Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Teachings of the Kingdom

Read Mt 22:1-15

We must contextualize these kingdom teachings of Jesus. The come on the very heels of Jesus entering into Jerusalem to the cries of “Hosanna to the son of David.” They were calling Him their king. Next, the religious leaders, after witnessing His cleansing of the temple, ask Him about His authority. He then challenged them as to the rejection of the chief cornerstone. The Pharisees "perceived" that He spoke of them. Duh!

The religionists knew they were in big trouble. For them it was the 4th quarter and they were down by several touchdowns. Jesus rode into town on a donkey just as Zechariah had foretold and it was on the exact day prophesied by Daniel. What were they to do? So they told Jesus to tell the people to shut up with all these "Hosannas".

He told them that on this particular day, if they didn't do the praising, the rocks would.

Against that backdrop, Jesus begins speaking to all in attendance about "the kingdom". I guarantee you, He had their attention. He spoke about invitations to be a part of the kingdom, about those opposed to it, about being prepared for the kingdom or being caught unprepared.

I don't suppose there had ever been such keen interest in a sermon as His Kingdom teaching that day.

The responses? Many heard Jesus gladly because they were under the impression that the actual reign of Messiah, Son of David was imminent. But the Pharisees had other ideas...trip Him up, get Him to say something they could use against Him, even take Him by force if the opportunity arose.

But the kingdom Jesus referred to was misunderstood. His chief interest was to reign over individual kingdoms of the heart.

Today, I cede the throne of my heart back over to the King. Daily my flesh revolts against His reign and it deposes the rightful rulership of King Jesus. With Paul, I die daily, so that I may live in Him and under Him.

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