For many are called, but few are chosen’
“But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (Matthew 23:11,12)
In our last lesson, we saw how the Messiah, Jesus, entered Jerusalem, fully aware that Jerusalem was the city of the priests and the teachers of the law–the very ones who were conspiring together to murder Him! Jesus knew everything that would happen to Him, but that did not keep Him from going to Jerusalem. He knew that He had been born
in order to die as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
Only a few days were left before the priests would arrest Him and have Him nailed to a cross.
As we saw in our last lesson, after Jesus entered Jerusalem, each day
and taught the people. Every day the religious leaders and the teachers of the law sought an opportunity to catch Jesus in something He said so that they might have an excuse to put Him to death. However, they feared the people who were listening to Jesus attentively,
not missing a word.
In the Gospel of Luke, the Scripture says: (Luke 20:20-26) “and they asked him, and sent forth spies, who should feign themselves righteous men, that they might take hold of his words, so that they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that
thou sayest and teachest rightly,
neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not? But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why test ye me? Show me a denarius. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered, and said, Caesar’s. And he said unto them, Render, therefore, unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s,
and unto God the things which are God’s.
And they could not take hold of his words before the people; and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace”.
(Matthew 22:23-29) “The same day came to him the Sadducees,
who say that there is no resurrection,
and asked him, saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren; and the first, when he had married a wife, died, and having no issue, left his wife unto his brother; likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? For they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them,
Ye do err,
not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God”.
(Luke 20:34-38) “And Jesus, answering, said unto them, The sons of this age marry, and are given in marriage; but they who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.
for they are equal unto the angels, and are the sons of God, being the sons of the resurrection. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living;
for all live unto him”.
(Matt. 22:33-46) “And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine. Then one of them, who was a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him, saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying,
Whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How, then, doth David, in the Spirit, call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David, then, called him Lord,
how is he his son?
And no man was able to answer him a word, neither dared any man from that day forth to ask him any more questions”.
(Matthew 23:1-33,37) “Then spoke Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. All, therefore, whatever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but
do not after their works;
for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But
all their works they do to be seen of men;
they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost places at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the market places, and to be called by men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your Master,
and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth; for one is your Father, who is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. But
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither permit them that are entering to go in.
woe unto you,
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
Woe unto you,
ye blind guides, who say, whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind; for which is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever swears by the gift that is upon it, he is bound. Ye fools and blind; for
which is greater,
the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whosoever, therefore, shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth in it. And whosoever shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth in it. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him who sitteth on it.
Woe unto you,
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, justice, mercy, and faith; these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, who strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Woe unto you,
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Woe unto you,
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Woe unto you,
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore, ye are witnesses against yourselves, that ye are the sons of them who killed the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers,
… O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them who are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings,
and ye would not!”.
(Matt. 24:1-11,23-31) “and Jesus went out, and departed from the temple; and his disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us,
when shall these things be?
And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in various places.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many … Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible,
they shall deceive the very elect.
Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the son of man be. For wherever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give its light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And
then shall appear the sign of the Son of man
in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven
with power and great glory.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”.
(Matt. 25:31-34,41,46) “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him,
then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.
And before him shall be gathered all the nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand,
Come, ye blessed of my Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world … then shall he say also unto them on the left hand,
Depart from me, ye cursed,
into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels … And these shall go away into everlasting punishment,
but the righteous into eternal life.”
We heard the Lord Jesus warn the religious rulers for their hypocrisy and hardness of heart. We also heard Him warn His disciples concerning those who would come after Him, pretending to be prophets, but deceiving many people. Finally, we heard the Lord Jesus announce that
He will one day return to earth,
coming out of heaven with His mighty angels, to judge those who refuse to obey God’s Good News about the Messiah,
the Savior of sinners.
Yes, we have heard some hard words in this lesson, but they are also good words because they are true words. And they are wonderful words for all those who believe them, because the Lord Jesus said,
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free!”
In the next lesson we will learn about one of Jesus’ disciples who went to the High Priest in order to betray Jesus into the hands of those who wanted to kill Him.
God bless you as you consider what the Lord Jesus declared, saying, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God … the truth shall make you free!” (Matt. 22:29; John 8:32)
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