Matthew 21:18-22 Jesus and the Fig Tree

No one will ever eat of you again

No one will ever eat of you again

Jesus and His disciples are on their way back to Jerusalem after spending the night in Bethany. It was about a two mile walk back to town. In Mark’s account, Jesus encounters the fig tree that we are going to be talking about for the first time on the morning that He also cleansed the temple. For us, that would have been yesterday. But Matthew records the fig tree incident on the next morning. Matthew is kind of famous for condensing events. Since we are going through Matthew right now, we will talk about the fig tree today. We will be bringing some information in from Mark though in our discussion.

The first thing I want to know is why was Jesus hungry? I would assume that the hostess of where they were staying would have prepared plenty for everyone to eat before they left for Jerusalem. Was Jesus busy ministering to people and missed breakfast? Was His stomach Read more »

Matthew 21:12-17 Jesus at His Father’s House

From the lips of babes You have ordained praise

From the lips of babes You have ordained praise

We have arrived in Jerusalem with Jesus and His disciples. This is the last week in Jesus’ earthly life. Jesus spends the days of this week in Jerusalem but the nights in Bethany. He went there after yesterday’s story and is back in town today to do a bit of house cleaning and to minister to the people in need.

The temple during festival times was a hub of activity. People from far and wide came to offer their annual sacrifices. Those who came from close by brought theirs with them, while distant travelers brought money to purchase appropriate sacrifices at the temple. I have learned through many sources that those working in the temple would “inform” those who brought animals that their animals were not acceptable and require them to purchase one from the “approved” stock. The money brought also had to be exchanged for “acceptable” money. Of course Read more »

Matthew 21:1-11 Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem

Behold your King

Behold your King

We are still traveling with Jesus as He makes His way to Jerusalem for the last time, this side of the grave. The group is nearly there, but Jesus has one final requirement before He reaches the city. He has a prophecy to fulfill.

Our story picks up at the Mount of Olives where Jesus sends two of His disciples out to bring Him a very specific donkey colt. Matthew has the disciples bring the mother and the colt, where Mark and Luke concentrate on just the colt. Mark and Luke also note that this colt has never been ridden by anyone. Jesus also had specific instructions as to what His disciples were to do and say once they found the colt.

The first thing that strikes me in this story is that everything had to be prepared in advance for this day. Donkeys don’t just accept a rider right out of the gate. There is a lot of training necessary before even being led by a rope, let alone sat upon. Just out of curiosity I Googled how to train a donkey to ride. I found a Q&A forum that talked about the necessary steps.  Read more »

Matthew 20:29-34 Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

Lord have mercy on me!

Lord have mercy on me!

Jesus and His disciples are still making their way towards Jerusalem. This will be Jesus’ last visit there, this side of the grave. They have just passed through and are leaving Jericho. Matthew reports that there is a great crowd following Him.

Because of Mark’s account of this story we know one of the blind men was named Bartimaeus. We don’t have a name for the other, so we will call him Cleophus. These two men have been sitting by the roadside together for many years. They have become friends during their struggles. It is not easy making a living by begging, but it is the only thing they can do since losing their sight. On especially lean days, they have been seen sharing what they collect to ensure both eat. Read more »

Matthew 20:20-28 The Seating Order Request

A heart like His

A heart like His

Jesus and His disciples are on their way to Jerusalem for the last time. They stepped off to the side for a private talk just a little bit ago.

James and John’s mother has a request to make of Jesus while they are outside the flow of travelers. I wonder if she was traveling with Jesus and His group or if she met up with them along the way. We know that James and John left their father behind in the fishing boat when they first started following Jesus. I would assume that their mother would be home with him, instead of traveling around with Jesus.

What or who put this idea into her mind to start with? Did she come up with it on her own? How did James and John feel about their mother making this request of Jesus? Did they ask her to approach Jesus with this request because they didn’t want to look too pushy? Was mom driven to see her boys succeed? Why did she think her son’s should have a higher place than the rest of the disciples? Apparently she believed Jesus was going to set up His kingdom right away, like the disciples did. Read more »