In church meetings across the world, week after week, we hear this rather encouraging portion of Scripture, reminding us that God is with us when we are gathered together in His [Jesus] name. Is it true that where two or three are gathered, God is with us…? Read on to see the answer to this question…
Death hangs over us all whether we like it or not: It’s the one thing we cannot escape or have any control over. Jesus death was hanging over the disciples as He lay in the tomb, all their illusions shattered at the Cross. But it’s not over yet.
The Resurrection is the most important event in human history bar none.
Finally, after all the plotting and scheming by the religious leaders they were getting their way and were openly calling for His demise. So that was that, Jesus would be crucified. His disciples and followers must have been confused and bewildered at this turn of events.
The whole of Jerusalem is preparing for Passover. Jesus, the Son of God will soon become the Passover Lamb. His sacrifice and the subsequent application of His blood will cause death to pass-over those to whom it is applied, freeing them from their slavery to sin and death.
The account of the widows gift to the temple may seem out of place just prior to the discourse about end times, but talking of its future highlights the contrast between how devoted the people were to this institution which became redundant long ago and its imminent destruction (which happened only 40 years later in AD70). We must not be overly engrossed in how things are going to go before the end; be on your guard, don’t be overly distracted by the pleasures or the worries of life.
You can imagine the Pharisees wondering who this upstart was who turns up and acts like He owns the place. Here was Jesus throwing tables around, teaching about Scripture like He wrote it and constantly insulting them as though they didn’t know God at all.
We pick up the account here in Jericho, but Jesus has always been heading towards Jerusalem. There is still much to be said and done, still more to learn from Jesus, but the very purpose of His visitation (to earth) will soon come to a head. Meanwhile, the jealous leading religious Jews of the city were looking for a way to destroy Him.
Communicating with God is a fundamental aspect of our spiritual life. But God will not be mocked. God is spirit and He can see straight through to our hearts when we pray. If we think we can impress God with fancy prayers for all to see with an attitude of superiority because of our ‘self-righteousness’, we are sorely mistaken…
The Jews of that day were very alive to the coming Kingdom of God, but they completely misunderstood the nature of that Kingdom. They were imagining the restoration of the glory days under King David and Solomon and the overthrow of Roman rule. Perhaps Jesus is warning us what life in the Kingdom is really like and how we should prepare for His second coming.