Why Did Jesus Go To Jerusalem? A Holy Week Reflection
These are the questions I’ve posed in light of the historical truth – yes, historical fact – that Pilate killed Jesus during the Passover celebration. Is it possible that Jesus went to Jerusalem in order to be crucified? If he did, why did it take him so many days to fulfill his request, given the tinderbox environment of Passover? Jesus traveled to Jerusalem to stage two simultaneous protests: first, against Roman imperial rule over the City of Peace, and second, against Roman imperial power over the Temple of God, according to my interpretation.
By the way, it is not essential to condemn either of those two individuals – despite the fact that they represented really poor management – in this case.
Whatever the case, why hadn’t Jesus been assassinated by the time of (our) Palm Sunday evening?
There are several explanations for this.
Keep in mind that on (our) Sunday (11:8), Monday (11:18), and Tuesday (11:32; 12:12,37) of Holy Week, Mark’s gospel stresses that protective “crowd.” Other reasons include the fact that each and every night, Jesus departed from Jerusalem and went to Bethany, where he could be protected by his friends and followers away from the city and near the Mount of Olives.
- Bethany served as Jesus’ safe staging place.
- And he was on the verge of making it – until (our) Thursday.
- Pilate dispatched more troops from his garrison at Caesarea on the coast to Jerusalem for the purpose of providing security and crowd control during Passover.
- Those events are recounted in Matthew 21:1-11, and their significance is explained by a statement from the prophet Zechariah, which contrasts Macedonia’s Alexander with Israel’s Messiah.
- Yes, there is peace on earth, but it is not peace brought about by Rome’s brutal victory, but rather peace brought about by God’s nonviolent justice.
- In this case, it was an action that was made clear by a prophetic word, which was in turn made clear by an action-parable.
- In addition, it was also known as the House of Rome, as shown by the imperial supervision of the high priest’s holy garments and the enormous golden eagle that guarded it from the Upper City’s western gate.
It was a quote from the prophet Jeremiah that served as an accompaniment to Jesus’ personal demonstration against Roman authority over God’s House.
According to Jeremiah, if the situation persisted, God would destroy the Temple itself (7:1-15).
As with Jesus’ action-parable against the Temple, God’s threat in Jeremiah 7 is fulfilled, just as Jesus’ action-parable against the City had been fulfilled by God’s promise in Zechariah 9.
And, once again, he was able to get away with it because of the protective screen provided by “the entire audience” (Mark 11:18).
However, by (our) Thursday evening, they had established a way to intercept Jesus as he traveled “over the Kidron Valley” from Jerusalem to Bethany every evening, whether or not Judas was present at the time (John 18:1).
In addition, do not mistake Jesus’ enormous protective “crowd” with the little “crowd” (six or seven partisans?) who appeared before Pilate to demand that Barabbas be released from jail rather than Jesus himself (Mark 15:6-8).
The wisest advise Pilate received on that day – our Good Friday – came from his wife, according to Matthew’s parabolic aside: “Don’t have anything whatsoever to do with that innocent man” (27:19).
Pilate, on the other hand, is said to have answered, “What occurs in Jerusalem remains in Jerusalem.” (Image courtesy of Art Resource)
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
Matthew 21-22, Mark 11-12, Luke 19-20, and John 12 are examples of passages from the Bible.
Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem
|As Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the peoplespread their coats in front of Him and greeted Him with palm branches.|
It was a sunny Sunday around the year 30 A.D., and it was a beautiful day. It was a bustling scene in the holy city of Jerusalem as pilgrims descended on the city for the annual Passover festival. Jesus had been wandering through the cities and villages of Palestine for several months when he was arrested. He traveled around the world, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and healing the sick. It was now time for Him to assert His right to be known as the Messiah – the Savior whom God had promised to the Jewish people thousands of years before.
- During the course of their journey to Jerusalem, Jesus informed His followers that He would shortly be executed and that He would rise from the dead three days later.
- Jesus came into Jerusalem on a donkey, according to tradition.
- Some others brandished palm tree branches as a victory sign, while others sang.
- In 2 Kings 9:13, it is stated that only a king would be received in this manner, and the people want Jesus to be their king.
- A great political and military leader, they believed, would come to rescue them from the oppression of the Roman Empire, and that was exactly what they got.
- It is a spiritual kingdom that is currently forming in the hearts of those who place their confidence and trust in God and his promises.
Cleansing the Temple
|Jesus drove the merchants and moneychangers out of the temple.|
When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, He proceeded to the temple, where he was dissatisfied with what He saw. What used to be the holiest of sites had been transformed into a bazaar. Animals were being sold by merchants for use as temple sacrifices. Money changers were on hand to exchange the pilgrims’ cash for unique coins that were only used in the temple. Many of these individuals were defrauding the pilgrims who had traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. The seats of the merchants and the tables of the money changers were thrown over, scattering their cash, as Jesus did this.
He fashioned a whip out of some cords and used it to chase the animals away.
Teaching and Healing
Every day, Jesus went to the temple to pray. His healing ministry extended to others who were blind, handicapped, and ill, and He cured them all. He used tales and parables to help people better comprehend God’s kingdom and God’s love for all people, and he was known for doing so. The large masses of people who had gathered to hear Him were mesmerized. A scholar of Jewish law approached Jesus and inquired as to which of God’s commandments was the most significant. ‘Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, and all of your mind,’ Jesus said.’ This is the very first and most important commandment.
Everything Jesus taught us is built on the foundation of faith in God and Christian love (kindness and respect) for one another and for all people. These are the kinds of things that are truly essential in one’s lifetime.
Conflict with the Chief Priests and Elders
|The chief priests and elders of thetemple challenged Jesus’ authority.|
Not everyone was pleased with Jesus’ decision to speak at the temple on a daily basis. Anger and dissatisfaction reigned among the temple’s leading priests and elders. The chief priests had granted permission for merchants and money changers to operate in the temple’s outer courtyard, but Jesus had ordered them out of the building. Because of the vast number of people who followed Jesus, they were concerned about a crackdown by Roman authorities. And, what’s worse, the people were placing all of their hopes and confidence in Jesus.
- These temple authorities devised a strategy to catch Jesus in the act of speaking his own words.
- Jesus refused to answer their questions.
- In the event that He did not assert divine authority, people may conclude that He was simply a lunatic.
- However, instead of responding to the question, He asked another: “Did the baptism of John come from heaven?” The temple officials understood that they had fallen into a trap as well.
- As a result, they declined to respond.
- The temple leaders, on the other hand, became even more enraged and began plotting to assassinate Jesus.
For the Jews, Jerusalem was the holiest city on the face of the earth. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, he fulfilled a prophesy from the Old Testament (Zechariah 9:9–10) and left little mistake that He was adopting the title of Messiah. The large masses of people who had gathered in Jerusalem for Passover flocked to Jesus and praised him. However, there was a bitter struggle between Jesus and the religious authorities of Jerusalem. They were at odds on themes like as prayer, sanctity, life after death, and the payment of taxes to the Roman government.
Jesus was killed less than a week after arriving in Jerusalem as a result of these disagreements.
He spoke about His second coming and the kingdom of God, and he presented parables about it.
Jerusalem was considered the holiest city on the planet by the Jews. With His donkey ride into Jerusalem, Jesus fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy (Zechariah 9:9–10) and left no doubt that He was claiming the title of Messiah for Himself. Thousands of people had flocked to Jerusalem for Passover, and they were enthralled by Jesus’ presence. Between Jesus and the religious authorities of Jerusalem, however, there was a tense confrontation. They were at odds on themes such as prayer, sanctity, life after death, and the payment of taxes to the Roman authorities.
Jesus was killed less than a week after arriving in Jerusalem as a result of these disagreements and confrontations.
He spoke about His second coming and the kingdom of God, and he gave parables about them. But, most importantly, Jesus stated that we must place our whole confidence in God and put that trust into action by being compassionate to others.
Why Did Jesus Preach and Work His Miracles Among the Jews?
The people known asHebrews, Israelites or Jews were God’s chosen people. God intended for redemption to be brought to the Jews first, and then via the Jews, to the rest of the world as a whole. As a Jew, Jesus was born and raised, and he stayed devoted to Judaism (the Jewish religion) throughout His earthly ministry. The majority of his labor and preaching was done among the Jews of Palestine, which is now known as the State of Israel. Christianity originated as a minor sect of Judaism that spread over the world.
It is important to note that God has not renounced His covenant with the Jews (Romans 11:25-29), but that His redemption is now offered to all people everywhere.
Messiah is derived from a Hebrew phrase that literally means “the anointed one.” Oil was used to anoint significant persons in the Old Testament, such as kings and priests, as a symbol of their position. For hundreds of years, the Jews had hoped that God would send them a particular monarch to rule over them (Daniel 9:25-26, Isaiah 7:14-17, 11:1-9,Micah 5:2). Because the people were expecting their Messiah to be a military and political leader rather than a spiritual leader, Jesus resisted accepting the title Messiah until the very end.
Why did Jesus go to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday? Full Story ~ iTech
A Hebrew term that means “the anointed one” is used to refer to the Messiah. Oil was used to anoint significant persons in the Old Testament, such as kings and priests, as a symbol of their authority. God’s people have been waiting hundreds of years for an extra-ordinary ruler to come and rule over them (Daniel 9:25-26, Isaiah 7:14-17, 11:1-9,Micah 5:2). Because the people were expecting their Messiah to be a military and political leader rather than a spiritual leader, Jesus resisted taking the title Messiah until the very end of his ministry.
What is the significance of the triumphal/triumphant entry?
Messiah is derived from a Hebrew term that means “anointed one.” Oil was used to anoint significant persons in the Old Testament, such as kings and priests, as a symbol of their position. The Jews had hoped for hundreds of years that God would bring them a particular monarch (Daniel 9:25-26, Isaiah 7:14-17, 11:1-9,Micah 5:2). Because the people expected their Messiah to be a military and political leader rather than a spiritual leader, Jesus resisted embracing the title Messiah until the very end.
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Messiah is derived from a Hebrew phrase that means “the anointed one.” In the Old Testament, influential individuals such as kings and priests were anointed with oil as a symbol of their position. For hundreds of years, the Jews had hoped that God would bring them a particular monarch (Daniel 9:25-26, Isaiah 7:14-17, 11:1-9,Micah 5:2). Jesus resisted accepting the title Messiah until the very end because the people had expected their Messiah to be a military and political leader rather than a spiritual leader.
The term christosmeans “anointed one” in Greek, which was the original language of the New Testament, and it is from this root that the name “Christ” derives.
The Bible Story of the First Palm Sunday
The tale of Palm Sunday is brought to life in the Bible in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19, among other places. The Triumphal Entry ofJesusChrist into Jerusalem represents the culmination of his earthly mission and the beginning of his reign as King. It is the Lord who enters the city, well aware that this journey would culminate in his death as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity.
Question for Reflection
After following Jesus on his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the people failed to perceive him for who he actually was, instead placing their own selfish demands on him. Who is Jesus in your eyes? Is he simply someone to fulfill your selfish desires and aspirations, or is he your Lord and Master, who devoted his life in order to redeem you from your sins and bring you back to God?
Palm Sunday Story Summary
On his trip to Jerusalem, Jesus dispatched two disciples to the town of Bethphage, which was about a mile away from the city at the foot of the Mount of Olives and about a mile away from the city. He instructed them to hunt for a donkey that was tied to a home and had an unbroken colt beside it. The disciples were directed to inform the animal’s owners that “the Lord requires it.” Jesus said, “The Lord requires it.” (Luke 19:31, English Standard Version) The men tracked down the donkey and brought it and its foal to Jesus, where they draped their cloaks over the colt’s shoulders.
- People tossed their cloaks on the ground and placed palm branches in the pathway in front of him as he made his way.
- Passover throngs gathered Jesus, chanting “Hosanna to the Son of David!
- “Hosanna to the highest degree!” (Matthew 21:9, English Standard Version) Within minutes of that moment, the ruckus had spread over the whole city.
- Without a doubt, they were disseminating information about that incredible miracle.
- “Yes,” Jesus said, “have you never read the verse, “‘From the mouths of children and babies you, Lord, have brought up your praise’?” he inquired.
- He said, ‘I assure you, if these were silent, the very stones would scream out.'” (Luke 19:39-40, English Standard Version) Immediately following this beautiful period of celebration, Jesus Christ embarked on his final trip to the cross.
In the eyes of the people of Jerusalem, Jesus was an earthly king who would bring down the tyrannical Roman Empire. Their understanding of him was constrained by their own limiting and materialistic requirements. They failed to recognize that Jesus had come to triumph over a much bigger adversary than Rome—an adversary whose loss would have ramifications far beyond the confines of this world.
Jesus had come to vanquish Satan, the adversary of our souls, and they failed to recognize this. He came in order to overthrow the forces of sin and death. Jesus did not come as a political conqueror; rather, he came as the Messiah-King, the Savior of souls, and the giver of life forever.
Points of Interest
- It was at this point that Jesus addressed himself as “The Lord,” a clear statement of his divinity. When he instructed the disciples to get the donkey, Jesus addressed himself as “The Lord,” a clear proclamation of his deity. By riding into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey, Jesus fulfilled an old prophesy found in Zechariah 9:9: “The Lord will ride into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey.” “O daughter of Zion, you should be overjoyed! O daughter of Jerusalem, let your voice be heard! Behold, your king is on his way to you
- He is just and has redemption
- He is lowly and riding on the back of a donkey, on the colt of a donkey, the foal of a donkey.” (ESV) This was the only time Jesus rode a horse in the four Gospel books, and it was a significant moment. By riding a donkey, Jesus demonstrated the sort of Messiah he was—not a political hero but a compassionate, humble servant
- Tossing cloaks in the way of someone was considered an act of reverence and submission, and it functioned as a kind of acknowledgement of royalty, coupled with the throwing of palm branches in the road of someone. The people recognized Jesus as the anticipated Messiah
- The screams of ‘Hosanna’ originated from Psalm 118:25-26, which was the source of the people’s recognition. Hosanna is a Hebrew word that meaning “save now.” However, despite what Jesus had predicted about his mission, the people were seeking for a military Messiah who would overturn the Roman government and restore Israel’s freedom.
- A few examples include: T. Alton Bryant’s New Compact Bible Dictionary
- The New Bible Commentary, edited by G.J. Wenham, J.A. Motyer, D.A. Carson, and R.T. France
- The ESV Study Bible, published by Crossway Bible
- And the ESV Study Bible, published by Crossway Bible.
Easter: Why Did Jesus Go to Jerusalem
James R. Harrigan is the author of this piece. Although his death was inevitable, couldn’t he have fled to a different city to die instead? Wouldn’t his death be just as significant and meaningful if he had died in a different location, such as Jericho, Nazareth, or Capernaum? As we prepare to celebrate another Easter season, it would be useful to our spiritual understanding and edification to consider why Jesus made the decision to travel to Jerusalem in the first place. It was his goal to be slain there – to be offered up as a sacrifice in the same manner as all other sacrificial lambs who had been offered there before him.
- It is referred to as the “holy city of God.” The city was known as Salem during the time of Abraham the patriarch, and it was known as Zion during the period of David the psalmist.
- Solomon’s temple formerly stood on the summit of the mountain, as a building dedicated to God’s presence.
- In the centuries before to then, the Jews had suffered greatly at the hands of the Egyptians, the Babylonians, and other invaders who had besieged Jerusalem.
- and imposed large, rigorous tax obligations on the Jews, the Jews have been subjected to harsh persecution by the brutal Romans.
- These people were suffering from tremendous persecution and wished for freedom.
- Any type of relief would be welcome.
- The Father has prepared a body for the Son just for this reason.
In the tiny small town of Bethlehem, God’s Lamb, Jesus was to make the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of all humanity.
By divine decree, God had designatedJerusalem, His chosen city, as the location from which this momentous ordeal would alter the path of human history.
For Jesus, this was not a routine visit to the city of Jerusalem.
Having grown up as a Jew, He would have made several trips to the temple in order to pay first-fruit offerings at the Jewish Shavuot rituals and to mark the Passover holiday.
He had been to a number of different towns on teaching tours, curing the sick, and doing all kinds of miracles during his time there.
After being given to the Gentiles, Jesus would be humiliated and abused as well as spit at.
At the age of thirty-three, on what we now call Palm Sunday, Jesus and his party of disciples, together with a large number of additional companions, made their way toward Jerusalem after trekking approximately 15 miles southwest from Jericho.
It was without doubt that the disciples set out on their urgent mission to locate the chained creatures.
They then proceeded to transfer the hapless creatures without asking permission.
“Halt!” yelled the owner of the animals, who immediately stopped the creatures.
And with that, everything was OK.
The fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophesy has now occurred.
Then they seated Jesus on the little colt.
By this point, the throng had gathered in large numbers.
The people were ecstatic since their package was on its way to them.
As he approached the city’s entrance, Jesus came to a complete halt and made a heartfelt proclamation against it.
However, they are now concealed from your view.
They will not leave one stone upon another in you since you did not know when they were coming to see you.” Is it possible that these were the words of an emperor — the emperor of Jerusalem?
As you can see, the Jews had already rejected Jesus as the promised Messiah.
While Jesus was riding into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, among the cheers of the crowds, many Jews believed that it was now time for them to be freed from their oppressive Roman occupation.
As a result, the multitude erupted in exuberant applause, exclaiming, “Hosanna, Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” The entire city was in a frenzy of excitement.
At this time, even the youngest members of the congregation were joining in: “Hosanna!
But Jesus said, “Praise is perfected when it comes from the mouths of children and infants.” Well!
And he was well aware that the moment would soon come for him to offer that permanent payment for sin, once and for all, would have arrived.
They had high hopes that he would heroically vanquish their political foes and liberate them from captivity.
He even used the term “sick” to describe the deceitful activities of the scribes and Pharisees; he grew closer to his followers than he had ever been; and, with them, he organized what we now know as the Last Supper, or the hallowed Eucharist of Communion, in preparation for his impending death.
- They were disappointed by all of the excitement surrounding the first Palm Sunday.
- They despised him as a blasphemer and deceiver, and they were right.
- “Crucify him!” shouts the crowd.
- However, it was for this reason that Jesus traveled to Jerusalem.
- Yes, he would be tried there, scourged there, mocked there, and spat upon there, just as he had predicted and as the ancient prophets had predicted before him.
- As a result of fate’s decision, the scene had to be painted in the city that God had selected.
Jerusalem! He would triumphantly rise from the grave and over all of his mocking adversaries, thank God for that! Wishing you all a Happy Easter! And I’ll go into more detail about Jerusalem in my upcoming post.
Triumphal Entry: Why Jesus HAD to Go to Jerusalem
The entrance of Jesus in Jerusalem at the beginning of the last week of his earthly life is described in detail by Luke: At the foot of the Mount of Olives as Jesus approached, the entire congregation of disciples burst into applause and shouted thanks to God for all of the amazing wonders that they had witnessed, exclaiming, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! ” The Lord’s peace on earth and glory in the heavens! (Luke 19:37,38)
Palm Sunday: Today and To Come
There is no dispute about what was going through the thoughts of the disciples. This was the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy, which had been delivered hundreds of years before: O daughter of Zion, you should be overjoyed! O daughter of Jerusalem, let your voice be heard! Here comes your king with his triumphant and victorious horse, riding on the back of an ass on the back of a colt that is the foal of an ass. It is I who will remove the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be removed, and he will command peace to the nations; his reign will extend from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
- (Zechariah 9:9; Zechariah 10:9) The long-awaited Messiah had arrived, and with him came the king of Israel, and with him came the ruler of the entire world.
- It was from this position that he would rule the globe in peace and righteousness.
- How their hearts must have beat in their chests!
- What method would he use?
- He could either do that or bring down fire from heaven to consume God’s adversaries.
- The pressure of the situation must have been immense!
- While this Jesus posed a danger to their power, they admired his widespread appeal on the other hand (Mark 15:10).
Because of this, they address Jesus as “Teacher, admonish your followers.'” Yet when asked, he responded, “I assure you that if these walls were silent, the very stones would scream out!” (See Luke 19:39–40.) No, he will not chastise them for their actions.
The time has arrived to act.
If the Romans decide to come, they will arrive.
To be clear, at this moment in time, the disciples’ view of Jesus’ kingdom is incorrect.
In terms of substance, they are accurate.
For example, this is how the book of Revelation portrays the final fulfillment of Palm Sunday in the age to come: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” they cried out in a loud voice before the throne and before the Lamb, who were clad in white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
- It was necessary to state the obvious.
- I prefer to think of all of our worship in this age as a rehearsal for the worship that will take place in the age to come.
- And then, to the accompaniment of a thousand Russian choirs, we shall sing our hymn of redemption, as the powerful Christ, filled with compassion, watches over those whom he purchased with his own blood.
- The cross was unavoidable, and this was something the disciples could not comprehend at the time.
Towards the end of verse 22, Jesus stated, “The Son of Man must endure much suffering and rejection by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be murdered, and on the third day be resurrected again.” And in verse 44, he instructed them, saying, “Let these words soak into your ears; because the Son of Man is about to be given into the hands of human beings.” However, according to verse 45, “They did not comprehend this word, and it was disguised from them so that they would not notice it; and they were terrified to inquire of him about this saying.” As a result, they had a faulty picture of Jesus’ last trek to Jerusalem.
They viewed him as a ruler who was advancing to seize authority.
The disciples, on the other hand, were unable to comprehend that the victory Jesus would win in Jerusalem over sin and Satan and death and all the enemies of righteousness and joy—that this victory would be won through his own horrendous suffering and death—would be won through his own horrendous suffering and death; and that the kingdom they expected to be established immediately (Luke 19:11) would, in fact, be established thousands of years later.
The disciples’ misunderstanding of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem results in a misinterpretation of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. This is why it is critical for us to recognize this in order to avoid repeating the same error.
Jesus’ Resolution to Die
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- Let’s have a look at this together.
- Jesus’ decision to turn his face toward Jerusalem was a significant departure from what it meant for the disciples.
- What a dramatic change it would be if Jesus were to ascend to the throne!
- One has to wonder how he managed to carry it all by himself for such a lengthy period of time.
- For Jesus, the city of Jerusalem represented just one thing: impending death.
- “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that has been written about the Son of man by the prophets will be fulfilled,” Jesus said in Luke 18:31f.
- When you ponder about Jesus’ decision to die, keep in mind that he was a human being with a nature similar to ours.
He would have had a happy marriage, children, and grandkids, as well as a long life and a high level of respect in the community.
In the highlands, he had his own personal spots.
It was a difficult task.
I’m not sure there’s any other way for us to begin to comprehend how much dad cared for us.
In the absence of a betrayer’s deception, the Sanhedrin’s enmity, Pilate’s apathetic attitude, and soldiers’ nails and spear, we may conclude that Jesus’ murder was entirely unintentional and uncontrollable.
However, after you read Luke 9:51, all of these ideas will be gone.
The advantages of his dying for sinners were not an afterthought; they were planned from the beginning.
Jesus, who was the exact image of his Father’s compassion for sinners, saw that the moment had come and fixed his face toward Jerusalem in order to complete his mission: to suffer for our sins there.
“No one can take my life away from me (he said), but I choose to put it down of my own free will” (John 10:18).
Jesus’ Journey Is Our Journey
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- That Jesus has previously been rejected matters nothing in terms of the story’s plot, and it is the disciples’ responses, particularly the responses of James and John, that are important.
- “Lord, do you want us to call for fire to fall down from heaven and consume them?” (See verse 54.) These brothers had previously been dubbed “sons of thunder” by Jesus (Mark 3:17).
- I take this chapter to heart since my father named me after one of these sons of thunder, and I identify strongly with him.
- Allow the blaze to erupt!
- “How the people of Jerusalem will fear when they see us approaching” According to the narrative, Jesus turned around and scolded them (verse 55).
- So, what exactly does this mean?
- After all, if Jesus had arrived on earth to execute judgment and establish an earthly government, it would make sense for the sons and daughters of thunder to begin executing judgment when the last assault of the Holy City begins.
This book poses a question to every believer: does discipleship include launching God’s missiles at the adversary in a fit of righteous fury against his or her enemies?
The answer to this question may be found throughout the whole New Testament: the surprise about Jesus the Messiah is that he came to live a life of sacrifice, dying service before returning a second time to rule in glory.
In order for them to understand—and for us all to understand—Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem is our journey.
One would be tempted to think in the opposite direction: that because Jesus suffered so much and died in our place, we are free to avoid all of the tests and instead walk directly to the front of the class, as it were.
He died in order for us to live.
He gave up the treasures of heaven so we may lay up treasures on earth.
However, none of this is based on biblical argumentation.
The Bible says in Luke 9:23 and 24: “If any one would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” For whomever wishes to preserve his life will lose it, and whoever wishes to lose his life for my cause will gain it,” says the Prophet.
He was also setting the example for us to follow.
If we attempt to safeguard our lives by retaliating against those who have wronged us or by surrounding ourselves with luxury in the face of human need, we will lose our lives.
Jesus died in order to free us from the power and penalty of sin, not from the suffering and sacrifices of simple love for the sake of others.
This is a straightforward response that even a toddler may understand: since he expects followers to be like him, and he wants them to understand that it is difficult, the Calvary route is not a road of financial wealth.
Brothers and sisters, with 16,000 unreached people groups still waiting to hear the gospel, millions of children starving due to no fault of their own, and many people in our own country struggling due to unemployment and emptiness, it is unconscionable that disciples of Jesus Christ should continue to pursue the American dream unabated.
Something radically loving for your home, something radically loving for your portfolio and income, something radically loving for your free nights, and something radically loving for your career are all possible.
And it goes hand in hand with an incredible sense of liberation from the threat of revenge.
You will also be more open to participation with people who are least beautiful and most in need if you place your trust in God rather than in things.
I’d like to end with a personal observation regarding our current location in Bethlehem.
I have prayed fervently for the salvation of all who have come to me.
I’m not sure what everlasting purpose God may have in mind for such communications at this point.
Christ is much more valuable to me now because of his truth, his forgiveness of my sins, his provision of hope for everlasting life, his gift of authenticity, his presence in my family, and his spiritual beauty that is completely pleasing.
My heart, however, tells me that preaching to unbelievers in our worship services and issuing regular invitations to them is a mistake at this point.
Both of those beliefs, in my opinion, are incorrect and self-destructive in the long term.
The most persuasive invitations that Christ can provide will come from our hearts if we thank the Lord with all our hearts and if we spend our lives entirely for love rather than retribution or luxury.
Given that Christ fixed his face toward Jerusalem, we should encourage one another to do the same, fighting against the allures of wealth and revenge, to put our faces toward the cross, and to follow the King of kings along the Calvary road week in and week out.