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101: Jesus Closes His Ministry to Israel

May 15, 2009

Major Text: Matthew 23:37-39; Mark 12:41-44

Harmony Texts:

Mark 12:41-44      Luke 21:1-4

Outline:

  1. Failure is Evident in Jerusalem Matt. 23:37-39
  2. Hope is seen in the Widow Mark 12:41-44

Context/Discussion/Comments:

It is late Tuesday afternoon before Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus has just finished answering challenges from the Pharisees, the Herodians, and the Sadducees. Thus, He has completed His ministry to Israel. He will continue teaching but it will be in private to His disciples.

Jesus laments over Jerusalem just as He did when He rode into Jerusalem in triumph. He is heartbroken. He has ministered but Israel has not listened. He has given His all but He senses failure. He will be back but not until Israel’s heart is softened and recognizes their only hope lies in accepting Jesus, their Messiah, and welcoming Him. He will restore them only when they want to be restored, only when they have a repentant heart, only when they recognize their only hope is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Israel is broken, desolate, poor, of no influence, and dysfunctional. They have lost sight of their purpose and have rejected their Promise. They have become the prodigal son, squandering their blessing.

Although Jesus senses His failure, He sees hope in the heart of a poor widow woman who comes to the temple and gives all she has in humble worship of her Lord God. She is completely dependant on God. Jesus sees the rich as representing Israel, giving out of their wealth but rejecting their Messiah. Jesus sees the widow as representing the future Israel, the Israel who will welcome Him, who will accept Him, who will depend on Him; the broken and repentant Israel, the Israel ready and wanting to be restored.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. Look for positive signs among the failures. This is true for any situation in life, physical and spiritual.
  2. Pride and arrogance makes one blind. We will not see Christ until we have our blindness removed. Come to Jesus before you are broken, downtrodden, and made desolate.
  3. Come to Jesus as the poor widow came to the temple. Come poor in spirit, dependant, committed, in awe and respect for the only One able to redeem and restore you.
  4. Consider His claims, repent, and call Him blessed.

Come to Jesus.

Come to Jesus now.

Come worship your Savior, Lord God, Creator.

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