicles  5:2).  Zechariah encouraged Jerusalem to rejoice  because “thy King cometh unto thee.”  Zechariah  prophesied during the period after the Jews returned from Babylonian Captivity  when Israel had no king so they were eagerly awaiting the Messiah.   Notice that Zechariah referred to the Messiah as “King” and then prophesied three things about Messiah’s appearance.   First, this King would be “just” meaning that He would  be righteous and therefore would rule justly (see Psalms 45:6-7; Isaiah 11:4-5;  Jeremiah 23:5).  Second, this King is described as “having  salvation.”  As a mighty Deliverer, not only will the King  bring salvation, He is salvation as His name  Jesus would indicate (see Matthew 1:21).  The Hebrew word Zechariah  used for “salvation” is yasha, from which the name  Yeshua comes which is the Hebrew name for Jesus.  Third, this King  would come “lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of  an ass.”  This phrase indicates that He will come in peace  and humility unlike the rulers and monarchs of this world.   The word “lowly” can mean “humble” as well as  “afflicted.”  Of course Jesus would eventually be both, humble and  afflicted.  The King would arrive in an unmistakable  way—“riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”   Riding an “ass” or donkey was not the  normal manner in which kings arrived, for they usually came as conquerors riding  on horses.  Notice that Zechariah mentions both “an  ass” and “a colt.”    The “colt” was a young  donkey or “foal” and was normally not broken (see Mark 11:2;  Luke 19:30).  We will discuss why Zechariah prophesied that there  would be two animals when we get to the next section of our lesson in Matthew 21:2.

THE  KING’S ARRIVAL PLANNED (Matthew  21:1-5).   The entire process leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion  was set in motion when the Saviour and His followers began their journey to  Jerusalem. The great Passover festival was only a few days away, and Jews from  every part of the Roman Empire travelled to  the city for this week-long celebration that commemorated the exodus from  Egypt.  As mentioned in the introduction, several times in the  Gospel of Matthew, Jesus had told His disciples that He had to go to  Jerusalem.  Finally, that a time had come. Jesus and His disciples  took the normal route from Galilee to Jerusalem.  They travelled  down the east side of the Jordan River (see Matthew 19:1) and then crossed back  over the Jordan at Jericho (see Matthew 20:29).  After the steep  uphill climb from Jericho, they approached Jerusalem from the eastern side of  the city.

A. The arrival at  Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1).   This part of our lesson begins with  And when they drew nigh  unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent  Jesus two disciples.”  This would be Jesus’ last trip to Jerusalem, because He a few  days later He would be crucified.  As He and His disciples departed  from Jericho, “they drew nigh unto Jerusalem” meaning that they  came close to the city.  They then came to “Bethphage, unto  the mount of Olives.”  The village of  “Bethphage” was located on or near the southeast slope of the  Mount of Olives, less than a mile from Jerusalem.  It was close to  the road from Jericho to Jerusalem.From His position  on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave instructions to “two  disciples” sending them into Bethphage. We are not told who these two  disciples were.

B. The  Saviour’s instructions (Matthew 21:2-3).  

1.  (vs. 2).   Jesus, being well aware of the prophecy He was  about to fulfill, gave further instructions to the two unnamed 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.”  These two  disciples were to Go into the village over  against you” which refers to Bethphage.  Jesus said  “straightway,” or immediately as they entered the village they  would “find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them  unto me.”  The “ass” was the mother  donkey and the “colt” was the donkey’s offspring. Jesus instructed the disciples to  loose them, and bring them unto me.”   When the disciples found the animals, they were to “loose” or untie them and bring them to  Jesus.

2. (vs. 3).  Jesus went on to say  “And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of  them; and straightway he will send them.”  Jesus  understood that an owner, a caretaker, or anyone might ask these two men, who no  doubt would be strangers, why they were untying the animals (see Mark 11:3; Luke  19:31).  In case this happened, the disciples were to respond  saying “The Lord hath need of them.”  Although  Jesus is omniscient, or all-knowing and would know exactly where these animals  were, it is probably best to see this as a prearranged agreement between Jesus  and the owner.  The words “The Lord hath need of them”  may have been some sort of password that would be understood by the  owner(s) of the animals.  Upon hearing this response, the owner(s)  would “send them (the animals).”  It is also  possible that the owner(s) were followers of Jesus.  The disciples  were not stealing the animals, they were simply carrying out the plan that  Jesus, no doubt had already arranged.  Besides, as the Creator, He  owns everything and has the authority to make use of whatever He finds in His creation, even you and I.

C. The fulfillment of prophecy (Matthew  21:4-5).

1. (vs. 4).   In this verse Matthew says All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was  spoken by the prophet, saying.”  One of the characteristics of Matthew’s Gospel is his repeated  reference to fulfilled prophecy.  Since he was writing to Jews, he  used Old Testament Scriptures to convince them that Jesus was indeed their  King.  The phrase  All  this was done” refers to the  Saviour’s use of the donkey and the colt as fulfillment of prophecy.   The prophecy that was “fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet”  was Zechariah 9:9 which is the first verse of our lesson and is  repeated in the next verse. 

2. (vs. 5).  Here Matthew  goes on to say that the prophecy that Jesus fulfilled was  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.”  Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem fulfilled the prophecy found in  Zechariah 9:9.  First, Zechariah called on the “daughter of  Sion” or the nation of Israel to “Behold” or take note  that “thy (your) King cometh unto thee.”  This  ancient prophecy told of the Messiah coming to His people Israel as King in an  unusual way.  Instead of entering the city of Jerusalem as a  military hero on a warhorse, he would come “meek, and sitting upon an  ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.”  This humble entry  demonstrated the meekness of Jesus.  Unlike what many Jews  expected, He didn’t come to lead an armed revolt against Rome.   Instead, He came as the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the  world (see John 1:29).  However, it won’t be this way  always.  The One who rode into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt will  return as a Judge, riding a white horse (see Revelation 19:11-16) overcoming all  of His enemies.  Jesus came the first time as the Lowly One  to reconcile, or make peace between God and man (see II Corinthians  5:18-19).  But He will return as the Mighty One punishing those who refuse to be reconciled (see Jude 1:14-15).

IV. THE  KING’S ARRIVAL FULFILLED (Matthew  21:6-11)       

A. The King’s  procession (Matthew 21:6-7).  

1. (vs.  6).  This verse says  And the disciples went,  and did as Jesus commanded them.”    After receiving Jesus’ instructions,  the two disciples did exactly as He had commanded.  There are times  when we may not fully understand all that God might want us to do.   In those moments simple obedience is the proper response.   As God brings about His plan for our lives, we will begin to see the  reasons why He has us do certain things.

2. (vs. 7).  After completing their  mission, this verse says that the two disciples “brought the ass, and  the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.”  The two disciples brought the “ass” (the mother  donkey) and her “colt” (the foal) to Jesus and put their outer  garments on “them” a reference to the two animals.   Then “they set him thereon.”  The disciples helped Jesus  sit on the garments covering the colt.  Jesus rode the colt as  Zechariah’s prophecy had foretold (see Zechariah 9:9).  The colt’s  mother, there to clam the colt, was also prepared for the ride probably because  they were not sure which animal Jesus would ride.   Note: This began  Jesus’ final royal entrance into Jerusalem.  For three years, Jesus  had provided evidence of who He was, but this was His official presentation to  Israel as their Messiah.  He offered Himself for their acceptance,  but knowing that they would reject His offer, on this day He would also weep  over the city (see Luke 19:41-44).  Jesus would also foretell  Israel’s destruction because they failed to recognize that God had visited  them.

B. The crowd’s response (Matthew  21:8-9).

1.  (vs. 8).  Here  Matthew writes And a very great multitude spread their garments in the  way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the  way.”  As Jesus and  His disciples began travelling down the Mount of Olives into the Kidron Valley  in His approach to Jerusalem, “a very great multitude” joined  the procession.  This crowd of people “spread their  garments in the way.”  They laid their outer garments  before Jesus, making a kind of red carpet over which Jesus could ride.   This was considered a show of honor to royalty (see II Kings  9:13).  In the same spirit of welcome, another crowd identified as  “others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the  way.”  This second group of people cut down palm branches  (see John 12:13) and laid them in the way before Jesus.  John  11:55-57 indicates that many of the visitors to Jerusalem were wondering whether  Jesus would come to the city.  However, the religious leaders were  hoping for an opportunity to arrest Him.   Note: This  multitude of people was present in Jerusalem because the Passover and the Feast  of Unleaven Bread were near.  Since the Feast of Unleaven Bread was  one of the three major feasts in Israel when all males were to appear before the  Lord (see Exodus 23:14-19; Deuteronomy 16:16-17), Jews came from all over Israel  and the Roman Empire to Jerusalem.

2. (vs.  9).  Matthew continued to say “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.”   There were two crowds of people there to witness Jesus’  arrival: “the multitudes that went before, and that  followed.”  Both crowds of people in front and behind  Jesus were shouting “Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that  cometh in the name of the Lord.”  These words are taken  from Psalm 118:25-26, which is a messianic Psalm and a prayer for the Lord to  deliver and prosper His people.The word “Hosanna” means “save now.”  However, over time, it came to be used as a cry  or shout of greeting, or an utterance of homage and praise, much like  “Hallelujah!” or “Glory to God.”  The description “son of  David” was a popular Jewish title used to refer to the coming Messiah.  When the people used it to refer to Jesus, they were acknowledging His kingship  for John’s account of this episode reports that the crowds shouted out “Blessed  is the King of Israel that cometh in the name  of the Lord” (see John 12:13).  However, many didn’t understand the  spiritual aspect of Jesus’ kingdom.  Many saw Him only as a  political leader who could restore Israel to its past greatness.   The crowds also cried out “Blessed is he that cometh in the name  of the Lord.”  This phrase shows that the crowds had some  sense that Jesus came with God’s authority, but not necessarily that they  recognized the true nature of His mission: to save His people from their sins  (see Matthew 1:21).  The phrase “Hosanna in the highest”  concluded the outcry of praise to God by the people.  It  can be taken two ways, as an acclamation and as an appeal to God.   First, as an acclamation, it could be used in the same way as “Glory to  God in the highest” (see Luke 2:14).  But as an appeal, it would  mean “Save now, You who dwell in the highest heaven.”  In either  case, the crowds of people correctly identified Jesus with messianic  deliverance.

C. The city’s reaction (Matthew  21:10-11). 

1.  (vs. 10).  This verse says And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was  moved, saying, Who is this?”  As Jesus entered the city riding the young donkey  all the city was  moved” meaning that everyone  experienced some sort of excitement and formed different opinions.   This led them to ask the key question, “Who is this?”   During His ministry, Jesus didn’t spend a lot of time in  Jerusalem and probably was not well known there, so many people just wanted to  know who this man was that was causing so much excitement.  For  sure, all of Jerusalem was moved, but many were not happy about Jesus’ entrance  into the city (see John 12:19).

2. (vs. 11).  Our final verse says  “And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of  Galilee.”  In response to the question “Who is this?” many  in the crowd answered “This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of  Galilee.”  Many in the crowd knew Him as Jesus, but they  underestimated Him by calling Him simply “the prophet of Nazareth of  Galilee.”  Moses had prophesied the coming of a grea  Prophet (see Deuteronomy 18:15), and many people recognized Jesus as the One who  fulfilled that prophecy (see John 7:40; Acts 3:22-24;  7:37).  But Jesus is much more that a Prophet.  He is  God Himself (see John 14:7-9).  Note: It’s sad that after 3 years of ministry, the Saviour’s  true identity was still not clearly known.  The crowds of people  recognized Him as a great man of God, but not as the Son of God.   In a few days their praises would turn into raging shouts for Jesus’  brutal execution (see Matthew  27:22-23).

 

                      

V.  Conclusion.   Borrowing tools from a neighbor can be a blessing if your  friend has what you need and is willing to let you use it.  Jesus  borrowed a number of things: an animal to ride on, the upper room, and a  tomb.  At times it’s a privilege to help others.  At  all times we are privileged to be used by Jesus for His purposes.   Jesus entered Jerusalem in a parade.  No one ever deserved  the honor more than He did and yet the purpose of this procession was not mere  pomp and circumstance; instead it was to fulfill the plan of His Father (see  Matthew 21:4-5).  The amazing thing about Jesus’ entrance into  Jerusalem was that after acknowledging Him as the Son of David, there were still  many who asked “Who is this?”   Sadly today there are still far too many people who are asking  the same question.  Are you one of  those?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Undeserved Love

Hosea 3:1 ” Then said the Lord unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.”

God’s love for us is unconditional. He loves us in spite of, and Jesus tells us to love one another as He has loved us. See we are to love each other regardless. Not so much because of who we are, or who they are ,but because of whose we claim to be and who they belong to. Jesus died to save the whole world. All souls belong to Him and He shed just as much blood for the least of them as He did the greatest of them.

 

Here in our text God tells Hosea to go marry a harlot or a prostitute. See he wanted Hosea to feel what He feels when those who claim to be His go a whoring around with other gods. See we claim to be part of the bride of Christ , yet we fornicate and commit adultery, as we play footsy under the covers with the enemy. With our lips we tell the Lord we love Him yet our actions show a love for another. In our story after Gomar was taken from a beautiful woman down to a as we say today a skank, God told Hosea to go and buy her back and love her in spite of. After sin has taken us from being in the image and likeness of God, down to something born in sin and shaped in iniquity, God sent His only begotten Son to redeem us back and He loved us in spite of.

Nobody forces us to profess Christianity, so it is the profession of our own faith. So if you profess to be Christ like, live Christ like and love like Christ loves. We must love in spite of. We must love even the worst of men, after all in Gods eyes at one time we were all the worst of men. And no matter who you are, when it comes to salvation we are all the same, lost in need of a savior, and all must come to Christ the same way. Let us love one another unconditionally.

Give Me Your Heart

Matthew 15:8 “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me”.
We Live in a very self-absorbed society where we have to work to stay away from the self centeredness we see around us everyday. We escape through true worship to Jesus. The word “worship” these days can conjure up images of a multi-piece worship band with hundreds of singers in a mega church setting. While true worship could be taking place in such settings and others like it, is this the worship that the Lord seeks from us? Many today claim they are worshipping the Lord in church houses all across the country every Sunday, but is this worship or just a part of  an organized religious ritual. Can we truly be worshiping God and at the same time have something against a soul that he shed his blood for?
Jesus said “this people draweth near to him with their mouth, and honor him with their lips”. Many today talk about a relationship with Christ, we speak about how good he is, and how he has all power, and how he can do all things, and how he will never leave nor forsake you. We quote all the biblical saying with our mouth. We talk a good game, we give him great praise with out lips, we shout glory, we shout hallelujah, we do all this with our lips, yet with our life we deny his person, his power, and his presence. Paul said present your body a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto God. With all that Christ has done for us, should he be happy with the few hours a week we spend in ritualistic exercise that we call worship. God deserves our whole life, our personal life, our financial life, religious life, the good, the bad, the happy and the sad, he paid for it all. It belongs to Him, he said render unto Caesar that which is Caesar, and to God that which is God’s. Let our worship of  God include a life of sacrifice, a life of giving, forgiving and love. Let us praise him with how we live that life. Give God your whole life, trust him, and cast all our cares upon Him. If you truly want to say hallelujah, live a life before man that shows the true character, and attributes of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Mary worshipped the Lord, by covering him with expensive oil, now it wasn’t the fact that the oil was expensive, it was that she worshipped him with all she had, she didn’t hold anything back. She felt there was nothing to good for the Lord. Can you say You are truly giving God your all? Do you worship Him with your life, and praise Him with your living, or is it just lip service….