Beulah Baptist Church
Friday, June 23, 2017

Matthew II

MATTHEW II

 

 

XV. THE COMPASSION OF THE REJECTED KING      [14:1-36]

A. Execution of John the Baptist [14:1-12]

The reason that Herod is called a tetrarch, this word means one fourth, and Herod Antipas was the ruler of

Galilee and Perea, which was one fourth of the dominion of Herod the Great. Herod was as corrupt as any

of his ancestors. He lived in unabashed adultery. At the first he was interested in what John was saying but

as his sins hardened his heart he had John bound in the prison at Machaerus. Herod made John a martyr

by an act of judicial murder. When Herod heard of the wonder working power of Jesus he was filled with

terror because he was superstitious. He believed that John somehow had come back from the dead. But

there was no sign of self-judgment or confession of his horrid iniquity.

Herodic Genealogy: Herodias was the unlawful wife of Herod Antipas, also known as Herod the Tetrarch.

She was a descendant of Herod the Great and she married Herod Philip of Rome. Which was not Philip,

the Tetrarch. She divorced him in order to marry Herod Antipas, after he had divorced his wife the

daughter of Aretas, king of Arabia.

It is not that Herod would have been afraid to destroy John but he was afraid that he might incur the hatred

of the Palestinian people who looked upon John as the successor to the prophets of old. This is why he

had John thrown into prison.

1. Political Intrigue

    Herod Antipas was living unlawfully with his brother, Philip’s wife, Herodias (a NT godless Jezebel).

           Herodias had plotted to murder Herod’s first wife who was the daughter of Aretas, king of Arabia. Herodias, though a niece of Herod Antipas, began to live with Antipas in a type of common-law marriage.

2. John the Baptist spoke openly against this sin.

Sin should be confronted head-on. No excuses should be made.  It is important to understand that

Herodias herself was the direct cause of the death of John the Baptist. Hatred of the man who spoke

openly against her sins could only be satisfied with his murder. It had taken courage for John the

Baptist to point out this sin. Herod refused to repent of his iniquity.

3. Herodias’s daughter Salome danced before Herod

There is no doubt that this dance included her disrobing herself before Herod and this so pleased him

 that he promises her an oath. In his drunken stupor Herod asks Salome what she wants. Having been

 instructed by her mother, she asks for John the Baptist’s head. Herod could not go back on what he

said because this would cause him to lose face in front of the people. In this culture, the Palestinian

people would rather do anything that lose face. Herod went from bad to worse and died in his sins, a

wretched victim of his own vices. Herodias died as she had lived unrepentant and wicked to the last.

Herod and Herodias stand out as warnings to all who would tamper with impurity and dabble in sin.

After John’s death, Jesus did not travel about in Herod’s tetrarchy but remained in the area that Philip

controlled.

B. Feeding of the 5000 [14:13-21]

1. After hearing of John’s murder, Jesus goes into the desert with His disciples.

2. Jesus was moved with compassion toward the multitude.

The word compassion is a very emotional word meaning that, our Lord’s insides, as it were, (in an

 emotional sense) hurt for the people.

 


a) Jesus then feeds the 5000 plus women and children

Verse 15 note that when it says evening it is not referring to evening as at 6PM or evening later

as when Jesus was alone, but this is known as the first of two evenings beginning at 3PM The

place is a desert place, not necessarily a desolate region it is simply a lonely region,

comparatively uninhabited. But we know that there were villages about where the people

could perhaps have gone but none large enough to handle this many people. We can estimate

the crowd to be close to 15,000 people. There is a strong command in verse 16, the words,

“Give ye them to eat” in the Greek is known as the urgent aorist tense. It dictates instantaneous

action. The disciples through this command were to learn that no situation is desperate to Jesus.

No crisis is unmanageable to Jesus. He can do things in an instant. And that is what He is

teaching His disciples to be. Jesus not only fed the multitude, He fed the multitude. [Mark 6]

Notice that 12 baskets of food remained. These baskets were approximately 6 feet long and 3 feet

wide! [See Walvoord pg. 113]

C. Jesus rescues the disciples during a storm. [14:22-33]

Ironside calls this account of

Jesus walking on the sea a beautiful dispensational picture. Here’s the picture; In verse 22, we read of

how Jesus sent out His disciples to go before Him on the Sea of Galilee, while He dismissed the

multitudes. The disciples set out in the ship without the personal presence of Jesus. And this pictures

dispensationally the circumstances in which the church of the Living God was to be found after the

death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who had been with His disciples during the days of

His flesh, after His ascension would no longer be physically present among them. They would be left

alone as it were to make their way across the troubled sea of earthly circumstances. He had not

deserted them He was just not there visibly. They would look forward to a time when they would see

Him again.

1. Jesus prays alone

Ironside says, “This suggests His present ministry on behalf of His people; He has gone up on high

where He ever lives to make intercession for us.”

2. The disciples on the Sea of Galilee

The disciples were caught in a fierce storm between 4AM and 6AM. God’s people are often placed in

stormy circumstances during the time the Lord has been ministering on high in the presence of the

Father. We’re placed in perilous times sometimes and God’s people have often thought themselves

forsaken and forgotten when they’re going through a storm. But the eye of Jesus is always upon us

even though He is interceding for us at the Father’s right hand. He came walking on the sea to show

His disciples that He was in charge of the elements. The elements were not in charge of God.

a) Not only Jesus, but Peter walked on the water. Peter took a step of faith that we oftentimes don’t

give him enough credit for. But he got out of the boat and was walking on the water and all was

well as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus. Peter however, for some reason feared and began to sink [I John 5:4-5]. Sometimes we too feel as if we are being pulled down into the sea and it is not that

we don’t have faith enough. The problem is we look at the problem and not at Jesus. Keep your

eyes on Jesus. Peter recognized that the only One who could save Him was Jesus and so he cried

out. In Matt. 14:33 they worshiped Him; whereas back in Matt. 8:27, they just marveled at Him that

the wind and the sea obeyed Him. This is getting ready for Matt. 16:16, when Peter declares He is

the Son of the Living God. So this goes all the way from someone they weren’t sure of to someone

they worship, until it finally clicks that they say this is God in the flesh.

 

 

 


D. Healing in Gennesaret [14:34-36]

Jesus honored the people’s faith with miraculous healing’s. It is important to note that Jesus did not let the

political situation or the religious situation or the socioeconomic or the cultural situation prevent Him

from ministering to those who truly had a need. In our ministries we will be attacked by these things and

we need to be like Jesus and just be concerned with generally helping people. You shouldn’t help people

in their problems, you should help people out of their problems.

 

XVI. CHRIST’S CONTINUAL MINISTRY OF MERCY [15:1-39]

A. Controversy with the Scribes and Pharisees [15:1-9]

1. Religious leaders were more concerned with tradition than lost souls. The Rabbis of Jesus day actually

    put tradition above the law. Jesus is saying that the traditions they are following is not biblical it is

    extra-biblical. They would create laws so that “The Law” would not be broken. 

2. Hypocrites

    Jesus addressed their spiritual need by calling them hypocrites. In Greek Theater a hypocrite is was an

    actor who wore a mask and played a part on stage that he was not like in real life. And such

    hypocritical worship is empty because it teaches the commandments of man in place of the doctrines            of God.

B. Man’s wicked heart [15:10-20]

1. Spiritual law says what comes out of a man defiles him. It is not food going into the mouth that makes a

    man unclean it is what comes out of a man’s mouth. The Pharisees were indignant at the way in which

    Jesus spoke to them. But his did not prevent Jesus from speaking the truth. Verse 11 deals with the ral

    law, the Mishna was a collection of ancient oral Hebrew traditions compiled by a Rabbi by the name f

    Judah Ha-Nasi and he completed this between AD 135 and 220AD. These traditions deal with the

    detailed interpretations and applications of matters dealt with only in principle of the Mosaic Law, not

    necessarily the Law itself. This is that tradition. The Pharisees believe that when Moses went up on

    Mount Sinai to receive the Law that he received two parts of the Law. One part is what we call the

    written law. But they believe God told Moses other things that he was not to write down but that he as

    to pass down orally from generation to generation. Of course the Mishna was not completed when

    Jesus said these words in verse 11. But you can see that they were passing this oral law down by word  of mouth. There were six divisions in the Mishna, and we believe that the division being dealt with in

 verse 11 is the division known as the division of purities. And this division deals with sources of

 uncleanness, objects and substances susceptible to uncleanness and the modes of purification from that uncleanness. Thus the division of purities tells what makes an object unclean and what makes it clean.

2. What proceeds out of the mouth was actually born in man’s heart.

In verse 13 Jesus points out that only those who were subject in heart to God and His Word would

abide as the disciples of Christ. The rest no matter how encouraging their attitude might be at the first

would in time turn away. As for these Pharisees one could only leave them alone because they were

determined to follow their evil course and as such they were leaders of the blind.

Peter raises a question about defilement for he had undoubtedly thought more about physical

defilement rather than spiritual and so he asks the Lord to explain the teaching. He considered the

words of Christ to be parabolic rather than literal. Jesus points out more fully what he was saying

while reproving Peter for his lack of spiritual understanding. 

 

 

 

 

 


C. Withdrawal to Tyre and Sidon [15:21-28]

Tyre and Sidon were cities in which God’s judgment had already been poured out because of their

wickedness and immorality. But they had somewhat been rebuilt and re-inhabited not as the original

cities but in a contiguous territory and from here came this Gentile woman. Jesus not speaking to her at

 the first is not rudeness on His part. Rather it was to teach her a very important lesson. As the Son of

 David, He had come to minister to Israel and to reign eventually as King on the throne of David. As such

 for the present a Gentile woman had no claim on the Him and so He answered her not a word. She begs

to the point that the disciples become annoyed and begged Him to send her away. His reply is that he is

not sent but to the lost sheep of Israel. This must have seemed like a rebuke to this woman. But instead of

turning away in despair she bowed down before Him as a worshiper. Pleading with Him, Lord help me.

His reply is that it is not meet to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs. This would seem as an

insult to this woman because literally in the Greek verse 26 reads like this it is not meet to take the

children’s bread and cast it to the puppies or the little dogs. In other words, He is saying that she is a little

helpless puppy dog. But notice her answer she said truth Lord. Yet the puppies eat of the crumbs which

fall from their Master’s table. Very quick on her feet this lady. Jesus says, great is your faith. I have met

you on your level and you have received it and that which you have asked for you shall have. The lesson

of this miracle should be for Christians to fulfill the command of God, to pray in the Name of Christ

claiming the promise that John 16:23 says.

1. The Syrophenican woman

    This woman though a Gentile, had great faith. This is expressed by the facts that:

[1] She called Jesus son of David

[2] She believed He could heal.

2. We know this woman’s daughter was demon possessed [Mark 7:29]

The term dog in biblical times could mean three things:

[1] Gentile

[2] Unbelievers

[3] Male prostitutes

D. Return to Galilee [15:29-31]

E. Feeding of the 4000 [15:32-39]

1. Comparing and contrasting with the feeding of the 5000

We see once more the heart of the Lord going out in compassion not only to those who are sick or in

physical need but those who are hungering for food. This time it is 4000 men besides women and

children. On this occasion they have been listening to Jesus not for one day but for three days and they

had used up all their provisions. He was not going to send them away fasting or hungry lest they pass

out. But it seems strange after Jesus had already fed the 5000 that the disciples ask Him almost the

same question. How are You going to do this? One of the most amazing statements of the apostles is

found in verse 33. Could it be that still they lacked faith in Jesus? Many today seem to lose their faith

unless the Lord is working a great miracle.

Jesus has the crowd sit down and He does as He did in the feeding of the 5000. The baskets used to

collect the leftovers were called in the Greek sphuris and these were known as large provision baskets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


XVII. ANTICIPATING REJECTION [16:1-28]

A. Seeking a Sign [16:1-4]

1. The Pharisees and Sadducees join together

    This was the first time that the Pharisees and the Sadducees, usually in disagreement, joined hands to

entrap Jesus.

2. They came to Jesus to test Him.

They came to Jesus with no desire to know the truth. All they wanted was to test Him. They wanted a

 sign indicating that the Messianic Age was at hand.

3. The only sign given will be the sign of Jonas.

There asking for a sign indicated that they were unimpressed by the miracles and teachings of Jesus.

Which were the very credentials prophesied in the OT. Jesus in His reply alluded to their spiritual

stupidity. When it came to the signs of the weather they readily understood, but when it came to the

signs of the times they were unable to relate intelligently to what had been prophesied and what was

going on about them. Faith is not given to those who are seeking support for unbelief.

B. The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees [16:5-12]

Leaven was a symbol of evil that spreads. Pharisees and Sadducees, with their twisted lies and gossip,

spread evil. The leaven of the Pharisees as explained in the gospel of Luke 12:1 is hypocrisy. And

coupled with this hypocrisy was self-righteousness. The leaven of the Sadducees was false doctrine.

Because the Sadducees denied the authority of all the OT except the Pentateuch. They did not believe in

spiritual realities and they did not believe in resurrection. Such evil teachings work like leaven works

 when it is placed into dough. It spreads throughout any group where these false teachings are tolerated.

Hence the warning of the Lord is to beware of them lest they come and infiltrate the group.

C. The Church [16:13-20]

1. Who do men say Jesus is?

Speculation was rife at this time as to the actual identity of Jesus, and whether He was only what He

seemed to be or possibly, some believed a reincarnation of somebody else. The Lord wished to put His

disciples on record as to the apprehension of the mystery of His person. [I Tim. 3:16]. Jesus questions

His disciples not for His own enlightenment (for He knew everything He was omniscient). But because

He desired to elicit a clear definite confession from them as He was soon to go with them to Jerusalem

where He was to be crucified. It was absolutely of prime importance that they should know Him in the

reality of His Divine Human Personality.

2. Peter’s declaration (Peter’s confession)

It is important to note that Peter as spokesman for the group spoke up. It is important to note that the

name Christ and Messiah are synonymous. Both mean the Anointed One. [Is. 61:1] It is all important

that men have a right understanding of Jesus and His offices. The salvation of each soul depend upon

the fact that God became man in order to give Himself as a ransom for our sins. Peter did not come to

this conclusion through human logic. It was God the Father who had enlightened him and revealed it

to him. This rock we know from I Corinthians 10:4 is Christ. In Peter’s great confession we have the sure foundation upon which the entire church of the Lord Jesus Christ is built. Peter was to be built into a      church. The church was not as Roman Catholicism teaches to be built upon him. The gates of hell shall not prevail against the true church, built upon Christ as the Son of the Living God. The only real hindrance is the church fighting against itself as told about in the scriptures. Note that Christ did not say I have been building or I am building but He said future tense, I will build the church. The

assembly that He would call the church was still future, Pentecost had not come yet.

The Lord had been dealing with matters relating to the Kingdom of Heaven, now for the first time He

speaks of the church not entirely has disassociated from the Kingdom of Heaven, but rather as

connected with it in a new phase that it would assume after His death, resurrection, and ascension. The


building of the spiritual temple did not begin until after He had ascended to heaven and the Spirit

of God came as the promised Comforter. Though Peter was to be a living stone, Christ is still the

foundational stone.

3. Jesus’ blessing on Peter

The keys of the kingdom were entrusted to Peter. He did not give Peter the keys to heaven. He gave

Peter the keys of the kingdom. A key is designed to only open a door and that is exactly what Peter

did, he opened the door. On Pentecost, Peter opened the door of the kingdom to the Jews. Eight years

later in Cornelius house he opened the door to the Gentiles. He did not open the door to heaven.       

4. The false doctrine of apostolic successionism

Apostolic successionism is the belief that there is an unbroken line of succession beginning with

Peter and the other apostles through the bishops and ultimately the Pope and it is ordained up to the

present day. Thus giving apostolic validity to the ministry of the Pope first and then the bishop to those

on whom they lay hands on in ordination.

Roman Catholics believe the Roman pontiffs who as successors of Saint Peter are first and foremost

among the bishops. They believe that the church of Christ within the apostolic creed profess to be one

holy catholic and apostolic. Which are Savior after His resurrection entrusted to Peter’s pastoral care,

commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it. This church constituted and organized

as a society in the present world subsists in the Catholic church which is governed by the successor of

Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. They teach, Jesus Christ, the eternal pastor set up

the holy church by entrusting the apostles with their mission as He, Himself had been set up by the

Father. He willed that their successors, the bishops namely, should be the shepherds in His church until

the end of the world. In order that the episcopate itself however might be one and undivided. He put

Peter at the head of the other apostles and in him He set up a lasting and visible source and foundation

of the unity both of faith and communion. This teaching concerning the institution, the permenance,

the nature and import of the sacred primacy of the Roman pontiff and his infallible teaching office.

The sacred synod proposes anew to be firmly believed by all the faithful and proceeding undeviatingly

with this undertaking it proposes to proclaim publicly and enunciate clearly the doctrine concerning

bishops, successors of the apostles who together with Peter’s successor the vicar of Christ and the

visible head of the whole church direct the house of the Living God. Regarding the infallibility of the

Pope. The Roman Catholic church believes that when the Pope is speaking ex-cathedra it means out of

the chair he is incapable of error. They teach that upon Peter the church is built. They further teach that

the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as vicar of Christ, namely and as pastor of the entire church,

has full, supreme and universal power over the whole church, a power which he can always exercise

unhindered. This statement is important because it is taken from Vatican Council II. These are official

teachings of the church and are known as magisterium. Furthermore they teach that salvation comes

through the church as the church reaches out to Christ. This is false doctrine because salvation only

comes through Christ [Eph. 2:8-9]

5. I Peter 2:4-5

6. The keys of the kingdom of Heaven (Ironside pp. 121-122)

D. Jesus again foretells His death and resurrection [16:21-23]

1. Why we know Peter is not demon possesses (verse 23)

In these verses we have a startling example of one who had been illuminated by the Father can fall into

serious error. What a poor rock Peter would have been on which to establish the church. He became

unwittingly the mouthpiece of the devil when he advised Jesus against going to the cross.

 

 

 


E. Cost and Reward of Discipleship [16:24-28]

Jesus was not saying that those of His generation tasted death, but rather, He was introducing here in this

verse His Transfiguration which would take place in chapter 17. Which envisioned the coming of the Son

of Man         

1. The road to glory is the road of suffering

2. Losing your soul. “I wouldn’t miss heaven for the world.”

 

XVIII. THE COMING KINGDOM AFTER HIS SUFFERING AND DEATH [17:1-27]

A. Transfiguration [17:1-9]

1. Possibly this took place on Mount Hermon, but we cannot be sure that this is the exact place. This

    event took place six days after Peter’s confession. In determining the nature of the transfiguration it is

    sufficient to conclude that this was a real event. It was a supernatural revelation of the glory of God. It

          was not just an appearance, a vision or a theophany. [II Peter 1:16-18] The word transfigured in the           Greek is metemorphothe. We derive our English word metamorphosis from this word. (Ironside pp.      124-125) This word means a change of form. And this change came from within. That is the glory of

          Christ’s eternal Son-ship shone out through the veil of His physical human flesh. So that the disciples

    might have visual proof of His true character as Emmanuel, God with us.

2. Moses and Elijah also appeared [Luke 9:31] (Ironside p. 125)

    These two men of the past represent two distinct group of believer’s and this is quite interesting. Moses

    represents those who die before the coming in of the kingdom, but who will be raised in glorified

          bodies at the rapture [I Thess. 4:13-18; I Cor. 15:51-58]. Elijah represents those who will be changed

    and are caught up into heaven at the rapture without experiencing physical kingdom. This is preparatory

    to the bringing in of the kingdom. Moses and Elijah also represent the Law and the Prophets. Both of

    which bear witness of Christ atoning death, by which, God is able to provide a righteousness for men

    who do not have a righteousness of their own. [Rom. 3:21, 24-25]. The subject they discussed was the

    coming death of Christ. [Luke 9:31] Peter erred again by placing Moses and Elijah on par with Christ.

    Verse 5 points out that the cloud of Light of God speaks. This cloud shut out Moses and Elijah and

Jesus was left alone. The Father’s voice spoke from heaven. Awed by what they had seen they fell on

     their faces as worshipers before God the Father and Christ the Son. Christ put forth His hand and bade

them to stand up. He would have His own disciples be at ease in His presence. For though He is Lord

of all, He is still our kinsmen redeemer.  They saw no man now but Jesus and so there could be no

thought now of three tabernacles for only Jesus remained. Only Christ can be trusted on to be forever

     with us. Peter’s confession and the Father’s voice confirm for us that Jesus is who He said He was.

B. The Elijah question [17:10-13] (Ironside pp. 126-127)

Malachi 4:5-6, the kingdom follows the great day or the dreadful day of the Lord. It is in fact a

continuation of that day after its preliminary judgments shall have ended. What then of Elijah was he still

to come first? Jesus replied that Elijah had come already and that he had been beheaded. John the Baptist

had come in the Spirit and the power of Elijah to prepare the way of the Lord. [Luke 1:15-17] This might

be called a double-reference prophecy. One speaking of the coming of Christ the first time. The second

     speaking of the Second Coming of Christ. We understand this as the vision of the two witnesses in               Revelation 11:1-13. One theory says that the two witnesses are going to be Elijah and Enoch because

both had been translated. However, the rule that is appointed one to die [Heb. 9:27] was not only not

observed in the case of Elijah and Enoch but will be true of the entire church when the church is

raptured from the earth. So it is a general statement. We believe it to be Elijah and Moses because of

the almost identical miracles they performed. We believe because of the transfiguration that it will be


  these two. Recommend listening to Dr. Hayes tape on the two witnesses of Revelation 11 in the course         Eschatology II

C. Healing of the demon possessed child [17:14-21]

After descending back to the plain after the transfiguration they find a father who has brought his demon

possessed son to the other nine disciples who were waiting at the bottom of the mountain. Although they

were commissioned to cast out demons they found themselves without the power to do so in this particular

case. The father recognized Jesus and immediately began to beg to the Lord and explain that the disciples

could not cure him. Notice that in verse 17 Jesus rebuked the disciples. The word perverse in verse 17 is

very important because the word means distorted, corrupt, or twisted. These disciples had seen Jesus heal,

cast out demons, and feed the 5000 and the 4000, they have seen Him do all kinds of miracles before. And

Matthew 10 says they were commissioned to do these things. And they couldn’t do them? Why? Because

their faith was being pulled down by the world. On one side they believed Jesus they could do anything.

On the other side they didn’t think they could do these things. That’s why Jesus rebuked them. He then

      healed the child.  The disciples could not cast out the demon because of their lack of faith. True faith

and self-indulgence are never found together. Therefore He added that this kind come not out but by

prayer and fasting. That’s that word perverse, they were pulled. The flesh and its appetites must be kept in

subjection in order that faith may flourish. Occupation with the glorified Christ is preliminary to service

for Him in a world where Satan expresses his antagonism to all that God is doing. Satan is overcome only

by dependence on Christ as indicated by prayer and fasting. Prayer is the expression of dependence upon

God which alone gives victory. And fasting is the evidence of such concern for spiritual blessings that

desire to satisfy carnal appetite which can be held in abeyance by fasting.

D. Jesus again predicts His death and resurrection and the topic of the Temple tax (Ironside pp. 128-129)

This time the disciples did not object but were exceeding sorry. We are not sure what they were sad about.

It could be that they were sad that He would be betrayed, that He would suffer and die, or that He would be

out of there presence. Perhaps all these things made them sad.

The tribute tax is known as the temple tax and it is called the attic drachma also known as the Jewish half

shekel, about thirty four cents in our money.  Every Jewish twenty and over was expected to pay the

      temple tax for the maintenance and upkeep of the temple. It was not a compulsory tax like that collected

by the publicans for the government. We would call this tax an offering tax not a compulsory tax. The tax

for the Jewish temple was due in the month Adar which would be the equivalent of March. Six or seven

months had passed because Jesus and the disciples had been away preaching and healing. Hence the

question of the tax. Jesus asked Peter a question, whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? Of

their own children or strangers? Peter answered they don’t go taxing their own children. They tax

     strangers. Now only a little time before Peter had confessed that Jesus was the Christ. Therefore, Jesus was

under no particular obligation to pay this tax. So He says to him okay, fine Peter, the children are free I

don’t have to pay this tax. But in His concern for others that none might stumble who didn’t understand

who He truly was He commands Peter to go to the sea and he will find the piece of money he needs to pay

the tax for Peter and Him. This is the only verse in the NT that speaks of fishing with a hook and line. All

other references are to fishing with nets.

 

XIX. TEACHINGS REGARDING GREATNESS AND FORGIVENESS [18:1-35]

A. The Greatest in the Kingdom [18:1-14]

Dr. Ironside says of the question raised in verse one that it is a question that no truly noble soul would ever

ask. We can tell from verses 3-4 that undoubtedly the disciples had some concern about their status in the

coming kingdom. Its clear that they were still anticipating an earthly kingdom. In which, Jesus would be

King and they of course would be the privileged servants. Being the disciples they expected to have certain

privileges. By asking their question they did not mean that one should have charge over the others but

rather, that probably several of them should take precedence. (Refer back to transfiguration) Jesus says that


they are asking the wrong question. The question they should ask and we should ask is not who is the

greatest in the kingdom of heaven but how can I best serve the King in the kingdom. The child in the

arms of Jesus was a perfect graphic illustration of trust, of immediate obedience in coming to Christ and in

seeking only the position of being loved. True greatness involves an attitude of unpretentious humility

instead of seeking a position of earthly glory and power. These would be lessons the disciples were yet to

learn. Jesus uses this occasion to speak of the importance of human personalty as illustrated in the child

who has no position, no wealth, no supremacy, no prestige, and no power. Instead of seeking greatness in

the kingdom the disciples should be seeking how they (ordinary human beings, such as this child) could

serve in the kingdom. These teachings of Jesus were in sharp contrast to that which was popular in the

heathen world. Where children were used for sacrifices and often suffered cruelty and neglect. In fact in the

Roman Empire it was not illegal to kill a child by what was known as exposure. Putting the child out in the

cold and allowing it to die. Many times this was done for example if the parents were hoping for a boy and

a girl was born they would put the child out in the cold and it would die of exposure. Verse 6 is referring to

the leading a child astray especially in the spiritual area. Other than [v. 10] the Bible does not teach that

     each child has a particular angel, but apparently angels are assigned the care of these children in general.

The important point here is that God sees in the lowliest believer such value that He will take infinite pains

to protect and secure him. To illustrate the importance of one child He uses the illustration of the shepherd

     and his sheep. If one goes astray, he doesn’t argue that one out of hundred is unimportant. But he leaves the

99 that are safe and goes and looks for it. When he finds the lost sheep He rejoices over that lost sheep that

is found more than over the continued safety of the 99 that are in the fold. If the shepherd is concerned for

one sheep how much more regard does God have for these little children? The main thought in this whole

teaching is not the doctrine of infant baptism but that there is a loving concern of the Heavenly Father. A

disciple who is seeking the true interest of the kingdom of God would have concern for the child rather

than concern for his own position of authority in the kingdom.

In verse 3 the idea of being converted means to turn around. The disciples were headed in the wrong

     direction and needed to turn around. 

1. The little child is representative of: (a] trust b] faith c] purity d] vision e] humility) F. F. Bruce said,

    “to humble oneself is the most difficult thing on the world for a Saint as for a sinner.” The child didn’t

purposely humble himself. He didn’t go here comes Jesus, the One born of the Virgin, the Second

Person of the Trinity; he didn’t go through all those theological arguments. He is just humble in a

natural way.

f] offenses is a very pivotal word

    The Greek word is: skandalon - it originally meant the stick that was baited in an animal trap. Later it

    came to mean the trap itself. Another word for offenses is stumbling block.

g] The good shepherd searches for the lost sheep

The word here in verse 12 to go astray means to wander and in the Greek its planomenen. We get

our English word planet from it and the reason a planet was originally called planet was because

they wander or move.

B. Church Discipline [18:15-20] (Ironside pp. 132-134)

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke for the first time of the church which He was to build on the occasion when

Peter made his great confession [Matt.16:16]. In this chapter He gives instruction for ecclesiastical order

and godly discipline in the church. Which while one throughout the world was to be expressed locally as

district assemblies in various places. The church as seen here in Matthew 18 is a group of local believers

responsible to maintain principles of righteousness and therefore to deal in discipline with refractory or

trespassing members who refuse to repent. He who recognizes the trespass and is concerned about it is

instructed not to blaze it abroad. Note verse 15 all references are to the individuals involved all in the

singular tense. We are not to tell anyone but the person involved. This is in accordance with the Mosaic


Law [Lev. 19:17; Gal. 6:1-2]. To so act toward an erring one is to fulfill the Lord’s admonition that we

are to wash one another’s feet. [John 13:14]. It is the duty of the one cognizant of the sin to apply the water

of the Word to the offending brother’s feet symbolically. This principle is applied in both the OT and NT.

However, if the wrong doer has no inclination to put the offense right. The one dealing with the offense is

to take one or two brethren and see him again. These witnesses are to hear the offense and render their

judgment according to the facts that are presented and if they agree that wrong has been perpetrated, they

are to join with the other in seeking to bring the recalcitrant brother to acknowledge his sin and seek

forgiveness. If this does not work, the matter is for the first time to be brought before the local assembly

which will then judge the case. If convinced of the righteousness of the plaintiff the accused one is again to

be admonished to acknowledge his wrong and he should put things right. If he refuses to hear the church he

is to be put under what’s known as church discipline and treated as an outsider. That doesn’t mean he is to

     be mocked or teased. He is to be treated as a heathen or a publican because they did not obey the Word of

    God. The teaching that is here does not call on us to bow to the teaching of the church as such. But in this

     type of incident the man under discipline is responsible to accept the judgment the local assembly and he is

commanded to hear what the Spirit says through the Word as it is brought to him by the local assembly.

The binding and loosing here is illustrated in the Corinthian letters. It deals with the church, the assembly

and it deals with the discipline. When Paul commanded the Corinthian to put away from themselves the

man that was living with his step-mother. Paul was binding that man’s sins upon him until he repented. [I

Cor. 5] When he instructed the assembly to forgive that man upon his repentance he was loosing him. [II

Cor. 2:5-11] Such actions when in full accordance with the Word of God are bound in heaven. Why?

Because God honors His Word above His Name.

Now verse 19 goes even higher than this. Suppose a case where human judgment is at fault and the saints

are perplexed. They may appeal to the Lord Himself for light and for help. The word agree is very

important and of course this is dealing with prayer. The word agree literally means to symphonize. This

of course if the prayer is prayed in the Lord’s Name and in His will.  

C. A lesson in forgiveness [18:21-35] (Ironside pp. 134-137)

1. Forgive as Christ has forgiven us [Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13]

    From the kingdom standpoint forgiveness is based upon the repentance of the offender. Christ disciples

    are to maintain an attitude of forgiveness at all times and toward all men. But they are to bestow that

    forgiveness upon the one who repents or who turns from his wicked ways. To fail to do this will bring

    the unforgiving one under the chastening hand of God as seen in the parable here in Matt. 18. This

    principle abides even in the dispensation of grace. For grace and godly government go together. No one

    is more responsible to show mercy to others than he, who himself was the object of mercy. Much of the

    chastening that we as Christians undergo go can be traced to our hard and often relentless attitudes

    toward those who have offended us. We would save ourselves much agony brought upon by the

    disciplinary dealings of the Father if we were to be more careful and considerate of others [Heb. 12:6-

    11].

2. Christ continues to forgive us [I John 1:9] So also we must continue to forgive.

Peter shows by the question that he had not risen to the true conception of grace that God had

toward him and that he was to demonstrate toward a brother. Seven of course is the number of

completion. This seems as astronomical number and our Lord raises this by saying 70x7.Our

forgiveness is to be like that which God has given to us. Here’s the question of the day; how many

times since you’ve been saved have you asked God to forgive you? In this parable the disciple is

viewed as a subject of the kingdom under the government of God. Who though He is our Father

exercises corrective discipline over His people [I Peter 1:17]

Observe that it is not that eternal forgiveness that God bestows upon the sinner that is in view here but

the forgiveness of one who is already in the kingdom who has failed. The Father deals with the


   members of His own family and He will not overlook harshness or lack of compassion on the part of His

   children towards someone who sins or wrongs them. There are many of God’s children who are under

   God’s corrective discipline all of their days simply because there is someone they will not forgive. In our

   new relationship with God we are to display the activities of the Divine Nature. If we fail to forgive we

   run the risk of incurring the judgment and punishment of God. Not hell, but many of their works will be

         burned up. When God saves us He forgives us fully and eternally and will never as judge remember our

   sins again. [Heb. 10:17] But as His children when we sin we are to confess our sins and He gives us

   restorative forgiveness. [I John 1:9] Certain governmental results follow these failures which are not to

   be construed as indicating that God has not pardoned us. But that He would teach us by His discipline the

   heinousness of sin. [II Sam. 13:14] Since we are forgiven we are to forgive those who offend us.

   Members of God’s church who offend God’s righteous principles are to be disciplined but they are to be

   forgiven when they give evidence of repentance. There are also degrees of guilt in regard to sin. All sin

   of course is vile and is wicked, but the greater one’s light [knowledge] and privileges. The greater is his

   responsibility. Consequently the sin of one who knows God’s Word and has enjoyed years of fellowship

   with the Lord is far worse than that of one who is comparatively ignorant and immature. There are

   degrees of punishment that vary accordingly [Luke 12:47-48; John 13:17; Rom. 2:12; James 4:17; I John

   5:17]

 

XX. JESUS MINISTERS IN PEREA [19:1-30]

A. Discourse on divorce [19:1-12]

The Pharisees not only wanted to trick Jesus, they wanted to raise the question as to what the just causes

for divorce were. Jesus appealed to creationism first. The Pharisees rebutted that Moses’ Law was more

liberal in this area. Jesus said this was only so because of the hardness of men’s hearts. From the time of

the postponed Kingdom until the rapture the followers of Christ needed information on how to lead godly

lives. Jesus spoke with authority as He provided definitive information for the guidance of His followers.

In answering their question in verse 3, Jesus goes right back to the original creation found in Genesis. The

guideline established at creation was to be the rule for His disciples in the future. The divine ideal is one

man and one woman in a sacred relationship. Anything other than one man and one woman is a perversion

of God’s desire. He who breaks this union disobeys the Word of the Lord.

The difference between a marriage contract and a marriage covenant is this: A marriage contract is based  

on distrust. A marriage covenant is based on trust.

To say as some have done that the Lord was referring to fornication before the marriage covenant as in

Deuteronomy 22:13,14,20,21, and not to such sin as committed after marriage; would be to insinuate that

marital unfaithfulness is less evil than the same kind of iniquity committed by those who have not yet

entered into a marital covenant. And to support this theory it has been stated that the word fornication

refers only to sexual improprieties on the part of single people. But this can not be so because I Corinthians

chapter 5 contradicts this definition. The incestuous man there having sex with his stepmother is charged

with fornication. While affirming the high and holy character of marriage according to God’s Word, Jesus

does not put on the innocent divorced party the burden of going through life alone because of the

unfaithfulness of the wicked partner. Where there is a clear case of fornication the innocent party is free to

divorce because they are freed from the covenant marriage. Why? Because the guilty party broke the

covenant. Jesus laid down the principles of marriage that were to prevail from His day until the rapture. For

while Christ came under the Law the Law and the prophets were until John. Grace and truth came by Jesus

[John 1:17] Commenting on verse 10-12 it is important to remember that Jesus will not put anyone under

bondage so therefore it is only for those who can accept it. Its well to remember that the real object of

marriage is to bring forth children, to establish a godly home, which is in essence a testimony for Christ in


our corrupt world. Home in the truest sense is where Jesus Christ is King and love is the ideal rule.

From such a home the voice of prayer and the voice of praise rise up as a continual sacrifice daily. The

loosening of the marriage ties and the home ideals are probably the two greatest evils of our time. In a

home, the people that suffer the most in a divorce and of course both parties suffer; the children without

question are always the greatest sufferers of the breakup of the family. At the rate divorces are increasing

family life will deteriorate and the unsaved will not be able to look into one’s home see any difference in a

Christian home from that of a non-Christian home.

1. We will examine 2 key divorce passages [Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor. 7:10-16]

[Rom. 7:1-3] Paul is using an illustration here about marriage to make his point in verse 4. He’s saying

if this woman marries another man while her husband is still alive she is called an adulteress, except in

the case of fornication. But when her husband dies she is free to remarry. We need to be cautious here

because some preachers counsel that marriage is eternal and marriage is not eternal. Jesus said, that in

heaven there is no marriage or giving in marriage. Marriage ends when one of the spouses dies. Only

Christ love is eternal.

[I Cor. 7:10-16] In verses 10-11, Paul is envisioning that both the man and the woman are Christians.

And Paul makes a statement that the wife should not depart. The word depart there does not necessarily

mean divorce it means separated in any way. It came to be a technical term for divorce. But originally it

meant a separation, her going back to live with her mother but keeping the doors open for reconciliation

But and if she depart (is separated) this envisions the possibility of disobedience or the possibility of

some action of her husband brought her to do this. The separated wife must then remains as she is. She

can stay that way or be reconciled to her husband. Similarly the husband is not to send his wife away.

Verses 12-13, the rest must indicate those that are not bound in ties of Christian marriage, otherwise all

the other cases have been dealt with; the unmarried, the widows. But some were married before they

became Christians. Paul never envisions believers marrying unbelievers. We are to be married in the

Lord [v. 39]. Paul regards unions entered into as pagans as being on a different level than those being

entered into as Christians. Here everything hinges on the attitude of the pagan partner. Verse 14, is

saying that there is the possibility if the believing spouse leading the unbelieving spouse to Christ.

Verse 15, if the unbeliever is unwilling to continue in the marriage and they depart, in other words the

unbeliever is taking the initiative in breaking the marriage then the believer is not under any bondage.

Do not try to stop the unbeliever from leaving. A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases

because God hath called us to peace. This is referring to whole treatment of mixed marriages here, not

simply to this last clause. Paul’s point is that the believer is called by God into a state when peace in the

widest sense is His concern. In this whole matter of mixed marriage the line should be followed which

conduces to peace. There is nothing we can do to stop the unbeliever.

Verse 16, Paul is saying that you don’t know that the unbelieving spouse might come to Christ.

 

 

B. Jesus blesses the children [19:13-15]

Dr. Nocera believes that these verses tie into the first twelve because children are the number one people

who get hurt in a divorce. The situation we have here is that Jesus was teaching concerning divorce and

parents brought their small children to have Jesus put His hands on them and pray for them [Mk. 10:13-16;

Luke 18:15-17]. The disciples felt that this was an intrusion into what Jesus was doing and they attempted

to restrict the children. But Jesus instead rebukes the disciples. Mark tells us that He took them in His arms

and blessed them. Its interesting to note that children whether in the gospel times or now instinctively

recognize Jesus as someone who loves them and cares for them and who won’t hurt them. They came to

Him freely and without fear.


C. The rich young ruler and the cost of discipleship [19:16-26] (Ironside pp. 142-145)

1. Distinguishing between salvation and discipleship

God’s salvation is absolutely free [Eph. 2:8-9]. It is offered to men on the basis of pure unmerited

favor. We call that grace. But discipleship, and a disciple is a learning student, literally cost all that one

has. It cost the loss of all things [Lk. 14:33; Phil. 3:7-8]. No one can be a true follower of Jesus Christ

without taking up your cross daily and following Him. Taking up of your cross speaks to the death of

the flesh and following the Lord Jesus in His path by rejecting the world and by devoting yourself to

God the Father’s will [I John 2:15-17].

2. The rich young ruler

His question involves one’s ability to earn eternal life by doing something. The young man had not yet

learned of his own sinfulness and absolute helplessness in that no matter what he did he could not earn

or be right in the sight of God. In addressing Jesus Christ as Good Master, the young man meant to do

Him honor. Jesus declared that only God is good [Rom. 3:12] Jesus is saying that you are addressing

me as a man. And you ought to know because you, yourself are sinful that no men are good. Therefore,

if you are addressing me just as a man and not as Lord, I’m not good. If Jesus were only a man then He

would not be good. If He were truly good then He is God.

After addressing this the Lord took the young man up on his own ground. For the Law promised life to

those who kept it [Lev. 18:5; Gal. 3:12] Verse 17, his inability to obtain life by obedience to the Law; if

his conscience were active, he would realize that he had already violated the Law. That just keeping the

Law wasn’t good enough. There is no good thing anyone can do to be saved. His reply to Christ was

which law? This was an attempt to evade the full force of Jesus’ words. In reply Christ quoted five of

the principle commandments and he concluded by summing up all those that refer to our duties to our

fellow man by quoting Leviticus 19:18. It would indicate an unawakened condition of soul if one could

face all these and plead not guilty. Certainly there was some place that, that man did something wrong.

Simply if you broke one law you broke them all, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

It is impossible for one to be saved by the deeds of the Law. The law speaks with an awful force to an

awakened conscience leading one to realize the hopelessness of ever attaining eternal life by human

merit. The Pharisees understood that and tried to build a fence around the law by adding to the 613 laws

to make sure that they wouldn’t come close to breaking the Law. But they still fell short. Verse 20

shows that the young man really was not examining himself and he thought more highly of himself than

he should have. Outwardly his life may have been blameless. Relatively he may have been good. If the

conscience had been active there would have been a confession of sin [I John 1:9]. The words of the

young man reveal that down in his heart there was a little bit of self-righteousness. He prided himself

on his own moral conduct. He also was self-satisfied, he felt he had arrived. In the Greek that statement

If thou would be perfect by Jesus [v. 21] is called a condition of the first class because it is an exact

statement. In other words, Jesus is saying to him I’m assuming that you really want to go through with

this and you have kept the law just like you said. Let’s say that is true. I’m going to tell you what you

need to do to fulfil this thing to do it until the end. Then He proceeds to tell him what to do. The idea of

selling means to sell all of his belongings. The idea is that he was who he was because of what he had.

He could not separate himself from what he had. So when you looked at his belongings you thought of

him. And when you looked at him, you thought of his belongings. That’s who his personality. In

essence, Jesus is saying to him you need to change your personality. Jesus spoke this in order to jar him

from his ill-founded security. How could anyone who was wealthy profess to love his neighbor as

himself while needy poverty stricken people were suffering right in front of him. To become a disciple

of Jesus Christ and live for others and thus to store up treasure in heaven had no attraction for this man

who talked so lightly of complete obedience of God’s commandments from his youth up. In calling

upon the rich young ruler to sell all that he had and give to the poor. Jesus was seeking to reveal both


deceitfulness and the selfishness of the human heart. The challenge to forsake all and follow Christ was

call to become a disciple in deed and in truth. Being a disciple means turning over area of your life. The

rich young ruler was willing to turn over theology, willing to read his Bible, was willing to go to

church, willing to pray, he was willing to turn over that area of his life. But he wasn’t willing to turn

over the other areas of his life, namely money. No one is permitted to turn us aside from our devotion to

Christ. So close is our devotion to Him to be that our love for our dearest friends will be as hatred

compared to our love for Him. The surrendered soul finds a deeper joy in yielding everything he has to

the One that purchased him with his own blood.

3. Understanding the “great refusal”

Whatever admiration this man had for the Lord Jesus Christ and for the greater spiritual life and the

path of the cross they were weaker than his love for his wealth and the place that it gave him in the

social circles of his day and his culture. His great possessions stood between him and walking with

Jesus. They meant more to him than the knowledge of life eternal. The idea of going away sorrowful,

meant he went away crying because he felt that Jesus had asked too much of him. He was willing to

follow partially but he was not willing to do what the old gospel hymn says, to surrender all.

4. Why it is difficult for rich people to be saved

The kingdom of heaven’s authority applies to us while we are here on this earth, not just heaven itself.

It is hard for those to whom God has entrusted great wealth to hold everything they possess as a

stewardship which they are responsible to use for His glory. It was not merely the salvation of this

man’s soul that was at stake. Christ was pointing the way of discipleship. Throughout the history of this

world the poor have been the easiest to come to faith in Christ and the riches to walk as His disciples. It

is only the omnipotent power of God that leads any man to trust in Christ whether he be rich or poor, to

yield himself to obedience to Christ.

5. The proper use of wealth

It is not sinful or wrong to be rich. It is sinful to make riches the ground for confidence and to enjoy the

comforts that wealth can give while forgetting the sufferings of the poor and needy. When God

commits wealth to any man, this is why He does it.  As stewardship entrusted to him to be administered

for the glory of Him who gave it. [I Tim. 6:10] see also the admonishment to the rich [I Tim. 6:15-17]

D. True rewards for the followers of Jesus [19:27-30] (Ironside pp. 146-147)

What will be the final result of their own renunciations for the Name of Christ? In reply Jesus assured them

that when the kingdom came in its regeneration [the millennial reign] they who had been identified with

Him in His rejection, would be honored and be recognized and they would sit upon twelve thrones judging

the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus also said that everyone would receive rewards. No one will ever lose out

by being excessively devoted to Christ. What ever has to be renounced for Christ sake will be repaid. Many

who profess such renunciation of worldly profit for his sake will like Demas [II Tim. 4:10] fail to receive

their reward because of unfaithfulness. When Christ fills the souls vision its easy to forsake all else for His

sake. He must increase and we must decrease. The longer we walk with Christ, the less of us should be

visible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XXI. THE JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM [20:1-34]

A. Parable of the householder and the laborers [20:1-16] (Ironside pp. 148-149) [I Cor. 3:10-15]

This parable is designed to show that service for the Lord is to be rewarded according to opportunities

embraced and not simply for the mount of work that is accomplished. This parable is a likeness of the

Kingdom of heaven in its mystery form. The householder represents the Lord, Himself. The laborers are

those who hear His call for service to go into the great harvest field. With those that are first engaged they

agree for a penny. The agreed payment was that which was fair. He wasn’t undercutting them or

overpaying them in any way. It was a fair days pay for a fair days work. As the day wore on the

husbandman went to the market place on four other occasions. The third hour, sixth hour, ninth hour,

and the eleventh hour. The eleventh hour would be 5PM, the last hour because 6PM was considered to be

at that time the close of the day. Each time he hired any available laborers he would tell them he would pay

them what was right for the work that was accomplished. The only ones he agreed to pay any specific

amount to was the ones he hired early in the morning. The eleventh hour employee had been ready to work

and willing to work but no man had hired them. Opportunity had not presented itself. When the

opportunity presented itself they went to work. At the end of the day all were called to receive what was

considered their just due. To the surprise of the company those who had worked but one hour received a

full days wage. And those in each group were payed the same. Those who worked all day took it for

granted that they would receive more. But they were wrong. When they came they got payed exactly the

same. They overlooked the fact that they had accepted the agreement to work for a denarius. The Lord of

the vineyard made this clear. Insisting that he had done them no wrong. He had payed them what he owed

them. It was his liberty to pay the others even though they came later as he chose to do so. He paid

according to their needs and their readiness to embrace the first opportunity that came to them even though

it came later in the day. All are chosen who heed the call to service. So none can blame the employer, the

Lord if they are not given the opportunity to serve. Every disciple of Christ is expected to obey his call of

service. At the day of manifestation every man will be rewarded according to his work that he performed in

the kingdom according to its character and value. And not merely for the amount of time put in. This

parable is not speaking about people getting saved at the eleventh hour. See I Corinthians 3:10-15

B. Jesus’ death and resurrection again predicted [20:17-19]

This is the fourth prediction Jesus made in regards to His passion in Matthew. (Cf. 12, 16, 17). All of

Jesus’ ministry in Perea was taking Him closer to the reason for which He had ultimately come. Soon now

they would be crossing the Jordan River, passing through Jericho and then climb a steep winding road up

to Jerusalem. Christ reminds the disciples here that at the end of this road was a cross. Putting the passages

of Matthew, Mark, Luke together we can see that the disciples felt that this trip to Jerusalem was going to

be dangerous but they couldn’t bring themselves to believe that Jesus was going to be murdered.

1. The word betrayed in verse 18 means to deliver a person to prison or judgment in a treacherous way.

    This is precisely what Judas did with Jesus.

C. Mama’s request! The Mother of James and John [20:20-24]

1. The mother’s request illustrates a desire on her part and her sons to achieve fame and prominence.

The mother of James and John expected Jesus to proclaim Himself the messianic king when He arrived

in Jerusalem. The mother spoke first and reading the comparable account in Mark the sons concur.

2. Christ’s cup and baptism.

Jesus was to be rejected and crucified to share with Him in this means that they would have to take the

same path, to be rejected, to be hated, rather than to be honored and praised. They were to participate in

His cup of sorrow and to take part in His baptism unto death. As to recognition later on when He would

reign in righteousness it was not the place of the Son, but it was the place of the Father who appointed

His associates.


3. Those for whom is was prepared

This placing of the right and left is given for those whom it is prepared. The kingdom of God on the

earth will be the sphere in which Christ saints will reign with Him. In that kingdom each one will be

rewarded according to the measure of his devotedness during the time of his association with Christ in

His rejection. The Father has decreed precedence will be given in that day of glory to those for whom it

has been prepared.

4. The other disciples were moved with indignation (angry resentment)

All of the disciples cherished the same ambitions. They felt that an attempt had been made to vie for

places of honor ahead of themselves. And in earthly kingdoms men grasp for power and are honored

by those beneath them because of their ability to rule and subject others to their law. It is quite the

opposite in the kingdom of God. In the world the great man is the one of a determined will and an

effective initiative who can triumph over his fellows. But in the kingdom of Christ true greatness is not

characterized by ruling, but is characterized by lowliness and readiness to serve.

D. Jesus comments on their ambitions [20:25-28]

1. Minister: from 2 Greek words: dia-konis

To raise dust by hurrying. Hence we should look constantly to rush to those in need of ministry [Rom.

10:15] Good Sermon: “Dusty Shoes” The road to privileged authority is paved with lowly service.

2. Ransom: The price paid for a slave who is then set free by the one who bought him.

E. The healing of two blind men [20:29-34]

The blind men recognize Jesus for who He is, the Messiah. The multitude rebuked them telling them to be

quiet that Jesus was not to be bothered by poor wretches such as they. Notice that this incidence

immediately follows the Son of Man saying that He came to serve. So Jesus stops what He is doing and He

ministers to them. He called them with compassion to Himself. He knew what they wanted but He always

likes people to tell Him from their heart. Once spoken, Christ immediately heals them.

1. Answering liberal “scholars”

Attacks at “alleged” discrepancies. (Ironside pp. 152-153)

2. Good sermon in verse 30. “Sitting by the wayside”

 

 

XXII. THE KING ARRIVES IN JERUSALEM [21:1-46]

A. The Triumphal Entry [21:1-11]

Bethphage is an aramaic name and it is used only here in the Bible and in the parallel accounts in Mark and

Luke; it literally means the house of unripe young figs. It lay on the eastern slope of Olivet at the foot of

the mountain. Its just a little bit further from Jerusalem from Bethany. This is partial fulfillment of Psalm

118. How the heart of our Lord must have been stirred as He drew near to the city once called holy that

was now inundated and polluted by sin and characterized by a form of godliness in which there was no

power. The hour had come when He was to present Himself as King. Obviously, the owners of the animals

knew Jesus and recognized His authority to take the animals. Zechariah had prophesied that this how the

king would come.

1. Fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9-10

Those that welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem thought that the hour of triumph and victory had come. They

believed that He was about to assert His royal authority and begin His earthly reign over the nation of

Jerusalem and the Gentile nations and He would make Jerusalem the capital of the regenerated world.

All of this will indeed be accomplished but not now, at this point He will face the cross. [Heb. 2:17]

Christ knew there could be no kingdom without the cross. The welcome that He received was sincere.

It is interesting to note that in Zechariah 9:9-10 speaks to both the first and second advents of Christ. In


verse 9 we see what is taking place in Matthew 21. But the events depicted in V. 10 have not been

fulfilled yet and will not be fulfilled until the millennial reign. It is then that He will speak peace to the

nations and His dominion will be set up over the whole earth.

2. Five days and these same people would jeer at Christ

Those who rejoiced in His coming did not understand the state of affairs. They did not understand the

proper correlations of the predictions of the prophets. How Christ the Messiah must first be rejected and

suffer many things before He could enter into glory [Lk. 24:25-27]. The one paramount objective He

had was to glorify His Father in heaven.

3. Hosanna (save now)

A multitude of people were spreading their garments in the way. The donkey would walk over them and

they would gather them and place back in front of the donkey. Others cast down palm branches in the

way. Why the palm branches? Because the palms represent victory. And this goes back to the Feast of

Tabernacles see [Psalm 118:25-26]. As Christ is coming in and these people are under Roman

oppression and they want to be saved now. These Jews wanted deliverance from Rome, but needed

deliverance from satan.

4. Partial fulfillment of Psalm 118

B. The Second Cleaning of the Temple [21:12-17]

Early on Monday morning Jesus returns to the Temple and He begins to cast out all those who bought and

sold in the Temple and He overthrew the money changers and the seats of those that sold doves. There is a

resemblance between the two cleansings of the Temple. But the point is that the first cleansing was

ineffective in bringing about any permanent cure. So this is known as the second cleansing. If you brought

your animals here and you had your money exchanged here then the animals would be accepted for

sacrifice. Otherwise they would not be accepted. In doing this the temple authorities were robbing the

people and literally making a farce, a mockery of the sacrificial system set down in the Torah. The area

where the animals were sold was in the court of the temple, which was never meant to be a stockyard for

animals. Its interesting to note that there is no resistance offered. There was something about the bearing of

Jesus that silenced these money loving hypocritical religious people. The people’s cry of hosanna

displeased the priests and the scribes who recognized that the son of David was a messianic title. They

recognized that this was connecting Christ to the most famous king of Israel, David and his kingly line.

The Jewish leaders were especially concerned because the young people referred to as children joined in

the praise to Christ. These were probably boys who like Jesus had come to the temple for the first time at

age 12. Jesus quotes from psalm 8:2. The young people were right and the older religious leaders were

wrong. It is quite possible that He lodged in the home of Mary and Martha.

C. The Cursing of the Fig Tree [21:23-27]

Each morning of the last week Jesus would travel from Bethany to Jerusalem with His disciples, a distance

of a mile and half to two miles. On the second morning Jesus saw a fruitless fig tree and He pronounces a

judgment on it. The fig tree is the well known symbol of the nation of Judah. A fig tree planted in a

vineyard would signify Judah. When Jesus came to Jerusalem there were the leaves of religious ceremony

but there was no fruit for God. So the Israelites were given up to judicial barrenness for all the present age,

henceforth the postponed kingdom. The fact that this fig tree was covered with leaves would naturally

imply fruit. For the figs appear before the leaves in most varieties of fig trees. Jesus knew these facts well.

But He chose to go to the fig tree in order to make an illustration. There are three fig tree passages that are

definitely linked together in the NT and they give us a dispensational picture of God’s dealing with the

Jews, [Luke 13:6-9; Matt. 21:23-27; Matt. 24:32-33]. The disciples marveled at how the fig tree withered

away. Jesus used this to illustrate the importance of faith in prayer. [Matt. 17:20] This time He adds the

soul heartening declaration that all things that you ask in prayer shall be done for you. This does not mean

that God gives us everything we ask for. To pray believing means that we ask in accordance with the


revealed will of God and that we do not regard iniquity in our hearts [Ps. 66:18]. When we are right with

God and the prayer that we send up to the Lord in Jesus name is in faith and in harmony with the revealed

and known will of God, not contradicting the Word of God, God’s divine response to it is certain and

and assured. We are not to be divided in our mind or to waver an to doubt. [James 1:5-8]

Jesus uses this opportunity to teach His disciples about praying in faith.

 

D. Jesus’ Authority is Challenged [21:23-27]

The first thing we need to pick up on in these verses is the word authority. For it is used several times. The

Greek word is exousia, and it literally means the power to do what you please. They are asking Jesus who

gives you the authority to do what you please. If we go to Matthew 28:18, we get an answer to this. The

word power here is not the traditional Greek word dunamas, but it is the same word as is found in Matthew

21. It means the same thing, Christ as all authority to do what He wants in heaven and earth.

The priests and the elders would often act in dubious authority but they question Jesus who gave Him the

authority to do what He pleased in cleansing the temple, by saying that those there had turned the temple

into a den of thieves. Jesus responds by putting them into the horns of a dilemma. They knew they could

not answer the question. The knew that if they admitted that John was sent by God they would be unable to

explain why they had not believed John and repented. Believing John would have involved receiving Jesus.

Because John said one comes after me who will baptize you with fire who’s shoes I’m not worthy to untie.

John also said that he must decrease and Christ must increase. On the other hand if they dared to deny

John’s heavenly commission it would probably cause a stir of hatred among the common people and they

would lose their influence over the people who in general believed John was a prophet of the Lord. When

they admitted their inability to answer this dilemma, Jesus replied neither tell I you by what authority I do

these things. To attempt to convince them would have been a waste of time because they were simply

unwilling to see beyond their own religiosity.

E. The Parable of the Two Sons [21:28-32]

Matthew 21 ends with two parables and both parables are designed to show the seriousness of refusing

immediate compliance with the testimony and the demands of the Lord Jesus Christ. These two sons

portray two different types of men. Those who give lip service and those who are genuine in their interest

in spiritual realities. In the first son, we see the willful son. Persisting in willful disobedience until he is

subdued and brought to repentance by divine grace. In the second son, we see the legalist in Israel. When

Moses delivered the Law at the base of Mt. Sinai, the Israelites said in [Ex. 24:7]. However, there history

proved that they did otherwise. See [Rom. 2:24] Jesus says that the publicans and the harlots go into

heaven before the religious leaders. Why? Because it is the self-confessed sinners who feel that they need

grace and they turn to God in repentance and enter into a saving relationship with Jesus and enter into the

Kingdom. John 3 makes this clear. John came on the scene proclaiming the righteous demands of God

upon His creation and calling to repentance those who had failed to attain this standard. The legalist turned

indifferently away. But needy sinners who realized their need for repentance came and turned to Christ. It

is a dangerous game to trifle with the mercy of God. Little did the Jewish leaders realize that they were

sealing their own doom in rejecting Christ, the One sent by God to bring the blessings if they were willing

to receive Him. They lost their opportunity because they were nearsighted and because they were seeking

self aggrandizement. They failed to recognize the Messiah when He came in exact accordance with the

scriptures of the prophets whom they professed to revere and study. Mere knowledge of the letter of the

word saves no one. It is those who place their faith in Christ who are made wise unto salvation. See

[II Tim. 3:15] To reject Christ is the worst mistake a man can make. The parable of the two sons contrasts

the legalistic self-righteous leaders of the Jews who pretended to an obedience they did not execute with

poor sinners, both Jews and Gentiles who have heard and who have obeyed the truth of the gospel.


The one who did the will of the father is the one who repented. Repent to means to be sorry after words.

Now to understand this we need to go to Matthew 27:1-3, this is concerning Judas. In the case of Judas

it was not repentance it was remorse. He was sorry for what he did. But repent means to be sorry after

words and go in the opposite direction. He certainly didn’t go in the opposite direction when he went out

and committed suicide. In Matthew 21, the first son was sorry after words and he went. Only godly sorrow

leads to repentance. Mere sorrow is not repentance it is remorse. Someone saying they are sorrow is not

what God is after. Religion never saved anyone it is Jesus who is the Savior.

F. The Parable of the Vineyard [21:33-46]

This parable had a backward and a forward application. It traced God’s ways with Israel in the past in their

rejection of the prophets and it also looked ahead prophetically to what was to be accomplished in the next

few days, when Jesus, Himself would be delivered unto death.

1. Householder: God, the Father

2. Vineyard: Israel [Is. 5:1-7]

3: Husbandman: Religious leaders of Judah, who were responsible to guide the people in the right path.

4. Servants: Prophets, who came from time to time as God’s representatives to press forward His claims

   upon the people. Note, they beat one, stoned one, and killed another. [Acts 7:52]. The grace of

   God is seen in His sending His only Son who was in Palestine as a representative of the Father [John

   6:38; John 7:28-29] Christ was the heir sent by the Father in grace to call the leaders in Israel to a path of

   obedience, accountability, and responsibility. The rejection of Christ by His people was the fullest

   possible expression of the hatred of the natural heart moved by a satanic malignance toward the God of

   all grace [Acts 2:23].

5. Jerusalem fell in A. D. 70 (cf. Josephus)

For more on the Fall of Jerusalem listen to Tape 5/side 2 at the very end of tape.

There is a Jewish legend that proclaims this verse [21:42] by declaring that at the building of

Solomon’s temple a certain stone was set aside from the quarries at the very beginning for which the

workman could find no place. So it was thrown down into a valley below Mt. Moriah. Later they sent

word that they were ready for the cornerstone. But the masons declared that it had already been sent up.

Finally someone recalled the stone that was thrown down in the valley and search of the valley brought

it to light and it was hoisted up from the valley and it was made the head of the corner of Solomon’s

Temple.

6. Nation bring forth fruits (Gentiles in time of the Gentiles)

Israel after the flesh was to be put aside. The kingdom for which they had waited so long was to be lost

to them, postponed. A new and elect nation, a regenerated Israel will eventually possess the kingdom.

Meantime the grace of God is going out to the Gentiles. But this should not be construed as God turning

away from Israel to the Gentiles, but rather a turning to any people during the time of the Gentiles who

will bring forth the fruits of genuine faith. Christ is the stone of salvation. He is the stone the Jews

stumbled over and were broken [Is. 8:13-14]. Someday He will come again as the stone falling on the

image of Gentile power to grind it to powder [Dan. 2:34-35] There could be no doubt in the minds of

our Lord’s hearer’s as to the application of this parable. Recognizing a picture of themselves in the

unfaithful husbandman. The Pharisees gave no evidence of true repentance or of a desire to obey the

Word of God. Instead they seemed more determined than ever to oppose Jesus Christ. Turning from

grace to their own desires. Because the Jews rejected Christ they were to suffer.

 

 

 

 

 

XXIII. JESUS’ CONTROVERSY WITH JEWISH RULERS [22:1-46]

A. Parable of the marriage feast [22:1-14]

1. The parable

In this striking parable which our Lord spoke to the people of Jerusalem at the end of His ministry, He

gave a remarkable dispensational outline of the way God is dealing with men in this world. It is another

parable of the kingdom of heaven and it has to do with the sphere of profession and tells us of what was

to go during the time of the absence of the Lord. The time between His ascension into heaven and the

Rapture.

2. Three invitations

The king sent forth His servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding and they would not come.

The first invitation was to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. They refused this gracious invitation,

John 1:11 explains it. When the Israelites refused Him, the invitation was extended beyond Israel to the

Gentile nations. See John 5:40. They would not enter in and partake of the feast that had been spread

right there before them in Palestine. To accept the invitation you have to turn to Christ on your own. A

second invitation was extended to them telling them the banquet was ready and still they would not

come. The king said go again and call them. After the Lord ascended to heaven we find Peter and the

other apostles in the early chapters of Acts pleading with Israel to repent of the rejection of Christ and

turn to Him, confess Him, and trust Him as their Savior. A few accepted Him but the great majority

spurned Him and actually persecuted His servants. There is nothing wrong with being a farmer or a

merchantman unless it keeps you out of heaven. If you go so occupied with the things of this world that

you can’t lift your eyes above the earth then there is something tragically wrong with you. Things that

are proper in themselves become very wrong if we put them in the place of Christ and the gospel. It is

important for us to note that both the indifferent and the antagonistic failed to get into the marriage feast

There is no difference for the indifferent or the antagonistic, hell is the final resting place for those who

reject Christ. The question found in Hebrews 2:3 must still be answered by every living breathing soul;

How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? In order to be lost forever it is not necessary to

be opposed to Christ, it is not necessary to say with your mouth I reject Christ, just neglect Christ and

you’ll never get to the wedding feast. The road of by and by as Ironside says, leads to the house of

never.  You may say someday when conditions are different I’m going to take the time to think about

spiritual things, to be concerned about my immortal soul, but while you are waiting for a better time

death my find you first. See Acts 24:24 - to our knowledge the convenient season never arrived and

Felix went out into a Christ-less eternity. God waited 40 years for Israel to repent after the death of

Christ and when they did not He sent the Roman armies to destroy Jerusalem. God is the God of Hosts

He is the God of armies and when a nation has sinned against Him to such a degree that He must deal

with them in judgment He sends the armies of some other people to visit judgment upon them. God

permitted the Roman armies to destroy Jerusalem. The final destruction of that city was the literal

fulfillment of the words of Christ [Matt. 24:2] God the Father thinks so highly of His only begotten Son

     that when men refuse Him, God the Father’s indignation is stirred. In His dealings with Israel He really

     caused Jerusalem to be destroyed. That’s a sobering thought, and the people have been scattered and

dispersed all over the world ever since. They have shown themselves as a nation to be unworthy of

eternal life. Not as individuals but as a nation. The question then is this; is God going to have an empty

banquet hall? Will there be no one who will accept His gracious invitation? Oh no, the wedding was

not called off. God is going to see that His wedding feast is furnished with guests. And He’ll find them

in the most unlikely places. The third invitation is to all the nations, the Gentiles. Israel had their

opportunity, but now it goes to all the nations. Go to every person everywhere. No matter what their


spiritual condition or religious affiliation currently. No matter what condition they are in. No matter

how unclean the are or where they live. No matter how vile or sinful they are bid them to come.

Anyone who wanted to come could come both the good and the bad. Literally all classes of people are

invited. The good and the bad represent all classes of people who receive Christ as their Savior. It is a

graphic picture of what has gone on for the last 2000 years the preaching of the gospel. The invitation is

still going out and there is unspeakable danger for those who reject Jesus Christ. See [Prov. 29:1]

3. Lessons of the parable

The certain king represents God the Father. The Son is of course Jesus Christ. Those who put their trust

in the Son are united to Him as it were in marriage. The marriage dinner is the gospel feast. It is the

feast of good things that God has provided for all people who will accept Jesus Christ. The feast is

prepared by God for the joy and the glory of His own beloved Son. The thought was in the heart of God

and He expressed it by sending Jesus Christ into the world to save mankind from their own sins. Some

people profess to accept the gospel invitation and yet they never really trusted Christ as their personal

Savior. And when the King came in to see the guests He saw there a man which had not on a wedding

garment. Now, according to eastern wedding custom when a great personage made a marriage feast

for someone in His family he provided suitable garments to be worn by the guests when they sat down

to the banquet. Everyone had an opportunity to wear a wedding garment.  So today, God provides a

wedding garment a robe of righteousness that all are obligated to accept and wear. When sinners come

in repentance trusting in Christ then they are clothed with the garment of salvation the robe of Christ

righteousness that makes one presentable at the marriage supper.

There was one man who professed to accept the invitation but he was not wearing a wedding garment.

This man was like so many people today who say this, I’m not so bad relatively speaking I’m a good

person. I don’t need a personal savior I’m good enough as I am. These people are trusting in their own

righteousness [Rom. 10:3] We can visualize this man in this parable. The king’s servants were handing

out robes as the guests arrived at the door [the gospel invitation and they were receiving the gospel

invitation]. But when this particular man came in he may have said I don’t think I need to bother with

that robe the clothes I’m wearing are good enough. But the king has provided this robe and he wants

everyone wearing the same robe. Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the

Father but by me. There is only one suit of clothes. The man may have insisted I don’t think it will

make any difference the king will be satisfied with just as I am. The king came in and looked over the

guests without saying a word and then he saw a man that was different. A man without a wedding

garment. He asked the man how he came in without having a wedding garment. The man was

speechless. He had accepted an invitation to the feast. He wanted to eat at the king’s table. But the

garment that was so graciously offered he refused. He is like many who join the church, perhaps put

their tithes in, perhaps have been water baptized, partake of the Lord’s supper when it is distributed but

never believed in their heart and confessed with their mouth Jesus Christ as Lord. This parable shows

what will take place when the king looks over the guests. Why did you even bother to go to church

when you didn’t trust in the One church is all about? This man may have made a case for himself but

when he faced the King of kings and Lord of lords he was absolutely speechless. Some people rely

their good works. Some rely upon their position. Some may rest upon the fact that they may have joined

a particular church. Some because they have reformed their lives. But Acts 4:12 sums it all up. Paul on

Damascus road saw Christ and said in Phil. 3:7-9. Sermon title: Are you wearing the wedding garment?

B. Rendering due tribute [22:15-22]

1. In this chapter our Lord deals with three main sects: Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians. We already

    discussed the first two. The Herodians were wealthy Jews of political influence who favored Roman law

    and Greek customs. Usually they sided with the Sadducees in their pro-Roman sympathies. However,

    here we find them also siding with the Pharisees in their hatred toward Jesus. As we read these verses


we marvel at the way in which Christ exposed their hypocrisy. Christ knew what was in the heart of

man. Jesus answered their question by showing that the people of God are responsible to God in

spiritual things but they must also be obedient to the temporal powers that are in control of civil

authority. Are we has much concerned about loyalty to God has we are about loyalty to our country?

 

         

C. The resurrection lesson [22:23-33]

Immediately after Jesus had gotten through with the Herodians, the Sadducees the most liberal sect in

Judaism, the group that was responsible for the temple. They come with similar intent trying to trap Jesus

      in His words and theology. The Sadducees [the liberals] opposed the Pharisees who were the conservative

element in Judaism. The Sadducees were opposed to supernaturalism. Accordingly they attempt to entrap

Jesus theologically regarding the resurrection of the dead. They attempt to hide their true motives by

quoting the Law of Moses requiring a brother to marry the wife of a deceased brother and raise up children

unto Him. This is known as Leverite marriage. [Deut. 25:5-10] They brought an extreme case of wife who

was married to seven brothers all of whom proceeded her death. Who’s wife will she be since they all had

a relationship with her. The situation to the Sadducees illustrates the absurdity of the doctrine of the

resurrection which is why they are using such an extreme example. Jesus stated that their problem was not

      in their misunderstanding of the doctrine of the resurrection but, rather in their ignorance of the scriptures

and the power of God. He explained in the resurrection they neither marry or are given in marriage but are

as the angels in heaven. The primary focus of these verses is that their question was foolish because

marriage is not a relationship realized in heaven. Then He deals with the real issue the resurrection of the

dead and this is an important doctrine. Jesus in His reply not only affirms the resurrection but also the

continuance of personal identities in heaven. The Sadducees had no defense against this statement about

Christ without positioning themselves in such a way that they would be attacking these three very

important Hebrew patriarchs. They were trapped in their own hypocrisy. By this exchange with the

Sadducees, Christ placed the Sadducees in direct conflict with the scriptures. The multitude listening was

astonished with the ease at which Christ disposed of these difficult theological questions.

D. The greatest commandment [22:34-40]

1. Note on the word lawyer in verse 35

By Jesus’ day the law had been expanded by some Jewish leaders. Their intent was to give people a

commentary on the law applicable to daily life. This commentary in part was known as the Mishna.

This was a written body of laws of tradition compiled from 200BC-AD 135. The Mishna became

known as the Iron Pillar of the Torah, since supposedly it showed a Jew how to perfectly keep all 613

laws of the Mosaic Law. Lawyers were men who were experts in interpreting the law, Mishna and all

     other added traditions both oral and written. The question put was without equivocation antagonistic in

character. It was designed to draw out the Lord in order to see if His teaching coincided with the

Mosaic Law or to see if in fact Jesus was opposed to Judaism. His question concerned the relative

importance of each of the Ten Commandments. Which was the most important? Jesus replies from

Deut. 6:5. If God is in fact love supremely no one will violate anything He has commanded. This

covers particularly what we call the first table of the Law. Which sets forth mans duty toward God. To

violate this law of love was in the legal dispensation the greatest of all sins. Then Jesus quotes from

Leviticus 19:18, which covers the second table of the law and that is man’s duty to man. Rom. 13:10

He who loves mankind in this way will not violate any of the laws that have to do with the rights of

others Rom. 13:8-9. Every sin that we might commit is either done against the Lord Himself or to our

fellow man. The salvation provided for us is first of all an atonement or propitiation to meet all our sins

and then secondly it is a regeneration to enable us though we are sinners to love God and our neighbor

so as to cease from sin. When the heart is right with God, God is love supremely. Man too will be loved


unselfishly by other men and so the whole life will be ordered in obedience to God’s divine perfect

Word. Love delights to serve the One who is loved and thus it preserves us from committing acts that

would grieve God or injure His neighbor. Therefore our Lord’s teaching was designed to convict of sin

and to reveal the need of regeneration. See II Peter 1:4 Love becomes the controlling principle of the

life of the man who is in Jesus Christ. The righteousness of the law comes to fulfillment in the one who

walks not after the flesh but rather who walks after the Spirit. [Rom. 8:4] There’s a new power that

dominates the born again person and that is the positive evidence of the new birth. [I John 3:14; 5:1-2]

Verse 40 - the word hang in the Greek means dependence and there is a word picture the word

hang/dependence is like the hinges on a door. A door is no good as a door unless its hanging on its

hinges. The hinges have to be right in order for the door to work properly. So Jesus says upon these

two commandments hangs/depends everything else. The whole Mosaic Law and prophets hangs on it.

The term law and prophets was specifically chosen by Jesus because it was a term used in the second

Temple period [the temple rebuilt in Ezra and Nehemiah’s day] to designate the Jewish scriptures. The

word law is simple it means the Torah or the Pentateuch. The word prophets refers both to the group

known as the former prophets which were Joshua, Judges, I/II Samuel, I/II Kings and the group the

Jews called the latter prophets. And the latter prophets are what we call the writing prophets. They are

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets. Not Daniel, the Jews did not place Daniel in

what was called the prophets. They place Daniel in what was called the cathubim or the writings. All of

it hangs on love without love none of it works.

E. Who is Jesus [22:41-46]

Having answered all their questions Jesus turned the tables on His adversaries by asking what think ye of

Christ who’s son is He? From every man who hears the gospel comes that question; who is Christ? See

Rom. 1:1-4. David looking forward to the exultation of his son sees him seated on the Father’s right hand

and calls Him his Lord. How can the Pharisees explain the David calling his son, Lord? The theological

problem of how the Son of David, Jesus could be greater than David was simply too much for the theology

of the Pharisees. It shows us that the knowledge of the Pharisees was very limited. Because of their

prejudice toward God.

 

 

XXIV. THE CONDEMNATION OF THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES [23:1-39]

The scribes were known as those who can write. However on a broader basis it means those in society who are literate. In the ancient near eastern and Greco-Roman society approximately 90% of the general population were functionally illiterate. Thus those who were literate, the scribes served in specialized roles because there was only a few of them. They were administrators, financial officials, educators in the synagogues and they served as religious functionaries and they were also skilled copyist of the Torah scrolls. Which had become the object of veneration in the Jewish community by the time of Jesus Christ. Local scribes continued as literate functionaries who would write letters and documents and some scribes were teachers in exegetes of the scriptures. Jesus is addressing these remarks to His disciples about very literate people.

A. The Hypocrisy Of The Pharisee [23:1-12]

Jesus told the disciples to observe and do whatever the scribes and Pharisees bid them to do. By

commanding them to do whatever they instructed them to do, Jesus did not mean to follow the false

doctrines of the Pharisees. But rather the teachings they instructed on that were naturally and correctly

espoused from the Mosaic Law. Jesus said the disciples were not to do after the hypocrisy of the

Pharisees. For they say and do not. They made broad their phylacteries (scriptures which they bound to

their foreheads and to their left wrist) concerning certain scriptures. Specifically Exodus 13:3-16;

Deuteronomy 6:5-9; 11:13-21. The phylacteries were also known as tefillin. Archaeological discoveries at


the Qumran site in cave number 1 were phylactery cases. There were types of cases discovered. One had

four small compartments for holding four tiny scripture scrolls. These were the types of phylactery that was

worn on the forehead. The other case was a single compartment to hold a phylactery that was 9x7

millimeters. Normally phylacteries were worn during the morning hour of prayer. But these Pharisees were

wearing them throughout the day. And this is still practiced by some orthodox Jews even to this day.

The word Rabbi has been translated many ways perhaps the most common is teacher. But in this instance

it is being translated my lord and my master or my great one. So Jesus reminded the people that Christ was

their Master and God was their only Father. What He is saying is that the Pharisees and scribes have

forgotten the preeminence of God and of the Messiah, the Son of God sent by God the second person of the

Trinity. This condemnation by Jesus of the pretensions of the scribes and Pharisees does not rule out

reasonable recognition of authority in Israel or for that matter today in the church. Obviously it prohibits

making this a goal in itself. We should not seek to lord over but to serve one another. We are also

forbidden to use the word father indiscriminately. The general teaching here is clear they were not to seek

man exalting titles such as father, reverend, etc. We are to allow God to exalt us. Titles are to be earned by

those who are willing and godly servants of the Lord.          

B. The Eight Woes Pronounced On The Scribes And Pharisees [23:13-26]

A woe is a deep sorrow or affliction. Only Matthew records this scathing, ripping denunciation of the

leaders of Judaism. These woes in contrast to the beatitudes denounce false religion as utterly abhorent

and worthless to God Almighty. These are severe condemnations from the Son of God. No passage in the

Bible is more biting, more direct, more pointed, more severe than this pronouncement on the scribes and

Pharisees. Why? Because they were the farthest from God of all the sects of Judaism.

1. They shut out others [v. 13]

    False religion is the greatest enemy of truth and the most dangerous thing that can happen. Its more

    dangerous than immorality and indifference because it has a form of godliness but it denies the power

          thereof. As the religious leaders of the Jews these two groups were guilty before God of blocking the      way for others seeking the kingdom of God. We are warned in James not to mess up when dealing with

     the sheep.          

2. Devouring widows’ houses and making long prayers [v. 14]

They would not think anything of putting the widow on the street. But they wouldn’t dare to miss a

synagogue service or prayer.

3. Energetic in making proselytes [v. 15]

They went everywhere to convert gentiles to Judaism. But when they were successful Jesus said you

make those people more a two-fold child of hell than yourself. So not only would the Pharisees wind up

in hell for leading the proselytes astray but they would carry the proselytes to hell along with them

because the proselytes believed the false teaching of the Pharisees. Its dangerous to be around a false

teacher.

4. Swearing by gold [v. 16]

This was based on the trickery of the Pharisees who held that by swearing by the gold they were bound

to the oath. Jesus denounced them as fools as obviously the gold was meaningless unless it was

sanctified by the temple. And the gift on the altar was meaningless unless it was sanctified.

5. Hypocrisy in tithing [v. 23]

They were so concerned in paying the tithe down to the smallest seed but they were omitting the

weightier matters of the Law and they were not dealing with mercy and faith.

6. Extortion and excesses [v. 25]

He repeats the charge that they are hypocrites. They were concerned with ceremonial cleanliness that

which men observed but they were not concerned with what was inside which was holiness. While

observing external ceremonial rites they were not above extortion and excess.


7. Whited sepulchres [v. 27]

They could look as pretty as they wanted but were nothing more than dead mens bones. This illustrated

that the Pharisees were outwardly righteous and looked good outside but inside they were rotten and

filled with sin and vile iniquity.

8. Persecution [v. 29]

He charges them with building tombs of the prophets and of garnishing them with decorations and

claiming that they would not be partakers of their fathers in martyring the prophets. Jesus calls their

very witnessing to account that they were the children of those who killed the prophets. He referred in

verse 32 that their fathers killed the prophets and this bunch of hypocrites would kill the second person

of the trinity. They were worse then their fathers not better. Time had not developed them into better

people but harder and more vile. The Son of God says He doesn’t know how they will escape hell. They

didn’t even realize they were on their way to hell and didn’t even know it. When a person comes to

Jesus you have got to let Him clean your heart before He cleans your hands.

Hypocrisy is a hard taskmaster. It lives only for the praise of men, concerns itself with only the small things of religion, deals with externals chiefly and reveals only what is dead and finds a fearful judgment.

C. Jesus’ Lamentation Over Jerusalem [23:37-39]

Verse 39 is reference to Christ coming to rule and reign in the millennial kingdom. [Note: this cannot be

referring to Palm Sunday for that event already occurred]. In these three verses is revealed the heart of God

over the apple of His eye and yet His people spurned Him. The very people He loved killed Him. The

repetition of the address to Jerusalem signifies the deep emotion with which Jesus spoke. Jerusalem which

literally means the city of peace was the place where the blood of prophets was spilled and the stones were

cast at those who brought a message of love. This passage speaks of the character of people and their

visciousness of Israel right up until the end. Because of this Jesus could do nothing but pronounce their

destruction. Yet there is a ray of light in found in verse 39, Jesus will come again to set up the millennial

kingdom. This is referring to the Second Coming when He comes to deal with the Jews at the end of the

Tribulation Period. Is.65:18-25; Jer. 31; Rom. 11:25-36

 

 

 

XXV. THE OLIVET DISCOURSE

A. Introduction

Matthew 24-25, Mark 13:1-27, Luke 21:5-6 are known as the Olivet Discourse. The extensive prophecies

of Christ was primarily delivered to four of His apostles. We are not told that in Matthew but if we turn to

Mark 13:3. This is directed primarily to Peter, James, John, and Andrew. The Olivet Disocurse is in

          response to their question; Tell us when will these things happen and what will be the sign? [Mk. 13:4] It is

evident that the three gospels each record only a portion of this discourse and the full picture is give only

when putting together the revelation in the three synoptics Matthew, Mark, Luke.

B. Three Views Of The Olivet Discourse

1. Amillennial

Amillenial’s deny a literal millennial reign of Jesus Christ. They tend to take the prophecies of the Olivet

Discourse in a more general than a specific way. They frequently attempt to find fulfillment for these

prophecies in the first century. Accordingly they attempt to relate most of the prophecies found in the

Olivet discourse to the time when Jerusalem was destroyed and the temple razed in A.D. 70         

2. Postmillennial

The second theory is known as the Theory of Whitby. It’s called this because it was produced by an

 English theologian named Daniel Whitby who lived from 1638-1725. The more popular name for the

 theory of Whitby is postmillennialism. Whitby contended that the millennium lies somewhere in the


future but it will be set up on this earth by present gospel agencies [i.e. the church] and thus he

became the originator of this theory known as postmillennialism. Postmillennialist have a different

problem with these verses in that they want to support their view that the world is going to get better and

better as gradually the gospel triumphs. However these passages of scripture do not support this and in

fact they predict increasing evil that will climax at the end of the Great Tribulation and at the Second

Coming, Revelation 19. Liberal interpreters who do not accept legitimate prophecy of the future tend to

question whether Christ actually taught what is valid in this passage and they view as a summary of His

teachings, plus later findings within the church. They feel that the setting is the apocalyptic writing of

the times which are outside the scriptures.             

3. Antimillennialists

Their theory of course is antimillennialism. It is a strange theory and its origin is traced to the Roman

Catholic church. The Roman Catholic church believes that the Roman Catholic church is the kingdom

and it contends that whatever millennium there may be is experienced now in the present age. Its

advocates interpret the Book of Revelation as a description or varied descriptions of this present church

age. In their unenviable attempt to fit all of the events of Revelation into this age antimillennialists

indulge in a form of speculation that is almost unsurpassed. Their abandonment of reason and sound

hermeneutics as but one objective in mind. Namely to place the Millennial Reign which is repeated 6

times in Revelation back somewhere into the past and therefore something that should not be anticipated

in the future. Note: The Roman Catholic church accepted premillennial theology up until A.D. 467. In

A.D. 467, the bishop of Rome became known as the Pope and the ultimate head of the Roman Catholic

Church and that is when their theology switched.

4. Premillennial

Premillennialist interpret these prophecies as literal and specific. However, even among premillennial

teachers there are variations. Some hold that the entire Olivet Discourse will be fulfilled in the future in

connection with the Great Tribulation. Others believe that the break comes at verse 9 in Matthew 24,

with the previous predictions being general in character and the particular prophecies beginning with

verse 9 being fulfilled in the Great Tribulation. Still another point of view is that the entire period

described in Matthew 24:4-14 are general prophecies that can find fulfillment throughout the present

age. With verses 15-30 fulfilled finally in the Great Tribulation, however these same prophecies and the

events predicted in verses 4-14 are repeated in the Great Tribulation when what was perhaps partially

fulfilled earlier then have a very literal and devastating final fulfillment. The central question is whether

the specific signs given in verses 15-26 are the future Great Tribulation? Under this interpretation the

sign of the abomination will be the beginning of the last three and one half years when the world ruler

the antichrist takes over and the Great Tribulation commences. Sir Robert Anderson calls Matthew 24-

25 the second sermon on the mount because he believes it is so vitally important for Christians to

understand these two chapters.

C. Prediction Of The Temple’s Destruction [24:1-2]

Because these disciples were so well versed in the OT scriptures no doubt that when Jesus said these words

Haggai 2:15 had to come to their minds. Which says, And now I pray you consider from this day and

 upward from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the Lord. The word upword in the

Hebrew means consider from this day backward. So the disciples were spinning in their mind all that went

into putting together this great temple. Jesus had finished in Matthew 23 a great denunciation on the scribes

and Pharisees and He left the temple and as He left His disciples pointed out to Him the magnificence of

these temple buildings. To the disciples the temple represented God blessings of the past, present, and the

future for the nation of Israel. But Jesus said there shall not be one stone upon another that shall not be

thrown down. The disciples apparently received these words in stunned silence but their thoughts were

sobering. The temple was carved out of huge stones some of them weighing several hundred tons. They


were carved out of a stone quarry that lie beneath Jerusalem. These stones could only be moved through

deliberate force. The temple was leveled only 40 years later in A.D. 70, only 6 years after the temple was

completely finished in A.D. 64. When Roman soldiers deliberately and systematically destroyed it.

D. The Disciples Three Questions [24:3]

As they walked to the Mount of Olives the disciples were pondering these questions; when shall these

things be? What shall be the sign of thy coming? And of the end of the world? When Christ sat on the

Mount of Olives then the disciples came and asked these questions. The disciples had in mind at that time

the destruction of Solomon’s temple in 586B.C. which preceded the time of the seventy years of Babylonian

captivity. How did the time of the temple’s future destruction relate to the promise of the coming kingdom

and their hope that Christ would reign over the nation of Israel? The discourse that follows depends for its

interpretation on the question of whether these prophecies should be interpreted literally.

Premillennialists believe that this prophecy will lead up to and climax in the Second Coming of Christ to

set up His millennial kingdom on the earth. Those who believe that the rapture of the church occurs before

the time of trouble at the end of the age usually do not believe that the rapture is in view during the Olivet

Discourse. The instructor does not believe that the rapture is discussed here but rather that the first place the

rapture is discussed by Jesus is in the Gospel of John 14:1-3 and this takes place after the Olivet Discourse

at the last supper. The period climaxing in the Second Coming of Christ according to premillennialists

begins with the rapture of the church and is followed by the rapid rise of the antichrist who makes a seven

year covenant with Israel. The Olivet Discourse is in some sense a summation of the same period described

throughout Revelation 6-19. Interestingly the disciples did not in [24:3] ask Jesus one question; now they

believed they asked Jesus one question here’s why. They thought no doubt Lord when the temple is

decimated that is the end of the world, right? Wrong. Three questions; #1 when shall these things be?

#2 what shall be the sign of thy coming? #3 what shall be the sign of the end of the world?

Matthew’s gospel does not answer the first question which relates to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70,

this is given greater detail in Luke 21. While Matthew and Mark answer the second and third questions

which actually refer to Christ coming and the end of the age as one and the same event. Matthew’s account

of the Olivet Discourse records that portion of Christ’s answer that relates to His future kingdom and how it

will be ushered in which is one of the major purposes of Matthew’s gospel.

 

 

E. The Two-Fold Fulfillment Of Matthew 24:4-14

In the predictions that Christ made in this chapter He accurately portrayed the progress in the present age in

verses 4-14 He predicted at least nine distinctive features. All of these situations have been fulfilled in history.

In spite of advances in many areas the world still suffers from these features because all of these events listed

here are taking place now. That is why we say that this is a two-fold fulfillment of these verses. But the will

increase exponentially especially during the last three years of the Great Tribulation. It is important to note that

the rapture of the church and the end of the church age is not mentioned in this prophecy. Matthew’s gospel is

not discussing the church age as such, but the whole inter-advent age from the First Coming to the Second

Coming and therefore deals with the Great Tribulation at the end of this present age.

1. Nine distinctive features in general.

a] False Christ’s

If you read Josephus, he mentions that false christ’s were one of the reasons for the explosion

against Rome that led to Jerusalem’s destruction. Consistently new people would come up and

claim they were the christ. One of these was named Barcochba and each these men would say I

am the Messiah and immediately people would follow them. I John 2:18 points out that there are

many false christ’s.


b] Wars and rumors of wars

Seven large scale wars have been fought in the last thirty years: Viet Nam, the Falklands, Lebanese,

Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf and the Bosnian wars, and the largest of these was the 1991 gulf war

until the year 2003 when we went to war with Iraq. In the past several decades literally dozens of

wars have been fought. At this moment in nations scattered throughout the world there are at least 20

armed conflicts taking place. In the twentieth century alone we have seen over 200 major armed

conflicts. The world annually spends one trillion dollars a year on war. Wars are on the rise.

c] Famines

In Afghanistan there are up to 12 million people who are on the verge of starvation right now. In

Kenya, Africa 2 million four hundred and four thousand three hundred and ninety people are in

danger of dying because of famine. In Tanzania 32 districts are facing food shortages. In Uganda

extensive food shortages abound because of climate conditions. In Afghanistan the worst drought in

30 years has left hundreds of thousands of desperately poor people begging for food. It is estimated

that if nothing is done 1.6 million Afghanistan’s will die shortly. According to the world food

program there are 7.9 million people in Korea that are facing starvation due to adverse climatic

effects. These are just a few examples of famine world-wide.

d] Pestilences

In May of 2000 one of the United States top intelligence agencies named aids as a national security

threat. The aids virus threatens the political stability of the world especially in lesser developed

regions. Revolutionary wars, ethnic wars, genocide, and disruptive regime transitions are some of the

political and social consequences that can be expected from the spreading aids epidemic. Aids is the

worst infectious catastrophe since the bubonic plague. Aids in sub-Sahara, Africa is of biblical

proportions. This is just one example of how pestilence is increasing.

e] Earthquakes

From 1900-1969, there were 48 earthquakes worldwide of at least 6.5 magnitude on the Richter

Scale. From 1970-1989 there were 33 and from 1990-1995 there were over 150. So earthquakes are

increasing exponentially.

f] Many martyrs [vv. 8-10]

Foxes New Book of Martyrs teaches us that in the twentieth century alone there were more martyrs

that died for Christ than the first four centuries of the church combined.

g] False prophets

I John 4:1-3 - there are many false prophets in the world. Now remember that a prophet had two roles

not only to tell the foretell the future which was a minor role but to forth tell to preach.

h] Increased wickedness and love growing cold

The idea of increased wickedness is the intensity of sin and the viciousness, the malignancy of sin

growing exponentially throughout the world. The sins themselves are becoming more heinous. The

love of many growing cold literally means a cold wind that chills you to the bone. It means that

spiritual energy will be chilled by a poisonous wind. The closer we get to the Second Coming of Christ the more that mutual love will give way to mutual hatred and suspicion.

i] World-wide preaching of the gospel of the kingdom

We are having an opportunity to preach the gospel in countries where we never had the opportunity

to before such as Russia and China. Conservative estimate put the number of Christians in China at

over 60 million people.

2. Future tribulation fulfillment of these prophecies in a more specific way

V. 8 beginning of sorrows, refers to the commencement of 7 years of tribulation. Specifically the 7 seals,

7 trumpets and 7 vials [Rev. 6-16]

 


3. Matthew 24:13

This statement is best interpreted as physical deliverance and it predicts that those who are still alive

at the Second Coming of Christ will have demonstrated their faith by standing with Christ through that

period and will be delivered by Jesus or saved in the sense that they will be delivered from their

persecutors. This verse does not have any bearing on the matter of eternal security but it refers to

physical, not spiritual deliverance of the righteous at the end of the tribulation period. This is not

 referring to spiritual salvation but to Jews who will continue to hang on during the tribulation

and have not taken the mark of the beast, but have remained steadfast to the Messiah [cf. Rom. 11:26]

Dr. Ironside writes concerning Matthew 24:13, “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world and this is the victory that overcometh the world even our faith [I Jn. 5:4] He who makes a profession of faith in Christ and then in the hour of testing repudiates it and goes back like a dog to its vomit or a sow to who washed to wallowing in the mire [II Peter 2:20-22] gives evidence that he was never born of the Word or the Spirit of God. Had such a one been a sheep belonging to the Good Shepherd he never would have been attracted to the hog wallow.”

4. Matthew 24:14

This begins with the 144,000 of Revelation 7:4-8. Hal Lindsey calls them the “144,000 Jewish Billy

Grahams.” We are seeing partial fulfillment of this now but the final fulfillment of this begins in

Revelation 7:4-8.

 

F. The Abomination Of Desolation And Signs Of the Great Tribulation

This portion of the Olivet Discourse is crucial to understanding what Jesus reveals about the end of the age.

The tendency to explain away this section or even ignore this section constitutes the major difficulty in the

interpretation of the Olivet Discourse. In the background is the tendency of liberal theologians to discount

prophecy and the practice of some conservatives of not giving this a literal interpretation. If this prediction

means what it says it is referring to a specific time of great trouble which immediately precedes the Second

Coming of Christ as outlined Revelation 19. As such the prediction of the Great Tribulation, which is also

known as the time of Jacob’s trouble is the sign of the Second Coming. And those who see the sign will be

living in the generation which will see the Second coming itself. Accordingly the interpretation of G. Campbell

Morgan which relates this to the fall of the city of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and the view of Alfred Plumber which

relates to the Second Coming of Christ as fulfilled in the first century are unjustified interpretations if the

passage is to be taken seriously and literally. The very fact that the Book of Revelation which practically all

expositors date after the destruction of Jerusalem dated [AD 96-98] coincides so exactly with the presentation it

makes it clear that Christ was not talking here about fulfillment in the first century. But prophecy to be related

to His actual physical Second Coming in the future. The conclusion is clear and certain in verse 15 our Lord

alludes to that part of Daniel which is yet future, not to that part of history which was spoken about on the

Mount of Olives. The sign of the future tribulation is identified with what Christ calls the abomination of

desolation [v. 15]. This event this seeing of the abomination of desolation, this visible physical sign is so

specific that the Jews should receive it as a signal that it is time to flee to the mountains. Now exactly what did

Christ mean when He said the abomination of desolation? We know that this term is found three times

specifically in Daniel 9:27;11:31;12:11. The definition of this sign is found in Daniel 11:31. In the prophecy

written by Daniel concerning the Syrian ruler Antiochus Epiphanes IV he wrote that they would take away the

daily sacrifice. This was fulfilled to a degree in part already. It is comparatively easy to understand what Daniel

meant, Antiochus Epiphanes was a persecutor of the Jews as recorded in the apocryphal books of I-II

Maccabees. In attempting to stamp out the Jewish religion he murdered thousands of Jews and he desecrated

the Temple which precipitated the Maccabean revolt led by Judas Maccabee. Antiochus in attempting to stop

the Temple sacrifices offered a sow an unclean animal on the altar and spread the blood of this sow on the altar

in Jerusalem according to I Maccabees 1:48; 57.

Anitochus IV promoted the Greek institutions and tried to insert them into the lives of the Israelites. He brought


a lot of Greek institutions many of them were abominable to the city of Jerusalem. One of them specifically

was the gymnasium where athletes performed completely naked. He also substituted new laws for the Torah.

And history tells us that he changed the order of worship at the Jewish Temple. See notes on Daniel 7. Now

Jewish sources described what the abomination of desolation was, some people believe that the abomination

of desolation was when he sacrificed the sow on the altar. But to be more accurate and more historically

correct we believe it was more than that and it actually points us to what the antichrist will do literally. Jewish

sources describe that Antiochus IV erected in the Temple at the altar something known as the Baal altar stone

symbolizing what they call a new order of worship that was established in 167 B.C. It was known as the

abomination of desolation and it involved the worship of a Phoenician deity known as Baal-shamin which

translates from the Phoenician as lord of the heavens. Now in Hebrew this Baal-shamin was known as

Shikutz Meshomem it means a detested thing causing abomination or desolation. So what will be the

abomination of desolation that Jesus Christ is referring to that will be equivalent to that? We believe based

upon a literal interpretation of the scriptures [Rev. 13:13-15] and a full understanding that what Daniel is

dealing with in [Dan. 7:25] and other scriptures that deal with the abomination of desolation which is a

double reference prophecy dealing with the Baal-shamin that was set up in the altar in the second century BC

and based upon the fact that was already history and therefore Christ could not be talking about that. That what

Christ was talking about is the future abomination of desolation which will be the image of the beast. We

believe based upon literal interpretation that the future abomination of desolation which will be set up in the

Temple will be the image of the beast. The future abomination of desolation described in Daniel 9:27 shall

confirm the covenant with Israel for 7 years. In the midst of that week he shall cause the sacrifice and the

oblation and for the overspreading of abominations shall make desolate. In other words he is going to come for

the first three and half years and allow the Jews to offer sacrifices. Then in the middle of 7 year period he will

force the animal sacrifices to cease and he will set something else up in the temple that will be visible that the

Jews must worship and this is the image of the beast [Rev. 13:13-15] Further light is cast on this in [Dan.

12:11]. 

These predictions have raised questions concerning the meaning of Israel’s present occupation of the city of

Jerusalem. If in fact sacrifices are to be stopped in a Jewish Temple it requires first of all that a Jewish Temple

will be built and second that sacrifices will be re-instituted. This has led to the conclusion that the present

possession of Israel of the Temple site since 1967 may be a divinely ordered preparation that in God’s time the

Temple will be rebuilt and sacrifices will be re-instituted. Although this is difficult to understand in view of the

fact that the Dome of the Rock the third holiest place in Islam is right on the site of the ancient Temple and

hinders any present erection of a third temple many believe that such a temple will be rebuilt so that these

prophecies can and will be literally fulfilled. Upon this revival of their sacrificial system such a future temple is

suddenly desecrated by the antichrist placing an image of himself in it, it would constitute a sign to the nation

of Israel that the beginning of the Great Tribualtion or the time known in the OT as the time of Jacob’s trouble

has begun and they are to flee to the mountains. The sign is so specific that Christ told the children of Israel

don’t even hesitate when this happens just flee. The Great Tribulation accordingly is a specific period of time

beginning with the abomination of desolation and ending with the Second Coming of Christ. In the light of

Daniel’s prophecies and confirmed by Revelation 11:2; 13:5, the Great Tribulation is a specific three and one

half period of time leading up to and concluding with the Second Coming of Christ with the saints to the earth

to establish the Millennial Reign. Jesus also predicted that the period would be shortened in v. 22, literally

terminated or cut off. That does not mean that period will be less than three and one half years but that it will

be terminated suddenly. And how will it be terminated suddenly? It will stop suddenly when Christ leading the

armies of heaven comes in and stops all of that persecution. Because the Great Tribulation is unprecedented in

history and consists largely of judgments of God on an unbelieving world many have concluded that the church

will not go through the Tribulation. If the church must endure the Great Tribulation the chances of survival are

quite remote. Our hope is not in the horrors of the Tribulation but in the blessed expectation of Christ coming


for His own in the rapture [I Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; I Cor. 15]. Last three and half years of the tribulation

period [24:15-28] (Walvoord pp. 185-189) One who believes the prophetic scripture has no difficulty

identifying the Second Coming of Christ simply because it will be a public event. That’s why Christ says what

He does in [v. 26] Unlike the Rapture of the church which apparently the world will not see or hear, the Second

Coming of Christ will be witnessed by both believers and unbelievers who are on the earth at that time.

1. Verse 27 [Rev. 19:11-21]

Apparently the heavens will be ablaze with the glory of God. Literally according to Revelation 1:7

every eye shall see Him. And this is supported by verse 28.

2. Verse 28 [Ironside p. 186]

Walvoord interprets [v. 28] the meaning is that the glorious coming of Christ is the natural sequence to

blasphemy and unbelief which characterizes the preceding period. Just as when an animal dies the

vultures gather so when there is moral corruption there must be divine judgment. Ironside says

concerning this verse as the Great Tribulation moves on to its culmination apostate Judaism centering

in Jerusalem will be as a putrid carcase against which the eagles or the vultures will be gathered together

This is a vivid picture of the armies of all nations gathering against Jerusalem to battle as foretold in

Zechariah 14 and in other scriptures.

G. The Second Coming Of Christ [24:29-31]

Joel 2:10-11 - The Second Coming will take place at the very time when it seem as if satan’s triumph is

complete immediately after the tribulation of those days, then is the sign of the Son of Man. The irony of

v. 30 is that the Jews repeatedly asked Jesus for a physical manifestation/sign that He was the Son of God.

And Jesus tells them here you will get a sign the Sign of the Son of Man in heaven ending the Great

Tribulation.

H. Parable of The Fig Tree [24:32-35]

The two conservative views of the fig tree. In these verses Jesus is answering the questions of the disciples

asked earlier in the chapter, what shall be the sign? The first theory says that the fig tree is the well known

symbol of the tribe of Judah and for many centuries the scattered Israelites once claimed by God has His

covenant people had no country. But since 1947 they are returning to Palestine in increasing numbers and

once more indulging in the sense of being a distinct sovereign nation. Thus the fig tree, Israel is putting

forth its green leaves or is blossoming because Jews are returning there. Thereby proclaiming the near return

of Christ who is yet to be acknowledged as their Messiah and King. At present they are going back in

unbelief as the scriptures indicate they would. But it is after many return to the land that the nation will be

regenerated. If the new life displayed in the fig tree heralds the approach of the day of Israel’s blessing then

says Ironside how near must be the very hour of the churches rapture?

The second theory says that Christ was using a natural illustration in the fig tree, because a natural fig tree

brings forth new leaves late in the spring the budding of the leaves is evidence that summer is near. Just as

Jesus is near in a similar way when those living in the Great Tribulation see the signs predicted they will

know that the Second Coming of Christ is near. The signs in this passage are not necessarily the revival of

Israel but the Great Tribulation itself. Israel’s presence in the Holy Land is dramatic evidence that the age is

approaching its end may be supported by other passages but not by Matthew 24:33. Instructor believes that

the answer lies somewhere in between these two views.

Walvoord’s take on the meaning of the word generation as found in Matthew 24:34; Opinion #1 they refer

generation to the nation Israel. The meaning then would be that Israel would continue as a nation until the

Second Coming of Christ. #2 some take generation to speak of an indefinite period of time. For instance

they offer the possibility that generation means a nation or a race or a period of time. And accordingly take

it as instructing the disciples that the age leading up to the Second Coming will not end until the event of


the Second Coming [Rev. 19]. #3 view is that the word the generation means what it normally means a

      period of between 30-100 years and refers to a particular generation that will see the signs of the Great

      Tribulation, in other words the same generation will also witness the Second Coming of Christ. In any

case Christ points out that while prophesy is absolutely certain of fulfillment the day of the Second Coming

is not revealed although the approximate time will be known by those living in the Great Tribulation.

I. The Time Of Christ’s Return [24:36-51]

[vv. 36-41] to illustrate the approximate time of the Second Coming Jesus used the historic flood in the

days of Noah. While those observing Noah building the Ark could anticipate that a flood was impending it

was obvious that the flood could not come until the Ark was completed. [Gen. 6:1-3] leads us to believe

that Noah was building the Ark for a 120 years. That’s interesting because 120 is three times 40 and a

generation we said was 40 years and the number 40 in biblical numerology is known as the number of

testing. So we see three generations passed before the Lord with Noah building the Ark and still there is no

change in the heart of man. Just like it was obvious that the flood could not come until the Ark was

completed and while it was being completed people had opportunity to repent so will it also be with the

Second Coming of Christ people will have an opportunity to repent before the great and terrible day of the

Lord. But unlike the rapture which has no preceding signs and therefore can occur at any time the Second

Coming of Christ cannot occur until the preceding signs in Matthew 24 have been literally fulfilled. When

the Ark was completed and I Peter says there were 8 souls and the animals were in it those observing could

anticipate the predicted flood could occur at any day but even then as they saw it completed they could not

predict the day when it would begin to rain. So like the days of Noah the time of the Second Coming will be

a period of judgment for the earth just as the flood came and took them all away. Referring to judgment of

believers so it is at the Second Coming. This is important some will be taken away [Matt. 24:40-41] two

verses that confuse a lot of people. At the rapture believers will be taken out of the world and because of

that some believe that is the rapture. We are not talking about the rapture here. What we are talking about

here is a reversed situation. Not a reversed rapture. The one who was left was left to enter the kingdom. The

one who was taken is killed or taken in judgment see [Rev.] this is in keeping with the illustration of the

days of Noah where the ones taken away were the unbelievers. The ones left were the ones that were saved.

In fact the words shall be taken in [vv. 40-41] are the same words found in John 19:16, the same words used

of Christ taken away to the judgment of the cross are the same words used in Matthew 24:40-41. This

refers to judgment. Accordingly no one knows the day, no one knows the hour but they can know that when

the Second Coming occurs it will be a time of separation of the saved from the unsaved.

[vv. 42-51] emphasizing the necessity of watchfulness for the Lord’s return Jesus uses the illustration of the

goodman of the house who anticipating the possibility that a thief would come at a particular time kept

careful watch. Just as one can not know exactly when a thief may come so the servants of God in the Great

Tribulation should expect Christ to come at any moment. See [I Thess. 5:1-3]. In addition to watchfulness

careful service and preparation should be made. This is illustrated in the parable of the servant in [v. 45].

Having been left in charge of the Master’s house in the absence of the master [Jesus] the servant was

challenged to do his duty well and not to live carelessly. Thinking that the Lord would not be coming soon

he was careless. The careless servant will be severely judged as an unbeliever in contrast to the good servant

who will be rewarded by the Lord. An unfaithful slave could be put to death or punished severely and so

will Christ judge a wicked world that does not look for His return. While these illustrations have as their

primary interpretation the situation immediately preceding the Second Coming of Christ there are some

parallels not expository parallels, but illustrative parallels to people living in expectation today of the

Rapture. Believers today need to be faithful. To be recognizing the signs of the times and therefore be ready

for the Lord’s return. [I Jn. 2:18] Calvin says it behooves us to comfort ourselves at this day and to see by

faith the near advent of Christ. Nothing now more remained but that Christ should appear for the

redemption of the world.


[v. 42] - Jesus says watch therefore; in the Greek it means to literally keep awake. Now this warning is

given specifically to those people who are going through the Tribulation period. Because of the uncertainty

of the Second Coming and because Jesus is trying to enforce the point of the Second Coming. He gives six

parables that enforce the exhortation that people in the tribulation should watch and pay attention for the

Second Coming.

1. Parable of the Porter - {Mark 13:34-37]         4. Parable of the Virgins

2. Parable of the Master of the House                5. Parable of the Talents

3. Parable of the faithful and evil servants         6. Parable of the Sheep and Goats

The church is already raptured and He is making this point that people in the tribulation that missed the

rapture and remember these people missed the rapture, and by this point in time they are near the end of the

Tribulation period and they missed the rapture and He is telling them you better get ready for the Second

Coming of Christ. Titus 2:13 Paul is telling the church look for the rapture and he is telling those who

missed the rapture to look for the Second Coming.

 

XXVI. JUDGMENTS AT THE END OF THE AGE [25:1-46]

J. Parable of the Ten Virgins

[Walvoord pp. 196-197] Though this points to people not being ready for the second coming at the end of

the tribulation, it can generally be applied to the rapture. This illustration by Jesus is to further drive home

the point of watchfulness and readiness. An oriental wedding had three stages. First there was the legal

marriage arranged by the parents of the bridegroom and the bride. Second there was the traditional

ceremony when the bridegroom with his friends would proceed to the home of the bride and then claim the

bride as his own. Third there was the marriage feast held at the home of the bridegroom. This illustration

presumes that the legal marriage had already taken place. That can be reasonably identified with the

marriage of Christ and the church which was consummated at the rapture. When Christ returns at His

Second Coming He will bring His bride with Him [Rev. 19] The five virgins who bring oil in their vessels

illustrate those who are ready for His return. These are people who have gone through the tribulation and

gotten saved. The five foolish virgins who although outwardly are prepared are not really ready. The reason

they are not really ready is they have not really received Christ as their Savior. It is pretty safe to say that the

oil represents the Holy Spirit and His work in salvation [Acts 2:38] So when Christ comes to earth with His

bride only those prepared by the new birth will enter into the wedding feast. Which seems to be fulfilled in

the millennium or at least in the first portion of the millennium. Preparation should be made prior to the

Second Coming of Christ because when Christ come it will be too late. What is true of the second coming is

of course logically true of the rapture. We need to be prepared for the rapture and this passage reminds us

that apart from the work of the Holy Spirit symbolized by the oil no one is ready for the coming of the Lord.

K. Parable of the Talents [25:14-30]

First thing we need to understand here is the value of which Jesus is speaking about. A talent was not a

small amount of money. Even the man with one talent was entrusted with it. A talent varied greatly

depending on whether it was silver or gold. It could weigh anywhere from 58-100 pounds. A silver talent

could be worth as much as $2000. So the man with the one talent had at the very minimum in his hand

$2000. If it was a gold talent it could be worth as much as $30,000. When taking into consideration that a

man’s wage in the first century was equivalent to about 16 cents a day the purchasing power of the amount

of money that was held even by the man with one talent was phenomenal. At maximum the five talent man

could have received as much as $150,000 a fortune which would be worth millions today in purchasing

power. As we study this parable we need to be careful to distinguish between reward given for service by

Jesus and salvation by grace alone. Anyone who trusts in Jesus is saved and this completely apart from any

works of human merit. But all who profess Christ as Savior are responsible to serve Him. To use whatever


gift or ability to glorify and for His work. Now there are those who profess to be servants who are not

even born of the Spirit. But God holds men accountable for what they profess, it is therefore incumbent

on all believe His Word to serve Him whole heartedly in view of the day when every one of us will give

an account before the Bemus Seat of Christ. In that hour no one will regret having been too much concerned

about living for Christ, but many will cry over the hours spent in selfishness and folly that they might have

more wisely used for the King’s glory. The Lord will reward all work that is done in accordance with His

Word. See I Corinthians 3:13-14. As we use the gifts that God has given us God will allow those gifts to

expand so that we become more usable and reach more people for the kingdom. [I Cor. 12:31]

This parable refers to Christ who has gone to a far country and left His gifts with his servants who are to act

for Him as representatives to the world until He returns. Every man according to his ability. Every one has

talents that they are to use for the Lord and His kingdom. [I Cor. 4:2] Two invested and did well. The third

servant thought he had so little as compared with the other two that he felt it was not worth investing or

doing anything with it so he hid it in the earth. Thinking the best he could do was not to squander it, waste it

not to steal it but to just hold it until the master returned. But when the master returned he said he was

unworthy servant. Why? Because he had no vision or true sense of responsibility. The one talent man had

no vision and no sense of responsibility. And so it is with many in the church they have no vision and no

sense of responsibility. They drift in, they drift out with no accountability and no responsibility. The Lord of

servants returns and called each one to account for the use of that which had been committed to them. So it

will be at the judgment seat of Christ when every servant will be called to give an account for whatever gift

whatever talent was entrusted to them [II Cor. 5:9 -11] Every Christian will stand and give an account for

deeds done in the body. We go to render an account for our service not for our sins because that judgment

[John 5:24] is already passed. The man who had gained five and two talents was able to give a joyful

account to His Lord. We are held accountable for what we have and not for what we do not have [II Cor.

8:12]. We will be given places of importance in the millennial kingdom based upon how we handle our

talents in this body. The man who received one talent made this statement in Matt. 25:24. This one talent

man seeks to put the blame of his failure to produce upon Christ. This rings a familiar note and we see it in

[Gen. 3:9-12] The man that hid his talent are like people who blame the Lord because of their limited gifts

and they shirk their responsibility to use faithfully what they have. [Luke 12:48] pastors need to take note of

it. The man who had one failed in the very purpose for which the talent was entrusted to him yet he sought

to justify his negligence blaming the master and he supposed the Lord would be satisfied with his excuses.

But the Lord says this thou wicked and slothful servant. It is wicked to be disobedient. It is slothfulness to

fail to act in an energetic matter. The wicked and slothful does not represent a child of God in this case

because he is cast into outer darkness. He represents those who while professing to be Christ’s servants do

not really know Him and have not received Him into their hearts. It is otherwise with those who are

regenerate of them it is written in that day shall ever man have praise of God. This refers to those who will

appear at the judgment seat of Christ where only believers will stand. There are eternal issues hanging on

the right use of the gifts entrusted to us. If nothing else the one talent man should have put the money in the

bank for interest and thus have added something to what he received. He has nothing for which he can be

rewarded and therefore he lost everything. In this case even his profession was taken from him. The basic

problem that the one talent man had was his lack of faith. He wasn’t sure the Lord was coming back.

 

L. The Judgment of the Nations [25:31-46]

This is the third and final section of the Olivet Discourse. In these verses Jesus goes beyond the questions of

the disciples to describe the period following the second coming. Although many expositors agree that this

is a judgment there tends to be disagreement over the nature of the judgment and to its relationship to the

prophetic plan of God’s Word.


Amillennialists who deny a future thousand year reign of Christ believe that this is a general judgment of

all men that ushers in eternity. It is a picture of the judgment of all nations. Postmillennial scholars agree

that it is the judgment of all men. They say things such as we now come to the great and universal

judgment at the end of this period. Also prophesied distinctly in order in Revelation 20:11-15 in which all

the dead both small and great shall stand before God. In other words postmillennial scholars equate the

judgment in Matthew 25 with the Great White Throne judgment. Liberal scholars seem to agree with this.

These commentators correctly hold that this part of Matthew 25 is not a parable such as the preceding

parables but is a literal prophecy that will take place at some future date. A strict careful study of these

verses of scripture does not support the conclusion that this is what amillenialists call a general judgment.

There is no mention of a resurrection of either the righteous or the wicked and the term all nation seems to

exclude Israel. When the term nations is used in scripture it refers to gentile nations. The conclusion that

this is a final judgment is necessary to amillennial theology but is not taught in this passage. Accordingly if

the view that there is a kingdom of Christ on earth for a thousand years after His second advent is supported

by other scriptures this passage fits naturally into such a framework and as such constitutes a judgment of

the living who are on the earth at the time of the second coming of Christ in respect to their entrance into

the millennial kingdom. This judgment therefore should be contrasted to the judgment of Israel [Ezek. 20:

34-38] and the judgment of the wicked [Rev. 20:11-15] the Great White throne judgment. Which comes

after the millennial reign has concluded. This passage more precisely describes the judgment of the world at

the beginning of Christ’s millennial kingdom. This judgment describes the judgment of the world at the

beginning not at the end of the millennial reign. The time of the judgment is stated to be the period

following the second coming of Christ. Notice v. 31, this judgment should be distinguished from the church

in heaven, it should be distinguished from the judgment of the wicked at the end of the millennium and

from the judgment of Israel. At this judgment all nations or better translated all gentiles are gathered before

the Lord and are described as either sheep or goats and they are intermingled. In this judgment the sheep are

put on the right hand the goats on the left. In this judgment the sheep are invited into the kingdom of Christ.

When the sheep reply when did we do these things in [vv. 37-39]. Jesus says [v. 40]. When Jesus uses the

term my brethren He is referring to a third group of individuals found in this prophecy. Here is who is in the

prophecy the sheep who are going to inherit eternal life; the goats who are going to inherit eternal

damnation; and my brethren. Who are the my brethren? They can’t be identified with the gentiles because

that is divided up between the sheep and the goats. The only remaining people that it could be referring to is

the nation of Israel. The king then addresses the goats and dismisses them into everlasting fire. This

judgment fits naturally and logically into God’s prophetic program as outlined only by the premillennial

view of the end times. The throne is an earthly throne fulfilling the prediction of Jeremiah 23:5. Those who

are judged are the gentiles and the Greek word is ethnie and it always refers to Gentiles or non-Jews. If the

evidence sustains the conclusion that this applies to the Gentiles living on the earth at the time of the second

coming of Christ or at the beginning of the millennial reign a problem is introduced by the nature of the

judgment. How can deeds such as giving a drink, clothing or feeding someone be the basis for salvation?

Doesn’t this go against what God says in Ephesians 2:8-9? Salvation is by faith alone Romans 3:10-12, 21,

28. The answer to this problem is not difficult because works are presented in Matthew 25 not as the ground

work of salvation but as evidence that salvation has truly occurred in an individual. James speaks of this

2:26. While this solves the problem in part the question still remains whether such deeds of kindness are

sufficient to demonstrate a salvation experience. The answer to this problem is found in the text. Those

described are people who have lived through the tribulation. During the last half of the tribulation period

the Book of Jeremiah says that it will be the time of Jacob’s trouble. This will be an unparallel outpouring

of an anti-semitism against the Jews. A majority of the Jews will be killed. Under these circumstances

while these Jews are being murdered in wholesale fashion if a Gentile befriends a Jew to the extent of

feeding, clothing and visiting him it could only mean that Gentile was saved. Remember this is during the


tribulation period the Christians are already off the earth so these are people [Gentiles] that got saved

after the church was raptured. Their hearts were changed and they did not accept the mark of the beast.

Now because Christ was living in their hearts they reach out to the Jews to feed, comfort and tend to them.

Accordingly because of these works toward the Jews becomes a distinct form of evidence that the Gentiles

described as the sheep are those who are children of God by faith in Christ. No adults who are not converted

will be allowed to enter the millennial kingdom.

M. The Judgments of the Nations [25:31-46]

Before we survey the various judgments, we must begin with the fact that in Christ our sins were judged

once and for all [Is. 53:4-6; John 1:29; II Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; Heb. 10:10-14; I Peter 2:24; I John 2:2]. We

will now concern ourselves with the seven future judgments.

1. The judgment of believers [the Bema seat of Christ]

When the Lord returns He will judged believers for their works [Rom. 14:10; I Cor. 3:11-15; 4:5; II Cor.

5:10] Every one will be asked what he has done with his talents and opportunities. The judgment day will

declare whether a man has built on wood, hay, straw, silver or precious stones [I Cor. 3:12] If he has built

on wood, hay, straw his works will be burned up yet he will be saved yet so as by fire [I Cor. 3:15] In other

words if you’re a Christian and you are not using your gifts you are going to get saved but you are going to

cut it close. If the works are silver, gold and precious stones they will receive a reward. The scriptures speak

of the crowns we will receive.

2. The judgments of Israel

In a peculiar sense the tribulation will be a time of Jacob’s trouble yet Israel will be saved from it {Jer.

30:7}. Only the remnant of the Jews will be spared. But it appears that there will be a further judgment

issuing from God Himself in connection with this re-gathering. Ezekiel speaks of this judgment and he

describes it as a purging out of the rebels on their way back to the Holy Land. They will be brought out of

the land of their sojourn but they will perish in the wilderness and not enter the land of promise [Ez. 20:33-

38] Malachi seems to have this same judgment in mind [3:2-5]. These judgments are on the earth and take

place in connection with the Lord’s return. They decide the question as to wich of the Israelites will be

admitted back into the Holy Land and will constitute the Israel of the millennial reign.

 

3. The judgments of Babylon

Revelation 17:4 refers to the woman who rides the beast or the antichrist and this portrays that the

ecclesiastical system at least for a time during the tribulation will dominate the political system. However

the ten horns which come out of the revived Roman empire which are ten kings will turn and eventually

hate the woman and will make her desolate and eventually destroy her. Then the beast will advance himself

to a place of supreme religious authority; this is where he declares himself to be God in the temple. There

seems to be a definite coalition between the religious and commercial unions as well when Babylon as a

religious system is destroyed she will raise up her head in a great world-wide commercial organization.

However this prosperity will be short-lived for in one day the Lord will completely judge and destroy her.

The merchants of the earth will bewail her destruction but the angels of heaven will sing hallelujah when

she is overthrown. Her judgment, the judgment of Babylon takes place before the Lord’s return to earth.

[Rev. 19:2, 11-21] Her judgment will be with eternal punishment.

4. The judgment of the beast, false prophet and their armies

The evil spirits that are emanating from the dragon who is satan and from the beast and false prophet will

near the end of the tribulation go forth and gather the nations from the earth for the battle of the great day of

God [Rev. 16:12-16] Ostensibly they will gather to capture Jerusalem and Judaism in Palestine and this is

prophesied in the OT in the Book of Zechariah 12:1-9; 13:8-14:2, but just when victory seems assured for

Satan and his false prophets the Lord will descend from heaven with His armies of which you and I will be


a part of [Rev. 19:11-16] and He will intervene on behalf of Israel and then these great hordes of evil

men and demons will turn to fight the Son of God but the conflict will be short and decisive. The beast and

false prophet will not be killed right there but rather they will be thrown body, soul, and spirit into the lake

of fire [Rev. 19:19 & following] Their armies will be slain with the sword that proceeds from Christ’s

mouth [II Thess. 1:7-10, 2:8; Rev. 19:21] and thus the political opposition of the antichrist will be broken

and the way will be opened for the ushering in of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. It needs to be noted

that the judgment of the beast, false prophets and the confederated armies will take place immediately at the

return of Christ to the earth. They will be destroyed prior to Christ establishing the millennial reign. It will

involve only the armies with their leaders who have come out in opposition to Jesus Christ. The issue

dealing with this fourth judgment is the lake of fire and the eternal condemnation that will fall upon the

beast, false prophet and their armies.

5. The judgment of the nations

Is primarily spoken about in Matthew 25:31-46, is prophesied in the OT in the Book of Joel 3:11-17 and we

then must look at II Thessalonians 1:7-10, this judgment precedes the millennium and it must also be

distinguished from the beast, false prophets and their armies judgment. The nations send the armies but the

nations are distinct from them. After Christ has dealt with the armies He will gather together the nations for

judgment. It needs to be noted that the sheep go into the kingdom and the goats go to eternal punishment. It

should also be noted that the treatment of the Lord’s brethren is in connection with this judgment. The

deepest reason for the judgment of the nations lies in the fact that the sheep [those saved during the

tribulation period] have eternal life and those who did not accept Christ during that time do not, thus the

judgment of the nations.

6. The judgment of satan and his angels

During the tribulation satan according to Rev. 12:7-9, 12 will be cast down to the earth, when Christ comes

to the earth satan will be cast into hell for a thousand years [Rev. 20:1-3]. After the thousand years of

perfect peace is concluded satan will be loosed for a little season [just short of three months] he will go

forth once again to deceive the nations of the earth and he will succeed in gathering together a great

multitude to war against the camp of the saints and against the city of Jerusalem [Rev. 20:7-9]. It is highly

likely that at this time the fallen angels will be judged [II Peter 2:4; Jude 6]

7. The Great White Throne Judgment

Is the judgment of the unsaved dead [Rev. 20:11-15]. At the end of the millennium the second resurrection

takes place [Rev. 20:5]. A blessing is pronounced upon those who have a part in the first resurrection but

not on those who have a part in the second resurrection. It is implied that what is about to happen to them

will not be pleasant. They are the unsaved of all past history and they will arise and all will stand guilty and

all will be cast into the lake of fire and cast into eternal doom.

N. The Misconception That There Is Only One Future Judgment Is Founded Upon:

1. Improper study of systematic theology that is students do not take the time to understand that there is more

    then one judgment in scripture and they need to search that thing out.

2. The four creeds of organized religion - [Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, Creed of Constantinople and the

    Creed of Chalcedon]

A brief working definition of a creed is a brief authoritative formal statements of religious beliefs. The word

creed comes from the Latin word credo and this word means I believe and this was taken from the first two

words of the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed.

Apostles Creed:

This is the most well known creed and lies at the basis of most religious statements of belief in

 protestantismNote the clause that He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. It is indicative that

Roman Catholicism teaches only one judgment and they pick this up from the apostles creed.

 


Nicene Creed:

This creed was adopted by the Roman Catholic council and it was known as the First Council of Nicea in

A.D. 325. Note the clause again He cometh to judge the quick and the dead. For from this the idea is taken

that there is only one judgment.

Creed of Constantinople:

There are two things that we can pick out here. Again the phrase He cometh with glory to judge the quick

and the dead. Teaches that there is only one judgment.  The last cause of this creed states that we look for

the resurrection of the dead. Now in the Roman Catholic church that is known as the general resurrection.

Roman Catholics are either amillennial or anti-millennial in their theology and they also do not believe in

pretribulational rapture of the church. In fact in their formal teachings they do not recognize a rapture of any

kind.

Creed of Chalcedon:

This is the only Roman Catholic creed that does not teach that there will be a judgment.

 

 

XXVII. JESUS FACES THE CROSS [26:1-75]

A. The 5th And Final Announcement Of Jesus’ Coming Death [26:1-5]

The time was rapidly approaching when Jesus was to die for the sins of the world. All the events had been

seen from eternity and Jesus had come to earth for the express purpose to give His life as a ransom for many

His soul was deeply moved Jesus had completed His last public discourse and the shadow of the cross was

coming across His spirit as He spoke of the coming feast of the Passover. After which He was to be

betrayed and finally crucified. He alone knew the meaning of the Passover because He alone was the

anti-typical Passover lamb whose blood was to provide a shelter from the judgment of God to all who

would put their trust in Him. Meanwhile the chief priests, scribes, and elders were clandestinely meeting

in the house of Caiaphas the High Priest. There they plotted how best and with the greatest safety to

themselves they might get Jesus into their power in order to murder Him. In their zealousness for the

Jewish religion which they felt was threatened by Christ teaching they were willing to go to any lengths to

get Christ out of the way provided the course of action did not embroil them in a conflict with the common

people. The leaders considered it best not to try and take Jesus on the approaching feast day as they would

most certainly provoke an uprising against them.

B. Jesus Is Anointed By Mary For Burial [26:6-13]

During the last days before the crucifixion Jesus stayed in Bethany on the eastern slope of the Mount of

Olives, probably residing in the house of Lazarus with his sisters Martha and Mary. This incident took

place in the home of Simon the leper. In any event, Lazarus, Martha, and Mary were there. John plainly

states that they were there and it was Mary who anointed the feet of Jesus [John 12:1-3]. Matthew and

     Mark do not give the exact date and apparently are not reciting events in their strict chronological order.

     However, John specifies the event took place six days before the Passover. If the Passover was on Friday

then it is very possible that this supper took place on the Saturday evening after the Sabbath had ended.

The whole chronology of the week leading up to the final crucifixion day is debatable. Some scholars

will put the crucifixion on Wednesday not on Friday which we assume here. As they were reclining about

this table Mary took an expensive box of precious ointment; John’s gospel describes it as a pound of

spikenard [John 12:3] and anointed Jesus. The fragrant perfume permeated the house. This act of devotion

coming from Mary who had sat at Jesus’s feet and perhaps more nearly than any other really understood

that Jesus was going to die aroused criticism from the disciples. John mentions specifically that it was

Judas Iscariot that spoke up and asked why it hadn’t been sold for three hundred denari and proceeds

given to the poor [John 12:4-5]. John observes that Judas said this not because of concern for the poor but


because he was the treasurer and he liked to dip into the till. Jesus however, perceiving the genuineness of 

Mary’s devotion for Him rebuked the disciples and said why trouble ye the woman for she hath wrought a

good work upon Me. He went on to say that they would have the poor with them always and that Mary had

done this by way of preparing His body for burial. Actually it was prophetic here He predicted that

wheresoever this gospel should be preached in the whole world there shall this also be told what this woman

hath done as a memorial for her. The loving and sacrificial act of Mary has many connotations, while the

disciples were slow to accept the repeated prophecies of His upcoming passion and death, Mary seemed to

have already comprehended it at least in part. Although she was not as active as the disciples, nor was she in

a place of leadership and though she did not serve as Martha had done, sitting at the feet of Jesus had given

her insight into the spiritual things which many had never seen. The precious ointment had been a treasure

held in her family for some time and the reckless abandon which she dedicated it to the anointing of Jesus

was not a senseless extravagance but an act of supreme devotion. By the way when it is indicated that the

ointment could have been sold for three hundred denari, one denari was the average day’s wage of the

common laborer in Palestine in the first century. Therefore what Mary took probably less than five minutes

to do with the ointment was almost a year’s salary. A good sermon: Devoting God’s Treasures to the Lord.

C. Judas Seeks An Opportunity To Betray Jesus [26:14-16]

Satan tricked Judas into believing that no matter how things developed, he would be a winner. When Judas

went to the High Priest Jesus had already cleansed the temple as He had done it on Monday morning. And

they were eager to find some way that they could legally lay their hands on Him. However, in private

nothing is said how they bargained back and forth as is normal eastern custom even to this day. The price

that Judas sold out Jesus was not high. Let’s put it into perspective, we said that Mary anointed Jesus with a

pound of spikenard costing three hundred denari almost a year’s wages. Judas sold out the Son of God for

30 pieces of silver is was worth approximately one hundred twenty denari or four months wages. Judas sold

out Jesus for four months worth of wages. If we put that into perspective today if Judas were to sell out

Jesus today and condemn himself to an eternity in the lake of fire and brimstone for an equivalent of twenty

four American dollars. A very small profit to spend eternity in hell.

1. “I will deliver him unto you”

Common phrase used among Hebrews meaning: “The traitor was mean in style as well as in spirit.”

2. 30 pieces of silver

Value today is approximately $24.00. Ironside calls Judas’ treachery, “A covenant with hell!”

D. The Last Passover [26:17-25]

Matthew gives only a brief account of the celebration of the Last Supper which Jesus celebrated with His

disciples. We see in the parallel accounts in Mark 14, Luke 22, John 13, these passages described the details

of the Passover. Assuming that there were no events recorded for Wednesday and that Friday as is

traditionally understood the two disciples designated to find the place under the instructions that Jesus gave

them according to Luke 22:8 were two of the three inner circle apostles. Peter and John were designated to

go and fine the place. The rest of the disciples were not to know the place until that evening when they

would be led there by Jesus Himself. There is absolutely no explanation why this is kept secret, this was not

normal or customary for the Passover, however it could be that Jesus was concerned for His disciples

because He knew that the chief priests were plotting to kill Him and He wanted to keep them safe from the

chief priests and the Roman soldiers. Accordingly the plan to keep the safe completely secret from Judas

and the rest of the disciples accept Peter and John was necessary to prevent His premature arrest. None of

the accounts indicates the owner of the house though apparently he was someone that knew Jesus and knew

the disciples. Speculation is useless to try and identify this man or to know the location. Matthew records

that when Thursday evening came which after sundown was actually the beginning of Friday Jesus sat down

with the twelve disciples. It means to recline around the table on divines and prop there head up with their

arm. The table was not a straight table but a u-shaped table.


Judging by the conversation between Jesus, John and Peter.  Judas and John, the youngest disciple and the

one whom Jesus loved was on the side of Jesus that’s John. It may be that Judas Iscariot was on the other

and that Peter ambitious for one of these places ended up on the opposite side of the table. In any case Peter

does not seem to be close to Jesus at this point [John 13:24]. The spirit of contest between them as to which

should be the greatest had been going on for about six months and which Jesus had previously rebuked was

obviously again surfacing at the last supper. And was the occasion of the demonstration by Jesus to break

that spirit of trying to be the chief so to speak by washing the disciples feet. [John 15-17] The events in

Matthew, Mark, and Luke are treated topically and not necessarily chronologically. Where John treats these

final events chronologically and not topically. From Matthew’s point of view the important point was the

betrayal of Jesus by Judas. And this is what he introduced immediately into the narrative of the last

Passover. It’s probable that most of the Passover feast was observed before Judas was actually identified by

Jesus. After washing the disciples feet the order of events was probably like this;

1. Jesus gave thanks and they drank from the cup.

2. Bitter herbs were introduced symbolizing bitter bondage in Egypt.

3. Jesus introduced the unleavened bread and the lamb which had been killed and roasted.

4. Jesus ate the bitter herbs and the others would follow suit.

5. Jesus would mix them with wine and water for a second cup which in an ordinary home situation

    would occasion the son asking the meaning of the Passover feast and then the Father explaining.

6. They probably sang the hallel [Psalm 113,114] and then they drank from the cup again.

7. Jesus would ceremonially wash his hands and then take two cakes of bread and went through the

    ceremony of breaking one and laying it on the unbroken one. Blessing the bread. Wrapping the

    broken bread with herbs dipping it in the juices of the roasted lamb or the sop and eating of the meat.

    The rest joined him in eating the food that had been prepared. The Passover was normally celebrated

    by drinking what was known as the third cup and then they would sing Psalm 115-118 and then one

    or more drinks from the cup. The conclusion would be singing from Psalm 120-137. 

It must have been a shock for the disciples to hear Jesus say that one would betray Him. Matthew records

that they were all extremely sorrowful and asked the question is it I? The whole incident must be interpreted

as a gracious attempt on the part of Jesus to make Judas realize his sin and turn from it before it was too

late, but it didn’t happen. Peter motioned to John who was leaning on Jesus’ bosom to ask who it was. John

was informed [John 13:26] he it is to whom I shall give a sop. When He had dipped the sop He gave it to

Judas. Peter and John knew instantly at that point that Judas was the betrayer. Whether this prompted Judas

to ask the question is not revealed, but according to Matthew 26:25 answered and said Master it is I. If

Judas was immediately to one side of Jesus it is possible that the other disciples heard what was said but we

are not told that. The question had apparently risen in Judas’s mind whether Jesus actually knew that he had

plotted against him. Judas was torn between faith and unbelief at this time. But with the cunning of a heart

was desperately wicked he reasoned probably this way. If Jesus is indeed the Messiah his betrayal wouldn’t

be effective because Jesus could call twelve legions of angels. And if He were not the Messiah then He

deserved to be crucified for being an imposter. So with that probable crooked reasoning in his crooked mind

Judas probably figured that no matter what he did in his betrayal of Jesus he couldn’t lose. That’s one bet he

lost.  

E. The Institution Of The Lord’s Supper [26:26-30, I Cor. 11]

1. Three views

a] Transubstantiation: Vatican II pp. 102-104, 109

The Lord’s supper is at the same time and inseparably a sacrifice in which the sacrifice of the cross is

perpetuated. A memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord who said to do this in

remembrance of me. A sacred banquet in which the communion of the blood and body of the Lord,

the people of God share the benefits of the pascal sacrifice, renew the new covenant which God has


made with them once and for all through the blood of Christ and in faith and hope foreshadow and

anticipate the eschatological banquet in the kingdom of the Father proclaiming the Lord’s death

until His coming. Therefore the sacrifice and sacred meal belong to the same mystery so much so

that they are linked by the closest bond. In the sacrifice of the mass are Lord is emulated (and the

meaning of this word means to be literally re-sacrificed again) when He begins to be present

sacramentally has the spiritual food of the faithful under the appearances of bread and wine. The

bread and wine in Roman Catholic theology is called species. It was for this purpose that Christ

entrusted the sacrifice to the church that the faithful might share in it by faith’s charity and

sacramentally through the banquet of the holy communion. Participation in the Lord’s supper is

always a communion with Christ offering Himself for us as a sacrifice to the Father. The celebration

of the Eucharist which takes place at the Mass is the action not only of Christ but also of the church

for in it Christ participates in an un-bloody manner the sacrifice offered on the cross. Offering

Himself to the Father for the world’s salvation through the ministry of priests. The church the spouse

and minister of Christ performs together with Him the role of priest and victim offers Him to the

Father and at the same time makes a total offering of himself together with him. Hence no mass,

indeed no liturgical action is a private action but rather a celebration of the church as a society

composed of the different orders and ministries in which each member acts according to his own

order and role. The celebration of the Eucharist in the sacrifice of the mass is the origin and

consummation of the worship shown to the Eucharist outside the mass. Not only are the sacred

species derived from the mass but they are preserved so that those of the faithful who cannot come to

mass may be united to Christ and the sacrifice celebrated in the mass through sacramental

communion received with the right disposition. In other words, Christ body literally can be carried to

the sick. There should be no doubt in any one’s mind that all the faithful ought to show to the most

holy sacrament the worship which is due to the true God which has always been the custom of the

Catholic church. Nor is it to be adored any less because it was instituted by Christ to be eaten for

even in the reserved sacrament He is to be adored because He is substantially present there through

that conversion bread and wine which as the Council of Trent tells us is mostly aptly named

Transubstantiation.

Transubstantiation means that the bread literally converts into the molecules of the body of Christ and

the wine literally converts into the molecules of the blood of Christ.

 

b] Consubstantiation - Lutheranism

Are physically and literally changed into the literal blood and flesh of Jesus Christ. He said the body

and blood of Christ are present and I quote, “in, with and under” unquote the bread and wine. He

further goes on to say it is not that the bread and wine have been become Christ body and blood but

that we now have the body and blood in addition to the bread and the wine. Luther said, “that there

was a benefit to this sacrament. By partaking of the sacrament one experiences a real benefit that is,

the forgiveness of sins and the confirmation of faith. This benefit is due however not to the elements

in the sacrament but to one’s reception of the word by faith.

c] Memorial [Matt. 26:26-30]

There are two traditional views one is known as the Calvanistic or more traditionally the reformed

memorial view. The reformed view holds that Christ is present in the Lord’s supper but not

physically or bodily. Rather His presence in the sacrament is spiritual or dynamic. John Calvin used

sun as an illustration and he asserted that Christ is present influentially in the sacrament. That is just

the sun remains in the heavens yet its warmth and its light are present on earth. So the radiance of the

Spirit conveys to us the communion of Christ flesh and blood. Further stated in this view while the


elements of the sacraments signify or represent the body and blood of Christ they do more than

that they also seal. It is suggested in this view that the Lord’s supper seals the love of Christ to all

believers giving them assurance that all the promises of the new covenant and the riches of the

Gospel are theirs by Divine donation in exchange for a personal claim on actual possession of all

this wealth believers express faith in Christ as Savior and pledge obedience to Him as Lord and

King.

The second traditional memorial view which is probably closest to the scripture was postulated by

reformer Ulrich Zwengili, he emphasized the role of the Lord’s supper in bringing to mind the death

of Christ and its efficacy on behalf of the believer. Thus the Lord’s supper is essentially a memorial

or a commemoration of Christ death.

[Matt. 26:26-30] - these verses record what we know and understand as the Lord’s supper. The sacred

ordinance that in the Christian church takes the place and supercedes the Passover among the Jews.

However, the Passover and the Lord’s supper are intimately linked together for it was after the

celebration of the pascal feast, known as the seder meal that Jesus offered His disciples the bread and

the fruit of the vine. He then requested them to partake of the bread and the cup representing His body

about to be offered on the cross and His blood soon to be shed for the remission of sin. Since that night

2000 years ago untold millions of grateful believers have participated in this memorial feast in

remembrance of Christ who loved them and gave His life for their lives. Jesus spoke these words take,

eat this is my body and then He took one of the unleavened loaves in His hand, blessed it, broke it and

gave it to His disciples bidding them to eat as His body. Now clearly that was not transubstantiation for

their He sat before them in actual body and blood and they ate of the bread. He took the cup ( people

say is it unfermented wine or is it fermented wine? And really rather than get into an argument here we

need to let the scriptures speak for themselves. Jesus had just partaken of the Passover meal and the NT

or new covenant was not yet in force yet and it would not be in force until Christ died for the sins of the

world. Now during the Passover feast leaven was not allowed in the house and leaven is what ferments

wine or the grapes. So therefore it could not have been fermented grapes simply because Jesus

scripture teaches us perfectly kept the Law) then He said this is my blood of the NT. That blood hadn’t

been shed for the remission of sins but Jesus was speaking as though the work of the cross were

already an accomplished fact. Now obviously the cup did not contain His physical blood but that which

would call into mind after His death, burial, and resurrection. Then He says, when I drink it new with

you in my Father’s kingdom; Jesus did not participate in that which was to be a memorial of His own

death. He looked forward to a time when as a result of His personal sacrifice He would have all His own

gathered about Him in the Father’s kingdom to celebrate the glory of redemption. Then Isaiah 53:11

would be fulfilled He would see the travail of His soul and be satisfied. After all of this was completed

they sung a hymn. Tradition says that it was the 135 Psalm known to the Jews as the little hallel

celebrating Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. The memorial feast the central ordinance of the church then

is designed to bring Jesus Himself before each individual in the church. It was an appeal to the affections

He was going away and He did not want to be forgotten by those He loved so tenderly so He instituted

the Lord’s supper. That whenever and where ever it was observed it might recall Him and His death to

mind. His was a love that was stronger than death which the many waters of judgment could never

quench [Song of Solomon 8:6-7] He needs no symbols to remember us but we need symbols to

remember Him and that’s why He left us the Lord’s supper.

What should keep a Christian from partaking in the Lord’s supper? Only unconfessed sin should hinder a

Christian from taking the Lord’s supper. The Lord’s supper commemorates the one perfect sacrifice

offered by the Lord once for all when He gave Himself for our sins. Nor should it be celebrated with any

thought of its having individual saving value or inherit merit. It is a reminder that when we were utterly

lost and helpless Christ died for us to redeem us. [Heb. 13:15] the sacrifice of praise should always


accompany the Lord’s supper as we contemplate the great cost at which we were saved and rejoice that He

who endured such grief and shame for us is now alive forevermore [Rev. 1:18]. We call Him to mind as the

author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross despising the

shame and is now set down at the right hand of the throne of God. From whence He shall soon return to

claim the purchase of His blood the church. And until then we should keep with worship-filled hearts

while we look back to the cross and forward to the coming glory [I Cor. 11:26]. When we rightly partake of

the Lord’s supper we approach the table as redeemed to God through the blood of Christ. And we come

with a desire to call anew to mind the glorious personage of Christ and all His prevailing love as a

sacrifice on the cross for our sins. It is the blood of Christ that makes us worthy to partake of the Lord’s

supper. But we need to be aware lest we participate unworthily. That is in a light or a careless manner.

2. An idea in sharing the Lord’s Supper is to use the ancient Hebrew custom of the “Todah”

F. Jesus Warning On The Way To The Garden [26:31-35]

He began to tell His disciples that something tragic in their eyes would soon take place and He tried to

impress upon them the untrustworthiness of their own hearts. To do this Jesus referred to another of

Zechariah’s prophecies when He told them that all should be stumbled or the word translates loosely into

the English that all will be scandalized of Him that night. [Zech. 13:7] And these words were about to

have a literal fulfillment though at that moment the disciples all felt that they could not and would not

forsake Him. But no man can measure the depths of evil in his own heart until he himself faces the

temptation. Grace alone can overcome evil. Jesus assured them that when He rose again He would go

before them into Galilee, there He would keep a sacred trust with them. However at that moment, the

promise was meaningless to them.

1. Peter spoke too soon; he was not as strong as he believed [I Cor. 10:12]

Their self-confidence led them to make promises that they would not be able to complete. The flesh is

prone to declare its own goodness [Pro. 20:26].                

G. The Garden Of Gethsemane [26:36-46]

Reaching the Mount of Olives they came to a garden on the western slope to a place called Gethsemane,

and the name literally means the oil press. And here those words of scripture are literally fulfilled because

of the fact that [Luke 22:44] says that Jesus prayed so earnestly that he sweat drops of blood [hematidrosis].

Jesus spoke about having a baptism to be baptized with and He said I am straitened till it be accomplished

[Luke 12:50] Jesus had frequently come to Gethsemane with His disciples [John 18:2] and He had enjoyed

uninterrupted communion with His heavenly Father. In that garden He was to enter into the soul’s agony

as He contemplated the reality of becoming sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of

God in Him. [II Cor. 5:21] See also [John 12:27]. Psalm 102 is often referred to as the Gethsemane psalm

as we read it we hear the breathings of our Savior as He entered into the sense of deep loneliness of one

forsaken by God and despised by the world. This was the cup from which His holy human nature shrank. It

was unspeakably vicious, horrible and appalling that He the perfect Lamb of God in whom the Father had

ever found delight should be treated as an outcast because of taking the place of a sinner. Truly He had

come from heaven for that very purpose yet still the ordeal shook Him to His inner soul. However, we

need to remember that the suffering endured in Gethsemane was not in itself atoning for sin. It was on

Golgotha’s hill, the place of the skull that our sins [Is. 53] would be laid upon Him.

In this garden Jesus left eight of His disciples at the entrance while He went deeper into this grove of olive

trees to pray. He took with Him Peter, James, and John. He seems to have a closer tie with these three than

the rest and they seem to understand and appreciate Him more. He expressed to them the deep stirrings in

His spirit under which He was laboring. These three saw that Jesus was in great agony and in great sorrow

but they really did not completely understand what was taking place. The time came when they too would

have to be left behind. But they too were commanded to watch and pray less the coming trial be too great

for them [Lk. 22:40] The humanity of Christ spoke out that if it be possible let this cup pass from me. As


He returned He said could you not watch one hour. Returning to the three He found them asleep their very

grief for Him having overpowered them. He gently reproved Peter for his lack of watchfulness as Peter had

spoken so deep and strongly of love and loyalty. [John 13:37] The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is

weak. Jesus recognized the devotion of His followers but He also realized the untrustworthiness of the

human heart even in the very best of saints it fails sometimes and that is why we need amazing grace. Jesus

prayed if this cup may not pass except I drink it thy will be done. Christ was a perfect resignation to the

Father’s will no matter what sorrow or agony, He had come into the world for that very purpose [John 4:34;

Heb. 10:7]. There was no conflict of wills, Jesus acquiesced to whatever would please the Heavenly Father

no matter how bitter the cup. He came again and found them asleep, His inner circle failed Him thus adding

to His grief. [Ps. 69:20] Are we able to watch and pray in this time of Christ rejection in this world? Are we

able to stand the test and the trials that we face? The utter resignation of Jesus to the Father’s will shines

out in all these closing experiences in the garden of Gethsemane. While the horror of becoming the great sin

offering overwhelmed Christ human soul and spirit, He was perfectly subject to the Divine will of God.

Jesus speaks about the cup in verse 39 and the cup represents not simply physical death or suffering. Jesus

did not shrink from these but it represents the fierce indignation of God against sin that filled that cup

about to be presented by the Father to His only Son. The impending wrath caused the bitter agony of His

soul that was so affected His body that He underwent this hematidrosis. [Ps. 11:6; 75:8, 51:17, 22;

Jer. 25:15] all this had to be endured to give to us the cup of salvation [Ps. 116:13] In Gethsemane was

settled once and for all the possibility of sin being atoned for in any other way than by the perfect

propitiation of Christ dying for our sins. Because Christ plainly asked the Father if it be possible let this

cup pass from Me. But it was impossible because there was no other way and no other name given by

where we must be saved. [Acts 4:12]

 

 

H. Jesus’ Betrayal And Arrest [26:47-56]

As Jesus was awakening His disciples the crowd led by Judas Iscariot was seen approaching the Garden of

Gethsemane. Now in parallel accounts in Mark 14:43-50; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:3-11, it is apparent that

this was more than just a few people, possibly several hundred people including the chief priests and elders

and a crowd which had been gathered by the Jewish leaders to assist them, that may have included as many

as 200 Roman soldiers that was assigned to the use of the Sanhedrin. They carried short swords which

would identify them as Roman soldiers and clubs which are known as staves. The clubs were carried by the

hired temple police. The size of the company indicated the apprehension of the Jewish leaders that even at

such a late hour of the night the pilgrims who thronged Jerusalem might interfere with the arrest of Jesus.

The importance of the event to the chief priests and the scribes is indicated by their presence on the night of

the Passover for the occasion of Christ’s arrest. If this wasn’t important why would they wake up in the

middle of the night and carry out an arrest? 

1. Verse 49 - Kissed

Judas kept his bargain with the Jews by coming out and kissing Jesus which was the prearranged signal.

His respectful address was the extreme in hypocrisy and his kiss expressed as no other means could have

possibly done, his wicked unbelief which rejected all evidence that Jesus was the promised Messiah. In

his heart he was done with the whole concept with Jesus as King and that he would reign with Him.

There is something very important in the fact that Judas kissed Jesus. This is not explained or brought

out in the English text, but in the Greek, this is a compound Greek verb indicating Judas kissed Jesus

               repeatedly! The way this was done the ancient easterners when they would greet each other whether male

     or female, they would place their hand on each others shoulders and pull them to them and kiss them on

the cheek usually once or twice. Judas did this maybe four or five times. The fact that Christ permitted


Judas to do this was in keeping with His purpose to be submissive to the will of the Heavenly Father

even unto death on the cross. But for Judas it was also the last attempt of Jesus in this hour to allow

Judas to repent of his sin of unbelief. Another interesting thing about this is found in verse 50 where

Jesus addresses Judas as friend because in the Greek the normal word for friend is phile’ and that means

a close friend, but Jesus doesn’t call Judas phile’ but hetare’ and it means simply an associate and it

means someone that Jesus wasn’t close to. So we can see Jesus is saying a lot just in this one word. Why

would Judas betray Him? Because the hardness of the human heart and the blinding of the satanic

influence upon Judas overwhelmed him and caused him to trust in worldly things namely the 30 pieces

of silver rather than Jesus.

2. See John 18:4-9

John records that after Jesus said, I am he. The soldiers went backward and fell to the ground.

Apparently there was a momentary display of God’s power and a final witness perhaps to show Judas

that Jesus was the Messiah and take away all uncertainty. Judas now had one last chance to see that the

     man he just betrayed was God in the flesh!

3. Jesus could have called 12 legions of angels or more

Since a legion is from 3000-6000 men, this would mean that between 36,000-72,000 angels! Jesus was

reminding them in [Matt. 26:55] that the force that was gathered here was not because He would resist

arrest but because the chief priests and scribes feared the retaliation of those who had put their trust in

Him. At this point fear overtook the disciples and Matthew records the sad words that all the disciples

forsook Him and fled.

I. The Trials Of Jesus

All of these trials happened because no one wanted to take responsibility for their actions. In the six trials of

Jesus we have six significant enemies of Christ. They were Annas, Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, Herod Antipas,

Tiberius Caesar and the Sanhedrin.

1. The Jewish trials

a] Before Annas [John 18:12-14]

Annas was the political boss of Judea. It was in the year A.D. 7, that the procurator Caponius

appointed his good friend, Annas, the son of Seth, an Alexandrian Sadducee to become the High

Priest at Jerusalem. That was the highest appointed office in Judaism. The high priestly family of

Annas held complete control with only a few brief interruptions for the following 51 years. All six of

Annas’s sons followed their father as the High Priest during that time and it was his son in law

Caiaphas who threw the dominant influence of this Annas held the high office during the time when

Jesus was tried before the Sanhedrin in AD 30. Although Annas was around 90 at this time he still

was very wealthy and politically powerful in Jerusalem. And there appeared something awesome and

something devilish in this man. He was the political patriarch of Judea at the time. It was generally

admitted that Annas had the most superb intelligence among all the ruling elements in Judea and he

seemed unacquainted with fear, remorse, or conscience. His tyrannical and unholy philosophy was

rule or ruin. Step on any one you have to get ahead. He had been quite generous in providing luxuries

for his son-in-law Caiaphas and was never timid in reminding Caiaphas of the lasting and unpaid

debt of gratitude which was owed to him. Therefore it was not unusual for Caiaphas when he knew

this to unfailingly do the bidding at the drop of a hat whatever Annas said regardless of the ethics or

the morals or the consequences involved. Annas is pulling Caiaphas’s strings throughout these trials.

Annas was not a religious or a holy man but being a devout Sadducee he openly subscribed to the

creed that there was no such thing as life after death. Nor did he believe in a spiritual world at all. He

believed and taught that future rewards and punishments were absurd and ridiculous. And that

everything passed into oblivion and ended the moment a person took their last breath. Typical of the

Sadducees he boasted of the theory of the resurrection was a deceit and an utter impossibility.


b] Before Caiaphas [John 18:19-24]

Of all the men mentioned in the trials of Jesus and subsequent crucifixion was absolutely

unequivocally the most despicable of the group. In making this appraisal we are unmindful of the

treachery of Judas Iscariot. To be sure the high priest Caiaphas was even more corrupt than Judas.

For eleven years from A.D. 25-36, he remained in the position of high priest in Judea. He was

completely devoid of ethics, honor, fairness, morals and decency at all times. As his close friendship

with Pilate the Roman governor was grounded in the fact that they had all these things in common.

Plus a deep hatred for Christ whose teachings they scoffed at. Both men, Caiaphas and Pilate were

cowards men who dreaded the thought of having their heads removed from the public view. As the

presiding judge of the Jewish court called the Sanhedrin he was required to take a solemn oath under

existing Jewish laws to at all times assume and attitude of objectivity and impartiality to ever accused

no matter what the crime brought before the court