Jesus, we praise you for being the promised Davidic Messiah, the King with authority over all. Father, we praise You for Your mercy in sending a Savior, and for Your justice to punish unrepentant rebels. We thank You that in the midst of great tribulations, Christ will return again to consummate His glorious kingdom. Help us be prepared and faithful until that time. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Read Matthew 21-24
Matthew 21:1–27 Jesus is God’s promised Davidic Messiah (2 Samuel 7:10–16; Psalm 2 and 110; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 11; Jeremiah 23:5–6; Micah 5:6). In Romans 1:3, Paul reminds us that Jesus was the Son of David according to the Scriptures, the King with authority over all. King Jesus is in sovereign control over all details, yet humble and desirous to save sinners (21:1–11). King Jesus had authority to cleanse the Temple and curse the fig tree (21:12–22). All challengers to King Jesus will fail (21:23–27).
Matthew 21:28–22:14 God’s judgment against all who refuse to repent and believe in His Son is severe, just, and eternal. The first parable highlights all people’s duty to repent and believe. The other parables highlight God’s judgment against anyone who, like the religious leaders, refuse to repent and believe.
God will judge anyone who doesn’t listen to Jesus. Note, however, that God’s judgment comes with a merciful warning: there’s still time to repent. Pay attention to how Jesus’ opponents sometimes fear man more than God. They alternately stir up the crowds in opposition to Him, and fearfully poll them before acting against Him. These same opponents see that Jesus is fearless and speaks the truth no matter what. In Acts, we saw Jesus’ Spirit-filled disciples speak fearlessly, as well.
37 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.38 This is the great and first commandment.39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 22:15–46 Sadly, despite knowing that Jesus spoke the parables against them, these religious leaders refused to repent and instead tried to trap Jesus. But Jesus won’t be mocked by anyone, certainly not those who try to trap Him. Jesus escapes all three traps (22:15–40), and then went on the offensive and silences them with his understanding of Psalm 110(22:41–46).
Matthew 23:1–39 Jesus has compassion for lost sinners but condemnation for the willfully rebellious. After exhorting His disciples and the crowds to submit to God’s Word, Jesus condemned the religious teachers for their hypocrisy with seven woes. Notice the woes focus on Jerusalem, particularly its religious leaders’ persecution of the righteous and blindness to God and His ways.
HOW DO WE KNOW THE NATIONS AND UUPGS THAT HAVE YET TO HEAR THE GOSPEL?
Jesus doesn’t tell us, but we can be sure that since Christ has not yet returned, there are peoples who still need to hear the gospel, repent, and believe!
Matthew 24:1–51 When the disciples ask specifically about when the end will come, Jesus gives a long speech. While some signs of the end are clear, the precise timing is unknown. We do know, however, that this “gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” We’re living in the last days already. Rather than curiously trying to read the headlines and identify specific signs, Christians are to be alert and prepared, proclaiming this gospel as faithful followers of Jesus.
37 And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.And a second is like it: 39 You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’
- Jesus spoke often of the coming judgment. Those who won’t repent and believe the gospel will be judged. When we share the gospel, it’s important to urge people to repent before the coming judgment.
- Jesus’ speech makes it sound like life will be difficult and challenging for His followers up until the end. In the meantime, we must endure, remain alert, and share the gospel. Did Jesus’ disciples live this way in the book of Acts? Absolutely. In many places in the world today, followers of Jesus face great tribulations that require supernatural endurance. We should pray for them, and emulate their faith.
- Rejoice, for the Son of Man’s second coming is sure and certain. In the meantime, the gospel must be told to all peoples.
- Have you recently met people from different nations who live near you? Develop a practical plan to get to know them; pray for opportunities to share the gospel with them.