In chapter 20, Jesus centered further attention on His “passion,” eliciting contrasting responses from His audiences. Verses 17 through 19 form the third and final passion prediction. Verses 20 through 28 illustrate an inappropriate response. James and John, two of the apostles, through a request by their mother, sought status in Jesus’ kingdom and were rebuked. Verses 29 through 34 illustrate an appropriate response. Two blind men recognized Jesus as Son of David, the legitimate Jewish Messiah, and merely begged for mercy. Christ was gracious and healed them of their malady, leading them to follow Him in discipleship.
Chapters 21 and 22 find Jesus arriving in Jerusalem itself. There He taught about the imminent destruction of the Jewish temple, capital, and nation if its people as a whole and its leaders in particular did not repent. Chapter 21 introduces this topic by a series of object lessons or enacted parables.
Jesus began with what has been appropriately termed “the triumphal entry.” Six days before the Passover, on what we now call Palm Sunday, He rode a donkey into the city. He was acclaimed by the crowds as Messiah and ushered into town in a fashion reminiscent of conquering warriors and kings of Old Testament and intertestamental times.
But the crowds did not recognize what kind of Messiah Christ is. They had no place in their plans for Him to be presented on such a humble animal nor to be arrested and suffer. Hence, the howling mob merely five days later clamored for His crucifixion
As Jesus entered the temple precincts, He did the entirely unexpected. He overturned the benches of the moneychangers, drove out the sacrificial animals, and accused the Jewish leaders of having corrupted a place of prayer by turning it into an extortionary marketplace.
This judgment of the temple by “purification” is followed immediately with judgment by threatened destruction. The strange miracle of cursing the fig tree is best interpreted by Jesus’ parable that uses identical imagery in the Gospel of Luke. Fig trees often stood for Israel in the Old Testament. Jesus was showing what would happen to the nation if it did not repent.
Credits: Concise Bible Commentary, David S. Dockery, General Editor and Holy Bible, King James Version.
Columbia Prayer Chain
Wednesday, September 28
In our prayers: Jerry Callahan, Russ Meyne, April Goodwin, Laura Bushnell, Loretta M. in Cayce, Kody Oswald, Tina Bailey, Oliver Crawford, Edgar Maxwell, Laura Lou Roamans, Elizabeth Adams, Rootie Pope in Leesville, Gene Awtrey in Spring Valley, John Conde, Millie Husbands, Clyde Ireland, Sam King, Bob Whiteside, Chuck Witten, Lindsay Cathcart, Raven Tarpley, Elizabeth F., Steven and Janelle, William Alex McDaniels, Maddie Rosenthal, DuBose Tuller, Nancy, Doris C., Lynn in Camden, John in Forest Acres, Frances R., Chris Johansson in Blythewood, Nancy in West Columbia
In memoriam: Harriet Davis Todd, Ruben Wood Jr., Gimmy L. Watson, Arthur Franklin Williams, S.S. Army (Ret.), Marie D. Moore, Minnie Rauch Miller, Hazel All, John Jr. Hosendove, Harvey C. “Bill Peck” Maroney, John Eddie Pickett
Our prayers are with: Mandy and all beloved pets, our president and congress and all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box below or email me to join our Prayer Chain. It is updated daily as prayers are requested.
Sharon is a member of the Community Church of the Midlands that meets at Seven Oaks Community Center at 200 Leisure Lane In Columbia and is a frequent participant, with her husband Douglas, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral located at in Columbia.
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