February 27, 2021
DAY 56: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
As we resume our journey today through the Gospel of Matthew, we continue our study of Jesus and His teachings. There are many lessons to be learned in today’s reading. Take time to carefully study them all!
Take a little time to pray for God’s understanding and wisdom as we journey through Matthew 20-22 today. There is a lot to cover. Read Matthew 20-22. Let our journey begin!
The Gospel of Matthew appears to have been written with Jews as the intended recipients. It contains many references to Old Testament prophecies, linking them to Jesus and demonstrating that Jesus was the awaited, prophesied Messiah. During the time of today’s reading, Rome was under a time of change, adjusting to the rule of an Emperor instead of being ruled by the Senate. Julius Caesar had been killed in 44 BC, plunging Rome into civil wars, civil unrest, and civil lawlessness. Julius’ nephew, Gaius Octavian, who later became Caesar Augustus, consolidated his power and became the first Emperor of Rome in 27 BC, and remained in power until his death in AD 14. Upon the death of Augustus, Tiberius became Emperor. King Herod, ruling Judah as a client king for Rome, was near the end of his life at the time Jesus was born. Herod died between 4 and 1 BC, after which, his sons divided the region.
Matthew 20-22: Jesus give the parable of the workers in the vineyard and, once again, predicts His own death. The mother of James and John asks Jesus to allow her sons to sit at His right and left when Jesus is seated on His throne. Jesus explained to her God made that decision not He. Jesus restores the sight of two blind men. Jesus enters Jerusalem as King. He rode a donkey, as prophesied, and was met by crowds waving palm branches. Jesus, for the moment at least, was their Savior. Jesus would deliver them from Roman bondage, is what they believed. Much more importantly than that is, that is all they wanted. They didn’t want to be released from their bondage to sin. Jesus clears the temple, for a second time, of people exchanging money for temple coin and selling animals for sacrifices at excessive rates and excessive prices, actions inappropriate for a house of prayer. Jesus curses a fig tree which symbolized absence of spiritual growth in the Jewish nation. Jesus’ authority was question by the chief priests. Jesus agreed to answer the chief priests question if they would answer one He had for them first. The chief priests refused to answer the question. The Parable of the Two Sons shows the first son’s disobedience by refusing to do what his father asked. The second son lied to his father telling him he would go work the field but decided not to after he told his father he would. Although the first son reconsidered, his disobedience came by refusing to do what he was directed to do. The Parable of the Tenants shows Israel’s rejection of Jesus. In the Parable of the Wedding Banquet the invited guests represents God’s chosen people, Israel. The king then invited everyone to come. A person came not wearing wedding attire. Although salvation through Jesus is offered to all, only those who genuinely accept Jesus’ salvation, putting on Jesus’ righteousness, are acceptable in God’s sight. The religious leaders continue to question and attempt to trap Jesus. (Matthew 20:1-22:46)
Read chapters 20 through 22 and ask yourself these questions: How can today’s reading help someone understand that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah?
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