If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Genesis 22, Matthew 21, Nehemiah 11, Acts 21. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Matthew 21.
Matthew 21 records two busy days in the life of Jesus and his disciples. First, Christ told two disciples to commit grand theft donkey with a colt on the side (vv. 1-2). If anyone asked why, they were supposed to claim that God needed them (v. 3). After his triumphal entry, Jesus continued acting like the boss. He tossed the merchants in the temple (vv. 12-13), he healed others and received more praise in the temple from children (vv. 14-16). After a good night’s sleep he started back toward Jerusalem, but paused to curse a fig tree that wouldn’t feed him, watching it wither immediately (vv. 18-19).
After all this, the religious leaders got the point. Jesus was acting like he was in charge, like his authority was absolute. They wanted to know where his authority came from (v. 23). Instead of letting them sit in judgment on him, Jesus gave them a puzzle that implied the answer to their question. Did John make up his own baptism or did John baptize under God’s authority (vv. 24-25)? Either answer they gave would create a problem for them so they punted and refused to answer Jesus’ riddle. Instead of answering their question, then, Jesus left them with two parables. The parable of the two sons (vv. 28-32) and the parable of the vineyard insurrection (vv. 33-41). The point of these parables was to show the religiously powerful that Christ had the ultimate authority. Their failure to bow before him as Lord was keeping them out of God’s kingdom while sinners that they despised were getting in (vv. 42-46).
Do religious people, even “Christians,” resist Christ’s authority like this today? If you think so, what are some examples? What do we have to learn from them?
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/calvarybiblechurch/. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.