Jesus’ last week in relation to Gentiles

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“Rejoice, O people of Zion!     Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you.     He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—     riding on a donkey’s colt. I will remove the battle chariots from Israel     and the warhorses from Jerusalem. I will destroy all the weapons used in battle,     and your king will bring peace to the nations. His realm will stretch from sea to sea     and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth. – Zechariah 9:9-10

The events of that last week in Jerusalem bear eloquent testimony to the fact that Jesus, refusing to be a nationalistic Jewish Messiah, moved resolutely toward the cross, fully aware that He was to establish a new interracial, international people, the new Israel, destined to become worldwide in its scope as a spiritual kingdom.  He entered the city on a donkey, to fulfill Zachariah’s prophesy stated above.  He cleansed the court of the Gentiles, declaring sternly —

“The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” – Mark 11:17

Standing in the temple, He denounced the chief priests and Pharisees the official leaders of the Jewish nation, for having failed to be good stewards of the truths of the Kingdom which had been entrusted to the Chosen People, and solemnly declared —

“I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit.” – Matthew 21:43

He predicted the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple within that generation; but when asked about the end of the age, He said —

“Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many.  And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately.  Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world.  But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.  “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.  And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.  And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.  Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.   And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:4 – 14

Concerning His return in glory, He was purposely vague, declaring –

“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself.  Only the Father knows.” – Matthew 24:36

But when He does come, He promised –

“All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” – Matthew 25:32

Just before the Passover, at a house in Bethany, an adoring woman anointed His body with costly ointment.  When she was criticized for her extravagance, Jesus stoutly defended her with these words —

“I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” – Matthew 26:13

The next evening in the upper room with His disciples, He sealed the New Covenant with them, in anticipation of His death.  He declared as He passed the cup —

“For this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.” – Matthew 26:28

Only the eleven were present and all were Jews.

 

 

Who is Jesus? Part 2- Messiah, Light of Gentiles, King of kings

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