Jesus continued teaching the crowds at the temple in the days after His inspection but before the cross. During this time Jesus shares many critical attacks on the pharisees, parables on the Kingdom of Heaven, and prophecies.
Matthew 22-26 is full of many of these teachings, warnings, and parables.
Matthew 23 is full of Jesus’ warnings.
1Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses. 3Therefore, whatever they tell you, do and comply with it all, but do not do as they do; for they say things and do not do them.Matthew 23:1-3 NASB2020
This teaching from verse 1 to 12, warns of following the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees. These groups would do all the right things to look like they were righteous but they did things to please themselves and receive praise from men, NOT to honor God and bring Him glory. What is interesting is that Jesus says the teachings they give are actually correct, and to follow the teachings, just don’t ACT like they do, which doesn’t align with their teachings. This teaching is almost like the current saying of “do what I say, not what I do.”
The other warning is Jesus’s “Woes”. This is kind of the culmination of the hypocrisy warning. Also, when Jesus uses the term ‘woe’, it is basically a curse upon the pharisees and the scribes. Just as Jesus had the beatitudes, which are blessings, woes are curses. So Jesus is cursing these groups for their actions, just as He speaks blessings on those who act according to His teachings. Jesus curses them because they lead God’s people away from the kingdom of heaven. They corrupt those they converted to the Jewish faith, and distort matters of faith to suit their selfish agendas. Jesus’ final words to them before He drinks His cup are scathing!
Jesus also gives us many parables of how to stay prepared for when He comes again. In Chapter 24 and 25, Jesus give us the parables of the 10 virgins, the 3 slaves with different talents, and of the slave who’s master put him in charge during His journey. In each parable the main point is to be prepared for whenever Jesus returns. Being prepared is treating people as Jesus would want because you will have to give an account one day. It also means, being wise with what God has given you, and your time. You will have to give an account of that as well, upon His return.
Jesus shares a number of prophecies in His time before the cross. His prophecies can be found particularly in Matthew 24 with some in Matthew 25. Jesus prophecies about the fall of Jerusalem and about His return and judgement. When the disciples point out the magnificence of the temple to Jesus, He tells them not one stone will be left upon the other. I can only imagine how devastating that had to be for the disciple. Such a point of pride for them and the nation was going to be decimated. The rest of His prophecy is argued over in scholarly circles but many believe it is concerning Jesus’ return. Jesus describes not only what will precede his return, but what His return will look like and the judgement to follow.
One More Thing…
As a bonus, there is a passage in John 12:27-32 I want to add. This piece of the Holy Week events is only in John, but is very profound.
27“Now My soul has become troubled; and what am I to say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29So the crowd who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, “An angel has spoken to Him!” 30Jesus responded and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for yours. 31Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself.”John 12:27-32 NASB2020
I love this passage for two reasons. One, it is amazing when God The Father LITERALLY speaks during Jesus’ life. I think this is important, in that God only speaks to a crowd when Jesus first gets baptized and begins His ministry, and potentially his last public teaching before resurrection. Second, I can only imagine how people processed that moment. They already have the Messiah teaching them, and then God The Father speaks to them… just amazing stuff.
As I stated, Jesus’ packs a ton of teaching into His last days of public ministry. To think SOOO much of the teachings of Jesus come from a week of His life. It’s just awesome to think about. It’s also so humbling. Praise the Lord for His love for us that not only would He sacrifice His life for us, but He’d leave us with soooo much teaching and instruction for us to have peace until He returns.
Oh How He Love Us
I remember debating with a man on the authority of scripture and if the Bible could be trusted. This person said they believed in Jesus but didn’t trust the Word. I asked Him, if Jesus loved us, would He actually leave us with no wisdom to guide us?! Of course the answer is no. No loving Father would leave their children without instructions for their wellbeing when they are gone. As God is the perfect father, there is no way He wouldn’t leave us with all the warnings, parables, and teachings we’d need to follow Him and live in His peace.
Wow, a lot more here than I’d planned to write, but there is just SOOO much packed into this period of Jesus’ life. With all this, we STILL haven’t gotten to the Last Supper/Passover meal. Even more amazing love, and teaching and instruction from Jesus to come.
Lord willing, I’m excited to tell y’all about it tomorrow.