Friday, October 31, 2014

The Darkness before He comes...

Matthew 24:29-31 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. As I write this, it is very early morning, before the sun is up. It is extremely dark. So it will be before Christ returns. The spiritual battle will be intense. Much of Mankind will be resistant, not wanting His full reign to come. But come He will, with great power and glory, to judge and to rule. He will, and for that we wait with great anticipation.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Are we ready for this?

Matthew 24:23-28 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. As Jesus is describing His coming again in judgment, He clears up some misunderstanding about what it will be like. Rather than it being gradual, it will be sudden. Rather than it being a subversive sneaking around, it will be apparent for all to see. Rather than being limited in power, it will be total. There will be no place to hide, no time to reconsider, no excuses to muster. Are we ready for this?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

He knows...

Matthew 24:15-22 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place let the reader understand, then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. When Jesus began to answer the disciples' urgent questions about the coming fall of Jerusalem, and the disturbances that predede His coming, He was blunt: "It isn't going to be pretty." But the bottom line is this: God knows what we can take. Things will be "cut short" of total annihilation. He is watching over His people, even in tribulation. There is hope. He knows. He cares. He can and He will save.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I can't wait?!?!?!?!?!

Matthew 24:9-14 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. The disciples had asked Jesus about the fall of the temple, and then end of the world. It was a mixed bad of news. They were not too anxious for the destruction of the temple, but like us, they longed for Christ to come again and set all things right. And then there are the things that come along the way: tribulation, persecution, faithlessness and relational stress. Yet, in the end, the Gospel is victorious and our salvation will be complete. In some ways it is hard to wait; in others, we're not sure we want to go through it all. Therefore, let us be faithful, share the Good News, and trust in Him; it will all be worth waiting for.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign...

Matthew 24:3-8 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. When asked about when this judgment would take place/when He would be coming again, Jesus said we need to be discerning. There are many signs pointing towards His coming, but there will also be many imitators of Him. To be sure we can see the signs; labor has begun. But let us be leary as to who we let deliver us...

Saturday, October 25, 2014


“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Matthew 23:37-39 ESV) More evidence that Jesus' words in this chapter are as much or more sorrow than anger are found in this concluding paragraph. Despite the fact that God's prophets had repeatedly been rejected, even violently, by the people of Israel, and Jerusalem in particular, God still looked lovingly on them, wanting them to come under his care. Instead, they were like chickens in the barnyard, going around aimlessly, making noise, open and oblivious to whatever wolves may come after them. It need not be so. Jesus is coming again, in judgment, and has sent his warnings. Mixed with those warnings are the invitation to come to Him for protection and care. Are we listening?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Don't jump on them; look at me.

Matthew 23:13, 15-36 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. Often, when we look at these 7 "woes" of Jesus, we think that Jesus is finally letting the Pharisees have it - that He has been holding all this in and is exploding in anger. But this "crying out" is not simply anger; it is sorrow. He has compassion even on these leaders who constantly opposed Him, because they were not only bringing judgment on themselves, but causing judgment on the nation as a whole, and they would be held accountable. This list also serves as points of self-examination for us about our relationship with God. Do we have our priorities straight? Are we a way to God, or a hindrance for others? Are we so caught up in looking "spiritual" that we even have ourselves deceived?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Whole New World...

Matthew 23:8-12 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. As Jesus is taking apart the Religious thinking of His day, He presents in its place a whole new way of thinking: Humble Service. Rather than "working your way up the ladder of holiness," so that you will impress other people so that they will look up to us and call us wonderful, he calls on us to seek first to serve others in His name, exalting His Name, not ours. It's not about looking right and sounding right, but being right with Him.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Matthew 23:1-7 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. Jesus gave the Pharisees a backhanded compliment: They speak the truth of God and are to be listened to, but... they do not practice what they preach. Jesus had issues with the Pharisees, but the biggest one was this: they were to be God's servants, but instead they wanted to be worshipped. they wanted people to be awed by their wisdom, impressed by their dress, and intimidated by their "holiness". Jesus was none of the above. May we not be impressed by the same, and may we not seek to impress others by it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

More than a building...

Matthew 24:1-2 Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” The disciples' mouths must have dropped open at these words: the temple represented their whole system of worship. they knew it had been destroyed before, but had they fallen away so far again? Things needed an overhaul - more than cleaning house. What He was about to build was far stronger, much better.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sometimes we need to shut up and listen...

Matthew 22:46 And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. After being presented with question after question, which really was a free-for-all of excuses not to believe in Him, Jesus has silenced the last one. He has made His case in the Court of public opinion: you can either listen to what He says and believe, or you can walk away and try to hide from the truth. Of course, that's hard to do when it is the Passover, and Jesus just won't go away. Today, which will we choose: to listen, or try to walk away?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I never stopped to think about that...

Matthew 22:41-45 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, “‘The Lord said to my Lord,“Sit at my right hand,until I put your enemies under your feet”’? If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” The religious leaders of Jesus' day had long pondered over the Messiah: Who was He? What would He be like? How would we know Him? They had many prophesies and psalms they viewed as describing the Messiah, from which they sought to form a concept of Whom to expect. That the Messiah would be from the line of David was clear from several sources. But they never stopped to consider the question Jesus poses here, posed by the Messianic Psalm He quotes: How can David's Son be David's Lord? For that to be true, He must have existed before David, yet be born after; He must be both the Son of David and the Son of God. Such revelation is overwhelming to be sure.

Friday, October 17, 2014

One plus one is Wow...

Matthew 22:34-40 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Jesus' answer was spot on - each of His opponents would agree that this first commandment was primary. What none of them every would have thought to do was connect the second to it. But both of them have another statement in their original form: "I am The Lord." Our love toward God and our love toward others is connected by Who He is. As King, the Messiah, Jesus is calling on us to join the two - something God has always had in mind. When we do this, we will understand what He has had in mind all along.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Another Wrong Question

Matthew 22:29-33 But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching. We have all heard that there are no dumb questions. But there are wrong questions, especially when we think we already know the answers, which are wrong. This wrong question was based upon not knowing the true and living God, who raises the dead. They had totally missed God's Message to them. May we let God speak and tell us what He wants to say; may we listen with open hearts, and may we embrace our relationship with Him today.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What is wrong with this picture???

Matthew 22:23-28 The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.” As we will see, everything is wrong with this picture. First, the Sadducees are asking about something they don't even believe in, so it is a very poor hypothetical situation. Secondly, they are treating this woman as a hot potato that no one wants; these men were just "fulfilling their obligation." Their question is almost"Who gets stuck with her?" Their questioning reveals many of our self-righteous questioning: it's based on doubt, not faith; it is all about what do I get and not what are my responsibilities; it jabs at the very goodness of God: Does He really care about me enough to give me what is best for me?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Keeping it simple...

Matthew 22:19-22 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar's.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away. Even though these religious leaders had evil intentions, Jesus answered their question - rather, he had them answer their own question. We tend to make life complicated for ourselves, when God has made it very simple. Since He has seen fit to make us citizens of a particular nation or kingdom, we owe that leadership its due. That simple truth also carries with it a corollary: if we are truly members of God's kingdom, we will give Him what is due: our faith, our hearts, our lives. These particular people were willing to do neither: they were not willing to submit at all.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Jesus: Everything we are not...

Matthew 22:15-18 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone's opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? The Pharisees compliments were enough to make one gag. Though true statements, the sentiments behind them were false. Their motives were impure and full of malice, wanting to see Jesus fall and fail. He is truth, always says truth, and never states truth with evil intent. Even if we are basically honest people, there are none of us who never say something we know to be true, just because it will hurt or insult another, or at least make us look better. May we pursue and cling to the truth, but may we stop using it as a sword or hammer with which to hurt others.

Friday, October 10, 2014

More than showing up...

Matthew 22:11-14 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” Jesus had put out the invitation to come to His banquet, to enter His kingdom, to follow Him. Many had physically followed Him in the parade to the Passover. But lest we think that following Jesus is just showing up in a particular place at a particular time, he challenges that thought with this parable. It is His banquet, in which He wants us to be fully engaged. The lack of proper attire here shows that this man was not really there; He wanted the feast and celebration, but not to celebrate with the King and His Son. He was not willing to abide by the rules of the kingdom. He wanted to come his own way - not clothed in the the garments the King provided. There is only one way we can enter the Kingdom, and that is Christ and the righteousness He provides. He wants us to fully trust and follow Him.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

God's Celebration Will Happen!

Matthew 22:8-10 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. One might think: "What is a wedding celebration without any guests? Those who had been invited didn't show and their city was leveled..... But God has a plan - He always does. The party will go on. It is still His Son's wedding. So others were found - as many as would receive the invitation, and they came. The Party is on; don't miss out!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Not your typical wedding party...

Matthew 22:7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. The King had invited everyone to the wedding banquet, and reminded them and asked them graciously to attend, but was ignored and even revolted against. He justly eliminated those who rebelled. They were not worthy of the banquet, because they would not thankfully receive His invitation. God's invitation is not to be ignored or snorted at; it is to be embraced with the same joy and love with which He invites and receives us.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

One last call...

Matthew 22:4-6 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The King had alread sent messengers, calling His people to the wedding feast. In that day, this was after a full year of preparation; it was not something that should have caught people off guard. Yet they had ignored it. In His grace, the King sent more servants, because the feast is ready; if it is not held now, the food will spoil. It is now or never. Yet, many kept on with life as normal, and some even reacted to the announcement with extreme hatred. Scuh it is when God calls. People act surpised when they should not; they refuse to respond, acting as if they have all the time in the world, when they do not. "Many will say: "Don't bother me", and become extremely angry against a gracious God.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The ignored invitation...

Matthew 22:1-3 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Anyone who gets mail gets invitations: invitations to give to charity, invitations to get a credit card, invitations to buy the latest wonder drug. Those are a daily occurrence, which can be accepted, ignored, or rejected. But other invitations are not to be ignored - they demand a response: a wedding invitation, a shut-off notice, a contract. If we do not respond in some way, it will affect our relationship with the other party. When the King of heaven sends an invitation, it is the last one we should ignore, but that is often the case. We put it in the back of the stack of mail to reconsider later, ignoring the need for a timely response, failing to comprehend that we will one day face the King and have to answer why we have ignored Him.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Rejecters Replaced....

Matthew 21:33-46 “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:“‘The stone that the builders rejectedhas become the cornerstone;this was the Lord's doing,and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet. This parable was the most incriminating yet in its aim against the religious leaders. They had been entrusted with the care of the Temple and the spiritual oversight of God's people at Jerusalem. They became so comfortable and self-established, that they believed they owned the Temple, and now set the rules - so much so, that when the Owner's Son came, they tried to kick Him off His land and out of His Home on earth. They were evil spiritual tenant farmers. As we go to our houses of worship today, do we have any of the same attitudes? It is our house, or His?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Major Ouch!

Matthew 21:28-32 “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him. These religious leaders had come to Jesus to question His authority to teach and to heal, presuming that they had the right to govern what God did in His own house. They themselves repeatedly refused to response to Christ's call to repentance and faith, while watching the rejected ones in their society do so. One lesson after another here he turns into a self-incriminating accusation against these leaders. They are the son who said he would obey, but did not. They had refused John the Baptist, the forerunner, and now they were refusing the Christ. What a belittling, yet true statement: the dregs of society would precede them into the Kingdom, and there was reason to doubt they would enter at all. May our faith be much more than trying to look good and feel good about ourselves in comparison to others.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Questioning Authority....

Matthew 21:23-27 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. The leaders at Jerusalem had come to think of the Temple as "their turf." They had responsibility for what went on there. Of course, they were sad stewards who let all sorts of things go on there that should not have. Nonetheless, they wanted to know who told Jesus He could teach the Good News and Heal and lead the children's Choir there. The answer was obvious, but one they did not want to hear. We have the same response often when Christ marches into our Temple, our lives, our bodies: we act like He has no authority here, but he does; He actually has all authority. If we will start with that perspective, and then ask what He wants done, we will find more of the real answers we are looking for.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mountain Throwing...

Matthew 21:18-22 In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” here we have one of those promises of prayer that we often forget the context in which Christ said it. It is in response to the question of the disciples as to how Jesus was able to speak against the fig tree and have it die instantly. The tree was a symbol of the Jewish religious establishment; it had become spiritually unfruitful. Therefore, it was an obstacle in the way of people coming to God. What Christ is doing is promising His power to remove those obstacles to people coming to faith in Him. It's not just so we can watch things burn or mountains fly. In the background as well here is the prophesy in the Old Testament that someday The Lord will cause that mountain, the Mount of Olives, to split, and half go to the south, where the Dead Sea is. He has all power and authority.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The right choice of noise...

Matthew 21:12-17 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,“‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babiesyou have prepared praise’?” And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there. When Jesus arrived at the Temple, it was crowded and chaotic - not a place conducive to worship. Most of the noise was coming from the Court of the Gentiles, where a money exchange for temple coins at high exchange rates, and the sale of sacrificial animals at exhorbatant prices, were competing with one another, and for space - keeping those who needed God most away. Jesus objected to such noise. The Pharisees, on the other hand objected to the noise due to Jesus - the praising of the healed, and the recognition by the children that He was the Messiah. Jesus' questions were simple and piercing: Which kind of noise pleases God? Which kind of noise does His Word promote and prohibit? What kind of noise are you making in God's house?