PREVIOUS Contact the Author
On the Way to Jesus’ Sacrifice He Predicts Two More Days until
His Crucifixion and His Return at the End Time
On that same day some Pharisees came up to Jesus and told Him, “Get out and leave here because Herod is determined to kill you.”
Jesus replied, “Go and tell that fox look, I cast out demons and heal today and tomorrow, and I will be done on the third day. But I must do my work today and tomorrow because it is impossible for a prophet to perish outside of Jerusalem.
“Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you murderess of prophets and stoners of those who are sent to you; how many times have I longed to gather your children as a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
“Now observe that your house is left is left desolate to you; for truly I say that you will not see me until the time comes that you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ "311
According to Revelation 6, that time is quickly approaching now.
311. Luke 13:31–35; Matthew 23:37-39.
Jesus Heals Again on the Sabbath and Teaches Manners
Jesus entered the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath while they watched Him. And there was a man there that had edema (dropsy), which is a swelling caused by fluid in a person’s body's tissues. It usually occurs in the feet, ankles and legs, but it can involve the entire body.
Jesus asked the scribes and Pharisees if it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath. But they did not say anything, so Jesus took the man and healed him and let him go.
Then Jesus asked them, “Which of you, if his son or his ox fell into a pit on the Sabbath day, would not immediately go and pull him out?”
Jesus then gave another parable to those who were invited there, because He saw those choosing places at the front.
“When someone invites you to a banquet house, do not go and take a seat at the front; it might be that a more honorable man than you has been invited there. And then he who invited you will come and tell you to give that place to him. This will embarrass you when you have to get up and take a lower seat.
“When you are invited, go and sit at the lower end so that when he who invited you comes, he will say to you, ‘My friend, go up and sit higher.’ Then you will be glorified before all who sit with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled; and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Then Jesus said to the man who invited Him, “When you have a dinner or supper, do not invite your friends or your brothers or relatives or your rich neighbors because they will then invite you to their banquets so that you will be repaid for this.
“When you give a reception, invite the poor, the injured, the cripples and the blind. And you will be blessed because they have nothing to repay you with; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
One of the guests heard this and said, “Blessed is he who will eat bread at the resurrection.” [The Aramaic meaning of "To eat bread at the resurrection" means to be honored at the resurrection.]
Then Jesus told him, “A man gave a great supper, and invited many to come. He sent his servant at supper time to tell those who were invited, ‘Look, everything is ready for you, come.’
“But they all began to make excuses. The first told him, ‘I bought a field and am forced to go and see it. So I beg you to excuse me for being forced away.’ Another said, ‘I just bought five oxen and am on my way to examine them. So please excuse me for being called away.’ Another said, ‘I have just been married and therefore I cannot come.’
“And the servant came and told his master what these people said. Then the master was angry and told his servant to go out quickly into the streets and lanes in the city and bring in the poor, the afflicted, the injured and the blind. And the servant said, ‘My Lord, it has been done as you commanded, and there is still more room.
“Then the master said to his servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges and urge all them to come so that my house may be filled. And not one of those men who were invited will taste of my supper’.”312
This parable was further teaching on the kingdom of heaven.313 Jesus invites all to come to Him, but many give excuses. Then when the Christians are called to be with Jesus, these people are left behind.
313. 1 Peter 1:3–25; Isaiah 45:17; Jude 24.
The Cost of Discipleship
While many people were going with Him, He turned and said, “He who comes to me and does not set aside his mother and father and brothers and sisters, or his wife and children, or even his own life cannot be a disciple for me. And whoever does not take up his cross314 and follow me cannot be a disciple315 of mine.
“Which one of you who wish to build a tower does not first sit down and consider its cost, to see if you have enough money to finish it? There is a possibility that after you have laid the foundation, you will not be able to finish it and the people will mock you. They will say, ‘This man began to build, but he was unable to finish.’
“Or what king who goes to war against a king equal to him would not reason first whether he has ten thousand to meet the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he considers that, while he is still far away from that king, he will send an envoy to seek peace with him.
“So it is that every one of you who would not give up all your possessions cannot be a disciple for me. Salt is good; but if the salt loses its savor, what can it be salted with? It is neither good for the ground nor for fertilizer, 316 but is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”317
was before anyone knew that Jesus was to be put to death on a cross.
315. When Pope Damasus interpreted this passage in the 387 AD Canon, he translated “cannot be a disciple” as “cannot be a brother” to me.
316. How many know today, two thousand years after Jesus said that sea salt, which contains many micronutrients, is a beneficial fertilizer?
317. Luke 14:25–35.
The Return of the Seventy
The seventy disciples that Jesus had sent out came back to Him with great joy and told Jesus, “Our Lord, even the demons have submitted to us in your name.” ["Demons" is an Aramaic idiom for insane.]
Jesus replied, “I saw Satan falling like lightning from heaven. Look, I give you power to tread on snakes and scorpions, and to overcome the power of the enemy and nothing can harm you,
“But do not rejoice because the demons submit to you; rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” [The Aramaic meaning for "written in heaven" means that you will be accepted in heaven.]
Then Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit saying, “Oh my Father, LORD of heaven and earth, You hid these things from the wise and the men of understanding and revealed them to children. Yes, my Father, so it was well-pleasing in your sight.”
Then Jesus turned to His disciples and told them, “Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no man knows the Son is the Father. And who is the Father, except the Son, and to whomever the Son wishes to reveal it to."318
Then Jesus spoke only to the disciples, saying, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it; and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”319
Stop right here, and give praise and glory to God the Father, God, the Son and God the Holy Spirit, one God with three attributes.
Jesus tells his disciples that He IS the Father, come in the flesh. Jesus
and the Father are the same Creator God (John 1:1–11; 3:16; Revelation 1:8).
John 1:12- 13 tell you that if you believe this, then you are also a son of God.
319. Luke 10:17–24.
My Sheep Hear My Voice and I Know Them and They Follow Me
The great historian Josephus wrote in Antiquities, Book 12, C.11 that the Temple and city of Jerusalem were taken over by Antiochus Epiphanies in the year 167 B.C. He slew 40 thousand inhabitants, and sold 40 thousand more as slaves. In addition to this, he sacrificed a sow on the altar of Burnt-offerings and made a broth of this that he sprinkled all over the Temple.
The city and Temple were brought back into Jewish hands and domain three years later by Judaeus Maccabeus, and the Temple was purified with great pomp and solemnity. The ceremony of purification continued through 8 days, during which Judaeus presented animal sacrifices, and celebrated the praise of God with hymns and psalms.
This annual Feast of Dedication which was a festival (Hanukkah) came to Jerusalem, and it was winter time when Jesus was walking on Solomon’s Porch in the Temple. The Jews surrounded Him and asked, “How long do you perplex our souls with uncertainty? If you are the Messiah, tell us openly.”
Jesus answered, “I have told you, but you do not believe; even so, the works that I do in the name of the Father testify of me.
“But you do not believe because you are not my sheep, just as I have told you. My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.
“And I give them eternal life. They will never perish, and no man will snatch them from my hands.
“For my Father who gave then to me is greater than all; and no man can snatch anything from my Father’s hand. I and my Father are of one accord.”320
Do you want to hear Jesus’ voice and follow Him? This can be very simple. Whenever you watch television or are on the computer, or reading a book or magazine, or talking with friends, partying, etc., ask Jesus if this is something that He would be doing. After hearing His voice and following Him, He will begin talking to you in other ways and you will never perish, but will have eternal life.
320. John 10: 22–30.
Then the Jews picked up stones again [Chapter 88] to stone Him. And Jesus said, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which one of these works would you stone me?”
The Jews answered, “It is not because of your good works that we stone you, but because you blaspheme. You are only a man but you make yourself out to be God.”
Jesus said, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I have said you are gods; all of you are children of the Most High?’321
“If he called them gods because the word of God was with them (and scripture cannot be broken), why do you say to the one whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world that I blaspheme, just because I told you that I am the Son of God? If I am not doing the works of my Father, do not believe me. But I am doing the work, even if you don’t believe in me, believe in the works so that you may know and believe that my Father is with me and I am with my Father.”
And they wanted to seize Him again, but He escaped and went away to the Jordan crossing, to the place where John was when John first baptized. And Jesus remained there.
And many people came to Him and said, “John did not perform a single miracle, but everything that John said about this man is true”
And many people believed in Jesus.322
321. Psalm 82:6.
322. John 10:31–42; Matthew 19:1b, 2; Mark 10:1b.
While at the Jordan, some Pharisees came to Him, and asked if it is lawful for a man to divorce and leave his wife for any reason.
Jesus answered, “Have you not read that our Creator made male and female from the beginning? Because of this, a man shall leave his father and his mother and will be joined to his wife and the two shall be one flesh.323 Henceforth they are not two, but one body. And whatever God has joined together, let no one separate. What did Moses command you?”
One of the Pharisees said, “Why then did Moses command us to give a letter of separation and then to divorce her?”323
Jesus answered, “Moses considered the hardness of your heart and gave you permission to divorce your wives; but it was not so from the beginning. And I say to say to you, whoever leaves his wife, except for adultery, and marries another woman thus separated commits adultery.”
After they entered a house for dinner, Jesus’ disciples said, “If there is so much difficulty between a man and a woman, it is not worthwhile to marry.”
Jesus answered, “Neither does this saying apply to every man, but to whom it is given. There are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. To him who can comprehend, this is enough.” 324
Throughout the Old Testament the Jews and patriarchs had more than one wife, and even had concubines at the same time. Polygamy is neither forbidden nor suggested for all.325
As Christians, we are to obey the law of the land, and most non-Muslim countries only allow only one wife.
323. Genesis 2:24.
324. Matthew 19: 3-12; Mark 10:2–12.
325. e.g. Deuteronomy 21:15–17.
Then the tax collectors and sinners came up to Him to listen. And the scribes and Pharisees spoke softly saying, “He even receives sinners and eats with them.”
So Jesus told them another parable, “What man among you has a hundred sheep, and if one of them gets lost, would not leave the ninety-nine sheep out in the open and go and search for the lost sheep until he finds it?
“And when he finds it, he is delighted and puts it on his shoulders. And when he returns to his house he invites his friends and neighbors, and says celebrate with me because I found my lost sheep.
“I tell you that such will be the joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, more so than over ninety-nine righteous ones who need no repentance.
“Or what woman with ten coins should lose one and would not light a lamp and sweep the floor, searching for it carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her lady friends and tells them to rejoice with her because she found her coin that was lost.
“I say that such will be the joy of the angels before God over one sinner who repents.
“A man had two sons, and his younger son asked, ‘Father, please give me the portion which is coming to me from your house. So his father divided his possessions with his sons. After a few days, the youngest son gathered up his share and went into a country far away. There he squandered his wealth in extravagant living.
“When everything he had was gone, there was a severe famine in that country, and the younger son was in need. So he became acquainted with one of the citizens in that country, who gave him a field to feed the swine.
“And he craved to fill his stomach with the husks that the swine were eating, but no one would let him. Then he came to his senses and asked himself how many hired workers in his father’s house have plenty of food, while I am here starving from hunger? I will get up and go to my father and tell him, ‘My father, I have sinned before heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; just make me one of your workers.’
“And he got up and went back to his father. And while he was still a good distance away, his father saw him and had sympathy for him and he ran and hugged his neck and kissed him. And his son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you and am not worthy to be your son.’
“But his father told his servant to go and get the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet326 and bring the fat ox; let us eat and be happy. For this my son was dead and has come to life; he was lost but now is found.
“But his oldest son was in the field and as he came near the house, he heard everybody singing. And he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. The servant told him, ‘your brother has come and your father has killed the fat ox because he received him safe and well.’
“And the eldest son became angry and would not go in. So his father went out and asked him why he would not come in. And the elder son said. ‘Look how many years I have served you and never disobeyed your commands; and yet you never gave me even a goat so that I could party with my friends. But this son of yours who wasted your wealth on whores came back and you killed the fat ox.’
“His father said to him, ‘My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. It was right for us to have a party and rejoice; for this your brother was dead and now he is alive. He was lost, but now is found.’327”
The first son followed the law and worked for his father. When his younger brother, the sinner, came back in repentance, the elder son criticized, condemned and judged him. The father was like Jesus. When we go to Jesus and repent, we are no longer under the law. Jesus shed His blood to pay for our past, present and future sins. He only asks that we forgive others, so that we will be forgiven, and not judge others, so that we will not be judged.328
God’s heavenly ways are not like our earthly ways. God does not reward us according to our works in hope for a reward, but only if we work for God because of our love for God. We do not sin because the law says to not sin. We do not sin because we love our heavenly Father.
God rewards us by performing works for us in response to our faith, love and repentance. Nevertheless, faith without works is dead329. The son came back to work for his father. The younger son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you and am not worthy to be your son.” God is not bribed. If you do works in hope of a reward, God will not reward you. If you do works out of love for God and His Son Jesus, our heavenly Father will forgive you and count you worthy to be His son and will love you and give you everything you need.
326. In those days shoes were worn only by the rich and the nobility. The ring
was the credit card of that time and it was used as the seal of authority. The
robe symbolized rank, royalty and righteousness. This is a parable about you and
me accepting Christ and becoming sons of God, where we can call him Abba
(Daddy). God’s sons are given the name, rank, authority, power, inheritance and
love of a son of the Living God. They do not acquire or earn it, but it is
freely given by our Father in heaven.
327. Luke 15:1–32.
328. Matthew 6:14, 15; 7:1, 2.
329. James 2: 14–26.
Jesus then gave his disciples another parable, “There was a rich man who had a property manager who was accused of wasting his wealth. So his master called on him and said, ‘What is this that I am hearing about you? Give me an account of your activities because you can no longer be my property manager.’
“Then the steward asked himself what he should do. If his master takes his job away from him, he will not be able to dig, and will be ashamed to beg. He told himself, ‘Now I know what I will do without my job so that they will accommodate me in their homes.’
“So he called his master’s debtors one by one and asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
“First debtor answered, ‘A hundred pounds of butter.’ So the property manager told him, ‘Take your receipt and sit down quickly and write fifty pounds.’
“He asked the next debtor how much he owed. The debtor answered, ‘One hundred bushels of wheat.’ And the steward said, ‘Take your note and sit down and write eighty bushels.’
“And his master praised the dishonest servant because he had acted wisely, because those of this world are wiser than the children of light.330 I advise you to use earthly wealth regardless of how you acquired it, to make friends, so that when the wealth is gone, they will receive you and you will live forever.
“He who is faithful with a little will also be faithful with much; and he who is dishonest with little is also dishonest with much. If therefore, you are not faithful with the wealth acquired by sin, who will believe that there is any honesty in you? And if you are not honest with the wealth acquired by sin, who will believe that there is truth in you? And if you are not found faithful with that which is not your own, who will give you that which belongs to you?
“No servant can serve two masters; for he will either hate the one and like the other, or he will honor one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”331
The rich man in this parable is God. This parable is similar to the parable of the Prodigal Son, with a slight variation. The servant did not want to be separated from his master, so he did whatever he could think of to make amends, and the master forgave him. If you love Jesus and God is your Master, nothing, absolutely nothing can separate you from the love of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.332
330. God is the only wise one (Romans 16:26). It is sad that many of the
children of the world forgive one another more readily than do the children of
331. Luke 16:1–13.
332. Psalm 44:17–22; Romans 8:35–39.
The Pharisees loved money, so when they heard these parables, they ridiculed Jesus. But Jesus told them, “You make yourselves appear to be righteous before men, but God knows your hearts. The things that are highly esteemed among men are disgusting to God.
“The law and the prophets existed until John; from that time the kingdom of God is preached and everyone strives to enter into it. It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one letter of the law to pass away.
“And as I taught you about marriage [Chapter 114], he who divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery; and he who marries someone who is illegally separated also commits adultery.”333
Just as in Jesus’ time, prosperity preachers today are disgusting to God, as are earthly, temporal benefits, compared to eternal rewards.334
334. (Hebrews 3:8 –11; Galatians 3:1-3; 1 Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 21:2).
Continuing, Jesus said, “There was a rich man who wore fine purple linen and he would enjoy very lavish parties every day.
“And there was a poor man whose name was Lazarus who was laid down at the rich man’s door, and he was afflicted with boils. He longed to fill his stomach with the crumbs that fell from the wealthy man’s table; and dogs would lick Lazarus’ boils.
“When the poor man died, the angels came and carried him to Abraham’s place of protection, affection and security.
“The rich man also died and was buried. While he was tormented in Hell, he looked up and saw Abraham with Lazarus in his bosom. And he shouted to Abraham saying, ‘Oh father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and moisten my tongue, for I am tormented by this flame.’
“Abraham told him, ‘My son, remember when you were alive and Lazarus suffered his hardships. He is now comfortable here and you are suffering. Besides, there is a great gulf between us and you, so that those who wish to cross over to you from here cannot; neither can you cross over to us.’
“The rich man said to Abraham, ‘Oh, my father, I beg of you to send Lazarus to my father’s house; because I have five brothers; let him go testify to them so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
“Abraham said, ‘They have the books of Moses and the prophets; let them learn from them.’
“The rich man answered, “No, my father Abraham, but if only someone from the dead will go to them, they will repent.’
“Abraham replied, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, even if a man were to rise from the dead.’ “335
The rich man had a splendid funeral, expensive casket, praiseful eulogy, impressive tomb and mounds of fragrant flowers, but all he could smell now was brimstone. Revelation 14:10–11 tells us, “He shall drink of the wrath of God, which is mixed with bitterness in the cup of God’s anger; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and before the throne. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever; and those who worship the beast and his image will have no rest, day or night.”
335. Luke 16:19–31.
Jesus said to his disciples, “It is impossible for offenses not to come; but he by whose hand it comes will undergo great suffering. It would be better for him to have a donkey’s millstone tied to his neck and he be thrown into the sea than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.336
“Beware among yourselves that if your brother should sin, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he should offend you seven times in one day, and seven times a day turns to you and says he repents, forgive him.”
The disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, please increase our faith.”337
Jesus answered, “If you have the faith even as small as a grain of mustard seed, you could tell this mulberry tree to be uprooted and planted by the sea and it would obey you.
“Which of you has a servant who ploughs or tends sheep and comes from the field, would tell him to enter in and sit down? But instead would you tell the servant to prepare something for your supper, and tighten your belt and serve me until I eat and drink; then you also can eat and drink? Or do you thank that servant because he did what you commanded him to do? I don’t think so.
“Even you as a servant, when you have done all that you were commanded to do, do you say, ‘We are idle servants and we have only done what it was our duty to do?’ "338
Warning! In Galatians 5: 19 – 21, Paul says that if you practice these sins – adultery, impurity and lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, stubbornness, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling and all other such things, you will not inherit the kingdom of God. James 1:7: For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord. 2nd John 1:9: Anyone who goes ahead and does not stay in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who stays in the doctrine has both the Father and the Son.
James 4:7 says, “Submit to God. Resist Satan and he will flee from you. John 15:4: Reside in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it resides in the vine, neither can you, unless you reside in Me. John 15:6: If a man does not reside in Me, he is thrown out as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. John 15:10: If you keep my commandments, you will reside in my love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and reside in His love. First John 2:28: And now, little children, reside in Him, so that when He appears we may have confidence and not shrink from Him in shame at His coming.
Galatians 5:18: But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Preachers tell us that if you believe in Jesus, your sins are forgiven. But do they tell you that the victim and the victim’s relatives and friends may not forgive you, the police do not forgive you, and the judge and jury do not forgive you? Pray that you always be led by the Spirit in all things that you do. In whatever you do, with your friends or others, at parties, at the computer, at the movies or watching television, what you read or say, ask Jesus if He would do that. The Spirit will then lead you, and you will not be under the law.
9:42–47; Matthew 18:2, 6; Proverbs 28:10; Galatians 5:13 – 25.
337. See Hebrews 12:2.
338. Luke 17: 1–10.
There was a man named Lazarus [Lazar in the Aramaic] who was sick. This was Mary and Martha’s brother [Chapter 95]. It was this Mary that anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume and wiped them with her hair in Chapter 50. Lazarus’ two sisters sent messengers to Jesus saying, “Out Lord, consider, the one who you love is sick.”
Jesus answered, “This is not a sickness of death, but it is for the glory of God so that the Son of God may be glorified on his account.”
Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus. But when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed another two days where He was. Then He told his disciples, “Come, and let us go again to Judea.”
His disciples said, “Lord it was not long ago when the Jews wanted to stone you in Judea, and yet you are going there again?”
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in a day? If a man walks in the daylight, he will not stumble because he sees the light of this world. But if a man travels at night, he will stumble because there is no light in it. Our friend Lazarus is asleep; but I am going to wake him up.”
His disciples said, “Our Lord, if he is only sleeping he will get well.” But Jesus was talking about Lazarus being dead, and the disciples thought He said Lazarus was in bed sleeping. So then Jesus said plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sake that I was not there so that you may believe. But let us walk there.”
Then Thomas, the Twin told his fellow disciples, “Let us go there and be stoned and die with him.”339
Thomas was willing to die with Jesus, and yet doubted, and believed again later. The name Thomas in Hebrew and Didymus in Greek means “twin”. When we become Christians, Jesus becomes as a twin brother, and we must die to self, and sometimes even physically with our Lord.
339. John 11:1–16.
So Jesus came to Bethany about two miles from Jerusalem, and found that Lazarus had already been in his tomb for four days. Many Jews were with Martha and Mary, comforting them concerning their brother Lazar. And when Martha learned that Jesus was on his way, she went out to meet him, while Mary stayed home.
Martha then said to Jesus, “My Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now, I know that whatever you ask God to do, He will do it.”
Jesus said to her," Your brother will rise up.”
Martha said to Jesus, “I know he will rise up in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, even though he die, he shall live. Whoever is alive and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Martha said, “Yes, my Lord, I do believe that you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God who came into this world.” When she said this, she went to Mary and whispered to her, “Our teacher has come, and is asking for you.”
When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to Jesus. Jesus had not yet come into the town and was still in the same place where Martha met Him. When the Jews who were comforting Mary saw Mary get up quickly and go outside, they assumed that she was going to the tomb to cry.
When Mary got to where Jesus was, she fell down at His feet and told Him, “My Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw Mary and those Jews who had come with her weeping, He was greatly moved in His spirit, and was greatly upset. And Jesus also cried. The Jews then said, “See how much Jesus loved Lazar!”
Some of them said, “Could not this man who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept Lazar from dying?”340
340. John 11:17–37.
Jesus was upset because of those who came to Lazar’s tomb with Him. The tomb was in a cave, and a stone was at the entrance. And Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, Lazar’s sister, said to Jesus, “My Lord, his body already stinks, for he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus replied, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
They removed the stone and Jesus looked upwards and said, “Oh Father, I thank you that you have heard me. And I know that you always hear me; but I am saying these things out loud so that the people standing here will believe that you have sent me.”
Then Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Lazar, come out!”
The dead man came out with his hands and feet bound in burial clothes, and his face was bound with a burial napkin. [We will learn about the burial napkin when we learn about Jesus being resurrected from the dead, Chapter 186.] And Jesus told them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
Many of the Jews who were there saw what Jesus had done, they believed in Him, and some of them went to the Pharisees and told them everything that Jesus had done.341
341. John 11:38–46.
So the Pharisees and high priests, including Caiaphas, gathered for a meeting, and said, “What can we do? This man performs many miracles, and if we let him continue, everyone will believe in him. Then the Romans will take over our people and our country.”
But Caiaphas, the high priest that year, said, “You are ignorant and do not consider that it is much better for one man to die rather than all of all the people perish.”
Caiaphas, was not talking about himself, but without realizing it, prophesied that Jesus had to die for the sake of His people; and not only for the sake of His people, but to also gather together the people of God who were scattered all over the world. And from that day, they decided to kill Jesus.
Jesus knew this, so He did not walk openly among the Jews, but went out into the wilderness with His disciples to the province of Ephraim.342
342. Luke 11:47-54.
As Jesus was headed toward from Jerusalem from Ephraim, He passed through Samaritan territory on the way to Galilee. As He was entering a village, ten lepers stood away from Jesus and shouted, “Oh Jesus, our Master, have mercy on us!”
When Jesus heard this, He told them to go show yourselves to the priests;343 and while they were leaving, their leprosy disappeared. Then one of them, a Samaritan, when he saw that he was cleansed, turned back and shouted praises to God. Then he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him.
Jesus said, “Where are the other nine? Were there not ten who were healed? Why did they separate themselves and not come back and give praise to God, like you did? Arise and go, for your faith has healed you.”344
There is a complex ritual that the priests had to go through for lepers as
described in Leviticus 13; but Jesus meant that they should show the priests
that they were healed.
344. Luke 17:11–19.
Jesus then explained to His disciples and to the Pharisees that the kingdom of God will not come to the entire world during their lifetimes, but much later. Meanwhile, those who are filled with the Holy Spirit have the kingdom of God within them.
Some Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come and He answered, “The kingdom of God does not come by observation. People will not say behold it is here or behold it is there because the kingdom of God is within you.”
Then he told His disciples, “The time will come when you will want to see the days of the Son of man, and you will not see it.
“And if they say behold, he is here or behold, he is there, do not go.
“Just as lightning flashes in the sky and the sky lights up, that is how it will be when the Son of man comes. But first I must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
“Just as it happened in the days of Noah, such it will be in the days of the Son of man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage until the day that Noah entered the ark and the flood came and destroyed every man.
“Also just as it occurred in the days of Lot; they were eating and drinking and buying and selling and planting and building. But the day that Lot went out of Sodom, the Lord sent down a rain of fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed them all.
“That is how it will be in the day when the Son of man appears. In that day, he who is on the roof with his clothes in the house will not come down to take them. And he who is in the field will not turn back. Just remember Lot’s wife.
“He who wants to save his life will lose it; and he who loses his life will save it. I say that in that very night two will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding together and one will be taken and the other left. Two will be in the field and one will be taken and the other left.”
The Pharisees said, “Our Lord to what place?”
Jesus replied, “Wherever the carcass is, there will the vultures gather.”345
This begs the question, who will be taken and who will be left? Thessalonians 4:16 says, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout and the dead in Christ will rise first." Almost everybody believes that this means that Christians who have died are soul sleeping, and they will wake up when Christ returns and meet Him in the air. Then how do you explain the thousands of Christians over the past twenty years who have died for several hours, gone to heaven and seen their loved ones and other Christians who have died, and then came back to life to tell the world about it? The dead in Christ are those who are dead to sin. These are the ones who will rise first. The physically dead Christians are now already in heaven! The term 'dead in Christ' does not mean dead Christians. It means those who are living and are dead to sin because they believe that Jesus shed His blood to pay for our sins, and their lamps are full of oil (Matthew 25:1-13) that will meet Jesus when He comes. There lamps are the light of world. The oil is the Holy Spirit that lights their lamps.
In the days of Noah and the days of Lot, it was the sinners who died, not Noah and his family nor Lot and his family. So there is a possibility that the sinners will be taken and the believers in Jesus will remain on earth.
"No," you say, it is us who will be taken up, raptured, a word not found in the Bible. The concept of the rapture of Christians was first introduced by a young girl, Margaret McDonald, who described a trance she had in the early 1800's, and that was then taught as truth by the preacher Edward Irving, who was then excommunicated for his teachings.346 For those who accepted this concept, we believe it is lazy us who will cop out, escape the promised tribulation and be taken up in the clouds of God's glory without suffering, even though Jesus promised we will suffer. Yes, God comes to earth in a cloud of glory (Exodus 16:10; 24:15–18 and Leviticus 16:2), but it is God who comes to us, not we who go to Him. As we have prayed, "Thy kingdom COME, thy will be done on EARTH, as it is in heaven". I could be wrong, but Jesus said it will be just like in the days of Noah when they were eating and drinking and marrying and did not understand (the forbidden truth) until the flood took away those whom God said every imagination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continuously (Genesis 6:5 and Matthew 24). All we have to do is shout the truth. God will do the rest, and the meek will inherit the earth as Jesus promised.347
Revelation 18 describes those who go to hell after the second coming. Revelation Chapters 19 and 20 describe those who perish and those who remain with Jesus.
17: 20 – 37; Matthew 24:3-27.
346. MacPherson, Dave, 1973, The Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin (Kansas City, Heart of America Bible Society) and The Incredible Cover-Up (Medford, Oregon, Omega Publications, 1975).
347. Matthew 13: 24–52; John 17:9–14.
Jesus then told them two parables of God’s mercy so that they would always pray and not become weary.
“There was a lawless judge in a city who did not fear God and had no regard for people. A widow would come to the judge and beg him to chastise her accuser.
For a long time the judge would not consider her, but later he thought, ‘Even though I am not afraid of God nor have any regard for men, this widow troubles me. I will get even for her so that she will stop coming and annoying me.’ Then Jesus said, “Pay attention to what the unjust judge said. Would not God take vengeance in favor of His chosen ones who call on Him day and night much more than this unjust judge did? God has patience with his chosen ones. And I say that He will avenge them quickly. Even so, when the Son of man comes, is He going to find faith on the earth?” In Isaiah 41:11, we read, “All those who reproach you will be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing; and those who strive with you shall perish.” [How many of us, including me, are more concerned about the physical life than the eternal life to come?]
Then Jesus gave a parable against people who rely on themselves, believing that they are righteous and hate others:
“Two men went to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed like this: ‘Oh God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of men who are extortionists, grafters, adulterers or like this tax collector. But I fast twice a week and give tithes on everything I earn.’
“The tax collector stood far away and would not even lift his eyes to heaven. Instead, he beat his breast and said, “Oh God, be merciful to me, sinner.’
I tell you that this tax collector went back to his home more righteous than the Pharisee. For everyone who praises his self will be humbled; and everyone who humbles himself will be lifted up.”348
348. Luke 18:1–14.
They then brought little children to Jesus, asking Him to lay Hid hand on them and pray; but Jesus’ disciples those who brought them. But when Jesus saw His disciples, it displeased Him, and He said, “Allow the little children to come to me; for the kingdom of heaven is for those who are like these.
I tell you truly, that whoever does not receive the kingdom of heaven like a little child will never enter into it.”
Then He took them in His arms and laid His hand on them and blessed them and went away from there349. For the kingdom of God is not food and beverage, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit350. The children of a husband or wife who are sanctified are pure351.
Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18: 15-17.
350. Romans 14:17.
351. 1st Corinthians 7:14.
While Jesus was on His way, one of the leaders came running to Him. He fell on the ground and asked, “Oh good teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus replied, “Why do you call me good? There is no one who is good except one and that is God. But if you want to have eternal life, do you know and obey the commandments?”
The leader asked, “Which ones?”
Jesus answered," You shall not murder; Do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not oppress; honor your father and your mother and love your neighbor as yourself.” [These are the same commandments that that United States Federal government now prohibits our public schools from teaching, and that are prohibited to be displayed on government property as a result of the unconstitutional Supreme Court ruling in 1947.]352
The young man said to him, “I have obeyed all these from my childhood. What is it that I lack?”
Jesus looked him and loved him and said, “If you wish to be perfect, go and sell everything you have and give it to the poor and you will have a treasure in heaven. The take up your cross and come and follow me.”
When the young man heard this, he went away very depressed; for he had great wealth. When Jesus saw how sad he was, He turned and looked at His disciples, saying, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter into the kingdom of God. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
There is dispute between the original Aramaic Peshitta versions of the Bible and today’s modern Bibles. The Peshitta says that the word gamla means both rope and camel. Also, the word needle could mean the opening in a wall around a city that camels have to stoop down in to enter.
When the disciples heard this, they were astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus said, “Things impossible to man are possible with God.”
Then Simon Peter began to say, “Behold, we have left everything and followed you. What will we have?”Jesus said, “Truly I say to you that in the new world when the Son of man sits on the throne in his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve seats and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Every no person who leaves his home or parents or brothers and sisters or wife and children, or fields for the sake of my gospel and the kingdom of God, who will receive a hundred fold both in this life and in the world to come and will receive everlasting life. But many who are first will be last and the last will be first.”353 [Some who are last that will be first are the Gentiles; some who are first who will be last are the Jews whom Jesus went to first, but who rejected Jesus until later.]
353. Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30.
Jesus continued with a parable about workers, “For the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. He bargained with them for a penny a day, and sent them to his vineyard.
“Then he went out at 9 AM, and others were standing idle in the market place. And he said, ‘If you go to my vineyard, I will give you what is right.’ And they also went.
“At noon and 3 PM, he did the same thing. And about 5 PM, he went out and found others standing idle, and he said, ‘Why do you stand all day without working?’
"They answered, 'Because no one has hired us.’ The vineyard owner said, ‘You go to my vineyard too, and you will receive what is right.’
“Then when it became evening, the owner called his steward and said, ‘Call in the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last hired to the first.’ When those who were hired last came, they each received a penny. When the first ones hired came, they thought they would get more; but they also got one penny each.
When they received the same as the last ones to work, they complained to the householder, ‘These last ones only worked one hour and you made them equal to those of us who bore the burden of the day with its heat.’
“He answered, ‘My friend, I am not being unjust to you; didn’t you bargain to work for a penny? Take what is yours and go away. I want to give the last ones the same as I gave you. Do I not have the right to do what I want with my own? Or are you jealous because I am generous?’
“Even so, the last shall be first and first last; for many are called, but few are chosen.”254
All who go to heaven receive the same reward. This is like when Jesus was on the cross, and he told the murderer on the cross next to him that on that day he would be in paradise with Jesus.
It is wrong to tell a non-Christian that all he can claim, desire or demand will be given him. Now being “justified” and “righteous”, he or she will be even more selfish. This person will be last. It is Jesus who chooses us according to His purpose, not according to our own purpose. This is why Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden of Eden before they ate of the tree of eternal life. See Chapter 2.
1st Corinthians 1:27 tells us that God chooses the foolish ones of the world to put the wise to shame; and God has chosen the weak ones to embarrass the mighty. A few examples are
· Adam and Eve, who immediately after He made them, did the only thing He told them not to do;
· A coward, Gideon, threshing wheat and hiding, “Thou mighty man of valor, go with a small band against a mighty army and defeat them with the Word of God.”
· Jacob, a con man instead of hard working and honest Esau;
· A drunk, Noah, to build and pilot His ship of salvation;
· Moses, who was wanted for unlawful flight to Midian to avoid punishment for crushing a man’s head, to be the leader of the Jews, and who said that if it were not for the honor of the thing, he would rather let Aaron go back and face the music alone;
· A kid, David, who was only allowed to tend sheep and who had a problem with lust and murder, to be king;
· John the Baptist, dressed in leather, who ate bugs and lived in the wilderness to prepare the way for God's own Son Jesus;
· His holy prophets in Isaiah 20, who he had go naked and bare footed with their buttocks uncovered to defeat and make Egypt and Ethiopia ashamed;
· His chosen people who He saved and delivered from slavery, who immediately thereafter made and worshipped a golden calf during a group orgy;
· Abraham, who pawned off his wife Sarah as his sister to kings and pharaohs for a few bucks;
· Sarah, who responded with rasping laughter when God told her He would give her a child in her old age, and who had Abraham commit adultery instead;
· Rahab, a whore, to save a nation and become an ancestor to His own Son;
· A Jew who was killer of His people, Paul, to educate and convert the Gentiles;
· The most illiterate Bible scholar, Peter, to go to the Jews, the most religious people on earth;
· The prodigal foul smelling philandering, whoring debauchery son, whose father gave him the money for his exploits, gave him the finest gifts and slaughtered the fatted calf while his other son worked without ceasing with no reward;
· And sinful us, to become one with Him.255
355. Hebrews 9:27, 28; Revelation Chapters 18, 19 and 20; Exodus 16:10; 24:15–18; Leviticus 16:2.
Jesus then took his twelve disciples and continued his journey up the hills to Jerusalem. Jesus was ahead of them, and they were amazed and filled with fear. Then He took his disciples aside and told them for the third time, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem and all things that were written by the prophets356 will be fulfilled.
“I will be delivered to the high priests and scribes and they will condemn me to death. Then I will be delivered to the Romans and they will mock me and spit in my face and scourge me and curse me and kill me. Then on the third day I will rise up.”
The disciples did not understand one word of what Jesus said. What He said was hidden from them, and they did not know the things that Jesus just told them.357
This is not to be taken lightly, for in John 15: 17-20 Jesus tells His disciples, “I command these things to you so that you may love one another. If the world hates you, know that it hated me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love you. But you are not of the world, for I have chosen you out of the world. And this is why the world hates you.
“Remember now that I said that no servant is greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. . .” [The tribulation is coming. If you love and Follow Jesus, be happy when they persecute you. For this tells you that Jesus loves you and that you will live with him for eternity.]
Isaiah 53: 1-12.
357. Matthew 20:17-19; Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-34.
James and John were the sons of Zebedee. Their mother came to Jesus with James and John. She worshipped Jesus and then said, “Teacher, we wish you would do whatever we ask.”
Jesus said, “What would you like me to do?”
She replied, “Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one on your right and one on your left in your kingdom of glory.”
Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you are asking. Can they drink the cup that I am ready to drink? Or can they be baptized with the baptism that I am to be baptized? “
They said, “We can.”
Jesus told them. “Indeed, the cup that I drink, you will drink too. And the baptism which I am to be baptized, you will be baptized also; but to sit on my right hand and my left, that is not mine to give; for it is for those for whom it is prepared for by my Father.”
When the ten others heard this, they were angry with James and John and began to complain against them.
Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that the princes of the Gentiles are also their lords; and their officials rule over them. Let this not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you, let him be a minister to you. Whoever wishes to be first among you let him be a servant to all. For the Son of man did not come to be ministered to, but to minister and give his life as a salvation for the sake of many.”358
Here again, Jesus said that those who follow Him will also be persecuted. It will be easier to endure the sufferings if you know that what awaits you at the end is a glorious, joyful beginning!359
Matthew 20:20-28; Mark 10:35-45.
359. Ephesians 2:4-6; Revelation 21:2-5; Psalms 79: 1-3.
On the way to Jerusalem, they had to pass through Jericho. As Jesus, His disciples and a large crowd neared Jericho, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the voices of the crowd, he asked, “Who is this?”
They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.” When Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, “Oh Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me.”
Many of those going ahead of Jesus rebuked him and told him to be quiet; but he cried out even more, “Oh son of David, have mercy on me!”
Then Jesus stopped and commanded them to call him to Him. So they called the blind man, saying, “Have courage. Get up; He is calling you.”
Bartimaeus threw off his robe and got up and went to Jesus. Then Jesus asked him, “What do want me to do for you?”
Bartimaeus answered, “My Lord and Master; that I may see.”
Jesus told him, “See; your faith has healed you.” He saw immediately and followed Jesus, praising God; and all the people who saw it also gave praise to God.360
What faith did Bartimaeus have, that God healed him? Was it faith that this man called Jesus of Nazareth could heal? Partly; but why could any man heal? Was it faith that Jesus was the descendent of David? David had many descendants, and Jesus was the only one who could heal.
Bartimaeus knew that Jesus was his Lord and Master. Bartimaeus must have known from Isaiah 53 that Jesus was the Messiah and was on His way to Jerusalem to be sacrificed for our sins. Faith is when you know that you are entitled to be healed, not because of anything that you have done, but because of what Jesus did.
360. Mark 10: 46-52; Luke 18:35-43.
When Jesus was passing through Jericho there was a man named Zaccai, which in Greek is called Zacchaeus. Zaccai was very rich, and was a chief tax collector. Zaccai wanted to see Jesus, but because he was a short man, could not see Him. So he ran ahead of Jesus and climbed a leafless fig tree, a tree that had leaves like a mulberry tree, but bore a species of figs, where Jesus was about to pass.
Jesus arrived there, He saw Zaccai and said, “Hurry, Zaccai, and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”
So Zaccai quickly came down and welcomed Jesus with joy. When those around Jesus saw it, they complained, saying, “He has come to stay in the house of a sinner.”
Then Zaccai rose up from bowing and told Jesus, “Behold, my Lord, I will give half of my wealth to the poor; and I will pay four times to every man whom I have extorted by false accusations.361
Jesus answered, “Today life has come to this house, because Zaccai is a son of Abraham who the Son of Man has come to look for, and to save those who were lost.”362
Exodus 22:1, we are told, “If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or
sells it, he must restore five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep.”
362. Luke 19:1-10.
Jesus continued with a parable because He was near Jerusalem, and they were expecting that the Kingdom of God would appear at any moment, “A great man of noble family went to a country far away to receive a kingdom for himself and then return.
“So he called his ten servants and gave each of them one pound and told them to transact business until he returned.
“The people in his city hated him and sent messengers after him saying, ‘We do not want him to rule over us.’
“When he received his kingdom, he returned and commanded the people to call his servants who he gave the money to, so that he would know what each one of them had gained in performing his business.
“The first one came and said, ‘My lord I used your pound to gain ten pounds.’
“And the nobleman said to him, ‘Oh good servant, because you are found to be faithful with a little, you will now have charge of ten talents.’” [In Aramaic, a talent is equal to many pounds.]
“The second servant came and said, ‘My lord, your pound has gained five pounds.’
“He told this one that he would be in charge of five talents.
“Then another came and said, ‘My lord, here is the pound that you left with me. I kept it in my purse because I was afraid of you because you are a harsh man; you pick up that which you did not lay down and reap that which you have not sown.’
“He said to him, ‘I will judge you from what your own mouth said, you wicked servant. You knew me to be a harsh man, and I pick up what I have not laid down; and I reap that which I did not sow; why then did you not give my money to the exchange so that I could come back and demand it with interest?’
“And he said to those standing there watching, ‘Take the pound away from him and give it to the one who has ten talents.’
“They said to him, ‘Our lord, he already has ten talents.’
“He told them, ‘I say to you; To everyone who has, will be given; and from him who does not have, even that which he has will be taken away from him. But those who are my enemies, not willing that I should rule over them, bring them here and kill them before me.’ ”
After saying this, Jesus left and proceeded to Bethany on the way toward Jerusalem.363
363. Luke 19:11-28.
When Jesus left Jericho, a large crowd followed. There were two blind men sitting by the road. When they heard that Jesus was passing, they shouted, “Have mercy on us, oh Lord, son of David.”
Jesus stopped and called to them, “What do you want me to do with you?”
They said, “Please, our Lord, that our eyes may be opened.”
Jesus had mercy on them and touched their eyes. Immediately their eyes were opened, and they followed Jesus.364
364. Matthew 20:29-34.
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazar [in Aramaic, Lazarus in Greek] was, who Jesus had raised from the dead [Chapters 122-124]. A banquet was held at the house of Simon, the leper.
This had to be one of the many lepers that Jesus has healed, because lepers were cast out of their cities.
Lazar was one of the guests, and Mary, Lazars’ sister who had anointed Jesus’ feet with her tears in Chapter 50 took a very expensive alabaster vessel of precious perfume of pure nard, and poured it over Jesus’ head while He was reclining. Then she anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair; and the whole house was filled with the fragrance of the nard.
Nard is also called spikenard, and is made from the root of a member of valerian family.
Some of the disciples were displeased, and Judah of Iscariot, the disciple who was about to betray Jesus, said, “Why was this oil wasted? It could have been sold for three hundred pennies, and given to the poor. Judas said this not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and was the carrier of the purse and whatever was put into it.
Jesus said, “Why are you troubling this woman? Leave her alone She has done a good deed for me; she has saved it for my burial. You always have the poor with you and when you wish, you can do good things to them. But you will not always have me.
“But this one who poured the perfume on my body has done it with what she had. She did it in advance for my burial. Truly I say to you that wherever this, my gospel, is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
Many were looking for Jesus and at the temple they kept saying to each other, “Do you think he will not come to the feast?” But the high priests and the Pharisees already commanded that if any man should know where He was, he should let them know, so that they could seize Him.
Many Jews were going to Jerusalem to be purified for the Passover and had come to the feast when they heard that Jesus was going to Jerusalem. They came not only on account of Jesus, but also to see Lazar whom Jesus has raised from the dead. The high priests were also thinking of killing Lazar.
They were also looking for Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem. They kept saying to each other, “Do you think he will not come to the feast?” But the high priests and the Pharisees already commanded that if any man should know where He was, he should let them know, so that they could seize Him.
On the next day a large crowd that had come to the feast when they heard Jesus was coming to Jerusalem took branches of palm trees and cried out, Hosanna! Blessed is the king of Israel who comes in the name of the Lord!” 365
365. Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 11:53-John12: 13.
In Zechariah 9:9 (Lamsa Version), we read the prophecy, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Behold, your King comes to you; he is righteous and a Savior, lowly and riding upon an ass, upon a colt the foal of an ass.” An ass is a male donkey, and the foal of a donkey is a female donkey. Kings rode male donkeys to war, but female donkeys were used for peaceful purposes.
When Jesus arrived at Bethphage and Bethany which is on the side of the mountain called the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples to the next village where they would find a colt tied up, upon which no man had ever ridden. Jesus wanted to ride a wild colt that was unbroken and had never been ridden.
In Genesis 16:12, Ishmael, the father of Islam was prophesied to be like a wild ass. Will Jesus ride on the sons and daughters of Ishmael to tame them?
When Matthew wrote about Jesus wanting both a male and a female donkey in Matthew 21:2 and 3, he apparently was quoting Zechariah 9:9, as if Jesus wanted both a male and a female donkey. Mark, Luke and John, however say that what Jesus wanted was the colt of a male and female donkey. This makes more sense, because Jesus did figuratively ride on both a male and a female donkey at the same time.
Jesus said, “Untie it and bring the colt to me, and if any man asks why you are untying it, tell him that our Lord needs it, and immediately he will send the colt here.”
So they went and found the colt tied by the door, outside in the street. When they were untying it, the owners asked why they were untying the colt. They told them “Our Lord needs it,” and the owners consented just as Jesus had told the two disciples.
They brought the colt to Jesus and placed their garments on it, and set Jesus on the colt. As they went along, many of the crowd kept spreading their garments on the road; others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
When they approached the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of disciples began to rejoice, shouting and praising God for all the miracles Jesus had performed. They called out, “Hosanna to the son of David, blessed is the king who comes in the name of the LORD; and blessed is the kingdom of our father David, which is coming; Hosanna in the highest! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
The meaning of Hosanna is “Oh save!” “Hosanna” was an exclamation of adoration in those days.
There were some Pharisees in the multitude who told Jesus to rebuke His disciples. Jesus told them “I say to you that if these people were kept silent, the stones would cry out.”
And when he approached the city and saw it, He wept for it, saying, “If only you had known those who came for your peace, even to this day! Now they are hidden from your sight; but the days will come when your enemies will surround you and oppress you from every place, and will overthrow both you and your children within you; and they will not leave a stone upon a stone because you did not know the time when you were visited.
The people with Jesus testified that Jesus had called Lazar from his tomb and raised him from the dead. It was because of this miracle that large crowds went to meet Jesus. The Pharisees told each other, “See, you have not been able to gain anything. All the people have gone after him.
When they entered Jerusalem, the entire city was stirred up saying, “Who is this man?”
And the people replied, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Jesus entered the temple and looked at everything, and when evening came, he went to Bethany with His twelve disciples.366
366. Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19: 29-44; John 12:14-19.
The next morning when they went out of Bethany Jesus became hungry. He saw a fig tree far along on the roadside, and when He got to it He found nothing on it except leaves because it was not time yet for the figs.
He said to the tree, “From now on and forever, let there be no fruit on you, and let no man eat of your fruit [eis ton aiona].” And it dried up instantly. His disciples heard Him say this.
Jesus is comparing the fig tree to Israel.368 Both Jesus and the disciples knew that there would be no fruit on the fig tree because it was not the season.
The phrase [eis ton aiona] has been omitted from almost every translation of the Bible369. This omitted phrase means until the age. Until what age? This is the age . . . the day that is prophesied in Zechariah 12:8-11: "In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them. It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem (NKJV).”
Jesus cursing the fig tree is a prophecy of the Jews that are about to kill Jesus, and it means that the Jews will not bear fruit until Jesus returns to save Israel from Gog (China), Megog (Mongolia), Rosh or Meshesh (Russia), Tubal (Georgia and northwest Turkey), Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, Libya, and all the other satanic nations. The Jews will then accept Yeshua Jesus as their Messiah, and will again “bear fruit”.
After describing the coming tribulation, in Matthew 24:32 Jesus compares Israel to a fig tree.
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree. When its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.”
When the Jews gathered from the entire world back to Jerusalem beginning May 14, 1948, they turned the desert area into a lush garden of fruits and vegetables. This means that the prophecy of Jeremiah 12 will soon come true when the Jews accept Jesus as the Messiah.
Matthew 21:18 -19; Mark 11:12-14.
368. Hosea 9:10; Joel 1:6-7; Jeremiah 24:2, 3, 5, 8; Isaiah 5:1-7.
369. Alfred Marshall, 1958. The Interlinear Greek – English New Testament, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. p. 92 and p. 189.
Paperback by Robert Laing:
Theory - - Squeezing Common Sense Out of Science, Creation, Noah's Ark and Jesus
Another Web Site by Robert Laing: www.intelligentdesigntheory.info
Paperback by author available: Little Thinkers -- Squeezing Common Sense Out of Life's Toughest Questions
This book in paperback: History of Jesus Christ the Human God