I knew that when we got into the New Testament that it would be much more interesting....and would hold my attention....but....I truly never bargained for the amount of notes that I would be taking. Just to finish up the book of Matthew, I took ELEVEN pages of notes....on regular notebook paper!!! I'm gonna try to condense it so that it will be more interesting to you, too. No wonder I get very comments on my weekly recaps....it's like reading a novel!!!
Anyway....let's finish up Matthew....
This verse of scripture reminds of a little boy named Tyler....who is probably about 19 years old by now. He was saved at an early age....I think about 5 years old....and when I was congratulating him and telling him how proud I was of him....I'll never forget him looking at me like it was no big deal and he said, "I just asked Jesus to come into my heart"!!
Oh, if only us adults didn't try to make it so complicated!!!
"Let the children come to me.
Don't stop them!
For the kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children".
A lot took place in Chapter 20....
- Jesus told His disciples about His death and resurrection. He sent 2 of His disciples to the town of Bethpage to get a donkey and its colt and bring them to Him.
- Jesus entered the Temple and became angry because people were buying and selling there. He knocked over the tables of the money changers telling them that His Temple will be a house of prayer....but they had turned it into a den of thieves.
- Jesus healed in the Temple....but the leaders were angry that the people were praising Jesus.
I loved how Jesus would answer accusations with another question, only serving to confuse his accusers.
Many people hear the invitation to accept Jesus into their hearts, but few respond in faithful obedience to Him.
For many are called, but few are chosen.
The Pharisees continued to plot to trap Jesus into saying something they could arrest Him for.
Jesus told His disciples that this is the most important commandment....
You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind!
This is the second greatest....
Love your neighbor as yourself!
Often, we're more concerned about our outward appearance than what's in our hearts and on our minds....
What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees.
For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy, full of greed and self-indulgence!
Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.
In Chapter 24, Jesus predicted future events (things that are taking place today)
- many will come in His name claiming to be the Messiah
- wars and threats of wars - nation against nation
- famines and earthquakes
- followers of Jesus will be hated allover the world
- many will turn away from Jesus and betray and hate each other
- many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people
- sin will be rampant
- but the one who endures to the end will be saved
- we 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 mighty blast of a trumpet to gather His chosen ones from all over the world
However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.
Jesus' return will be sudden....
Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.
In other words BE READY TO GO!!!
So, you too must keep watch!
For you don't know what day your Lord is coming.
We are to be good stewards of what God has blessed us with.....
To those who use well what they are given , even more will be given and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.
Judas was given 30 pieces of silver when he asked the leading priests how much they would pay him to betray Jesus to them. From that time on, Judas began looking for a way to betray Jesus.
The Last Supper
When Jesus sat down to eat with the twelve, He told them....
I tell you the truth one of you will betray me.
Each one asked Jesus, "Am I the one, Lord"?
Jesus told His disciples that each one would desert Him....but Peter declared that he would never desert Him....but Jesus told him that before the rooster crowed, Peter would deny 3 times that he even knew Jesus.
Jesus went to an olive grove called Gethsemane to pray. He took Peter, James and John with Him. Jesus prayed to His Father....
My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine.
Then He returned to His disciples to find they asleep. Judas arrived with a crowd of men with swords and clubs. He betrayed Jesus by giving Him a kiss....a sign that He was Jesus....and Jesus was arrested....and all of His disciples deserted Him and fled.
It hurts my heart to even type those words.
Meanwhile....Peter denied being with Jesus....denied even knowing Jesus....and denied being a disciple of Jesus....3 times....and immediately the rooster crowed after the 3rd denial....and Jesus words flashed thru Peter's mind, and he went away and wept bitterly.
Jesus was bound and led to Pilate. When Judas realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was sorry (not repentant....just sorry)....so he took the 30 pieces of silver back to the leading priests and elders telling them he had sinned because he had betrayed an innocent man. They didn't care, so Judas threw the silver coins down and went out and hanged himself. The money was used to buy a "potters field"....a cemetery.
When Jesus was on "trial" before Pilate, He didn't say a word to defend Himself from the accusations. Pilate's wife sent him a note telling him to "Leave that innocent man alone. I suffered thru a terrible nightmare about Him last night." The mob was shouting "crucify Him", and Pilate saw a riot was developing....so he sent for a bowl of water and he washed his hands before the crowd claiming "I am innocent of this man's blood".
If only it were that easy....it took that man's blood to bring our innocence!!!
Pilate ordered Jesus be flogged, then turned Him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified. Jesus was stripped and a scarlet robe put on Him. A crown of thorns was placed on His head. He was spat upon and beaten...then He was led away to be crucified. Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry Jesus' cross to Golgotha. Jesus was nailed to the cross and the soldiers gambled for His clothes. Jesus died on the cross....and at the very moment, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two - from top to bottom (so that no one individual could be accused of doing it...it had to be GOD!!!) There was an earthquake and tombs were opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised form the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus' resurrection and went into Jerusalem and appeared to many people. Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for Jesus' body and he placed the body of Jesus in his own new tomb and rolled a great stone across the entrance. Early on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb. An angel of the Lord had rolled aside the stone. The angel told the women that Jesus had risen and to go tell His disciples. As they ran to tell the good news, Jesus met them and they ran to Him and worshiped Him. The eleven disciples left for Galilee to meet Jesus and He told them (and it goes for us today, too).....
"Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit".
"Be sure of this - I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
In His Most Precious Love....and with mine!!!
In His Most Precious Love....and with mine!!!