I am on Matthew 21… you may be further ahead but I am trying to digest what I read and also the Lord directs my steps. I want to first start today with a prayer, the prayers capture some of the chapter.
Father we thank you for your word. Forever it is settled in heaven. Lord we see even this week how out of the mouths of babes on Irenes own page, you perfect praise. You called and we answered and we so want to keep in step with you and humble ourselves under your mighty hand. You have been triumphant in our lives and we know you went the way of the cross for us. Thank you for these parables that are assisting us to review and reflect on our own heart’s state. We want so much to be like you. Thank you for the fruit and the gifts – you are perfecting a great work in us through the power of your Holy Spirit.
MY NOTES AND REFLECTIONS – MATTHEW 21
After depicting the lowliness yet triumphant entry of Jesus , Matthew 21 covers a number of parables – situations and challenges Jesus was exposed to , the need to cleanse the temple which had been taken over by people merchandising and working against the proper plan of God for his house; the challenge of his authority and attempts to usurp by the scribes who saw themselves as above the letter and spirit of the law. With the parables he covers (and Matthew records) the two sons , one who deliberately refused to follow then repented, one who said he would, but didnt. The parable of the wicked vinedressers – mean and merciless men who wanted to steal from, and murder the rightful heir through jealousy and to line their own pockets. The inherent message of faith in the lesson of the fig tree – and the ability to do likewise and in His name if we believe but also the perhaps more hidden subtle message (not so obvious at first) but made clearer later, that Jesus expects us to bear fruit and expects to find something on us ie those who represent his trees of righteousness.
The meekness of Jesus is personified by his mode of transport (a donkey) and as Hayford describes Jesus’ ministry depicting ‘humble wisdom and penetrating love’ .
In our cell this very week we were talking about meekness as one of the fruit of the spirit. Someone was giving a testimony about change ie how they would previously have handled conflict and how they now go about it – how that might seem to others as cowardly, or the person getting away with the hurt. It was note of a positive change and better way to do things – a higher law taking place.
In theses verses of Matthew here in Chapter 21 , we see Jesus perhaps also looking like someone who was cross or angry or out of control as he upturned the money changers and expressed disdain, piercing the hearts of those who heard his parables by his pointed messages, but we know hatred and hurt was far from him. Whatever he did, it was with love in line with what he had been called to do ie to bring about kingdom principles. Again, Hayford describes His ’ meekness as ‘having inherent power, but under perfect control’. Jesus also knew the time and timing to do things . Whatever he did was to leave a legacy for us to follow in the way we answer or go about our individual and respective calls.
In the parable of the wicked vinedressers we see how those left with rich resources and positioned for blessings can behave. Each of us have been given an opportunity to dress the vine to be part of the harvest. Significantly we note that we need to be very careful in the House we have been left to care for. We are not to merchandise the things of God but to use our gifts to the edifying of the body and the healing of those in need. This chapter at verses 33-44 shows us what will happen if we don’t steward what God has given us well – here I also believe he is making a link with the earlier example of the fig tree. The word says what he has blessed us with will be taken away and given to others who can and will bear fruits.
May we use the delegated authority and inherent power that Jesus has given us well.
May we not merchandise our gifts or the flock or turn the temple into a market place.
May we be ready to do of his good pleasure and walk not as fools but as wise redeeming the time for the days are evil. May we always have the perfect answer of peace and a reason of hope to those who may criticize and challenge how he directs what we do , what we say and how we walk. May we be fruitful and bud. May we stay ever close to him in the procession with praise on our lips and in possession of his blessed Holy Spirit.