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Lesson 19 - Journey to Jerusalem

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  1. Couple weeks ago we finished up our lesson with an most UNUSUAL request
    1. Somewhere along this journey, James and John's MOTHER came to Jesus
    2. Had a REQUEST on behalf of her two sons  

Matthew 20:21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 

    1. Jesus is heading for the CROSS, all they could think of was CROWNS
    2. I think I would have lost my cool with these THREE right now
    3. But NOT Jesus –

Mark 10:38 - 40 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?  And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. 

  1. Next our Lord has an encounter with Bartimaeus in Jericho
    1. Matt 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43 #. Matthew tells us TWO blind men

                                          i.    Mark and Luke mention only ONE

                                        ii.    Mark and Luke describe only the ONE that called on Jesus to HEAL him

    1. Jesus CROSSED the Jordan River

                                          i.    Just a short distance above the Dead Sea

                                        ii.    They had started toward JERUSALEM by way of Jericho

                                       iii.    A large number of people are making this journey with Jesus

    1. They MEET a BLIND beggar known as Bartimaeus who was sitting by the road                                           i.    Blindness was COMMON - there was no cure - all a blind person could do was BEG.

1.    When Bartimaeus HEARD Jesus was passing by, he cried out Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me

Luke 18:38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 

                                        ii.    In spite of the ATTEMPTS of some to SILENCE the beggar, he cried out to Jesus.

                                       iii.    The people were NOT interested in a beggar.

                                       iv.    Jesus WAS.

                                        v.    Jesus asked him what he WANTED.

                                       vi.    Without hesitation or generalization, the beggar replied that he wanted his SIGHT.

                                      vii.    His PRAYER was short, specific, and full of faith.

                                    viii.    LESSON for us -dare to BELIEVE God for the impossible.

  1. After healing Bartimaeus, Jesus meets Zacchaeus
    1. Guy was a WEALTHY tax collector                                           i.    He wanted to SEE Jesus but - he was too SHORT

                                        ii.    So he ran ahead of the crowd, finding a tree, climbed UP

                                       iii.    NOW he could see

    1. When Jesus walked passed the TREE, He SAW Zacchaeus
    2. CALLING him by NAME

Luke 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. 

    1. This is the ONLY case on record where the Savior invited Himself to a home. #. Zacchaeus’ attitude was a lot different from that of the rich young ruler

                                          i.    Matt 19:16-22 and Luke 18:18-30 with Luke 19:6-10

    1. Salvation had brought a radical change in the life of the tax gatherer.                                           i.    Talked ABOUT THAT THIS MORNING
    2. Zacchaeus told Jesus that he intended to give half his goods to the poor.                                           i.    Up to this time, he had been gouging as much as possible from the poor.
    3. He also planned to make fourfold restitution for any money he had gained dishonestly.                                           i.    This was MORE than the law demanded  

Leviticus 6:5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering. 

    1. Zacchaeus was NOW controlled by love - BEFORE he was controlled by greed.  
  1. Jesus then told the parable of a NOBLEMAN – Luke 19:11-27
    1.  Telling of a man going of to a FAR country but would RETURN #. Jesus KNEW that His disciples would soon be very disappointed with the events of Calvary
    2. The NOBLEMAN - Jesus  
    3. The SERVANT - the disciples of Jesus
    4. The CITIZENS - the Jewish nation.

                                          i.    They rejected the Nobleman,

    1. With that RETURN of the Nobleman comes an accounting
    2. Lesson for ALL of us is to USE what He has TAUGHT us to ADVANCE His KINGDOM
    3. That the Lord will REWARD service and faithfulness to Him
    4. While there are DIFFERENCES in the talents and abilities of the servants of the Lord

                                          i.    There are some THINGS which they have in COMMON

1.    Privileges of SHARING the gospel

2.    Privilege of PRAYER



  1. Jesus arrives in BETHANY
    1. Jesus frequently VISITED the home of Lazarus, Martha and Mary #. When He arrived – people were waiting from JERUSALEM 

                                          i.    Jerusalem was only 2 ½ miles away

    1. MEMORY of the event of some six week earlier was still on their minds

                                          i.    The RAISING of Lazarus from the DEAD

    1. They wanted to see BOTH Jesus and Lazarus                                           i.    But NOT the Chief Priests

John 12:10 - 11 But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;  Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.


SUNDAY - Jesus’ grand entry into Jerusalem


  1. PROPHECY fulfilled  

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. 

    1. It is Passover week

  1. Jesus left Bethany and came to Bethphage
    1. On the eastern side of the Mount of Olives #. THEIR he acquired a donkey for the ride into town

                                          i.    NORMALLY a conquer ring kind would ride in on a HORSE

                                        ii.    Donkeys were symbols of PEACE

    1. What a RECEPTION

Matthew 21:8 - 9 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.  And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. 

    1. That evening, Jesus and the disciples returned to Bethany to sleep  



  1. Jesus and His disciples left early
    1. They had much do #. Probably didn’t wait for BREAKFAST from Mary and Martha
    2. When they came up on a FIG tree on their way BACK to Jerusalem they were probably HUNGRY
    3. The tree had only leaves and NO fruit

Matthew 21:17 - 19 And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there. Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.  And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. 

    1. Fig trees in Bible lands produced an early, edible fruit before the leaves appeared.

                                          i.    This was a indication of the regular future crop.

                                        ii.    If NO early figs appeared, as in the case of this fig tree,

                                       iii.    IT indicated that there would be NO regular figs later on.

    1. The Lord knew that the fig tree would never bear figs                                           i.    He acted as a farmer would - removing a barren tree from his orchard.
    2. This was a symbolic action.                                           i.    He had just received a tumultuous welcome in Jerusalem.

                                        ii.    Like the vine and the olive tree, the fig tree represents the nation of Israel.

                                       iii.    When Jesus came to the nation there were leaves,

1.    i.e. speaks of profession, but no fruit for God.

2.    Jesus was hungry for fruit from the nation.

    1. Because there was NO early fruit, Jesus knew there would be NO later fruit from that unbelieving people,                                           i.    So He cursed the fig tree.
    2. We see this in the judgment which would fall on the nation in a.d. 70.  
  1. Jesus then goes on to the TEMPLE
    1. Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48
      Matthew 21:12 - 13 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,  And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. 
    2. What a HECTIC scene
    3. Money changers SELLING animals and doves for their HEFTY profit
    4. Money changers CHANGING foreign money into temple money again at a HEFTY profit

                                          i.    SAME situation that upset Jesus 3 years earlier – John 2:13-22

    1. Jesus AGAIN cleansed the temple #. There is ALWAYS a danger of bringing commercialism into the things of God

                                          i.    Christendom today is FILLED by this evil:

    1. Jesus’ actions were NOT received very well  

Mark 11:18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine. 

  1. Next we find a request from some Greeks - John 12:20-50
    1. Only John tells of these Greeks #. Don’t know if they were Jewish PROSELYTES or just at the Jewish Passover out of CURIOSITY

                                          i.    Would appear these were in fact PROSELYTES

                                        ii.    They asked Philip to arrange a MEETING with Jesus

    1. Philip goes to Andrew with the request - both of them then go to Jesus

                                          i.    Jesus had spoken often of the NEED to go to the JEWS

    1. These Greeks saw the imminent danger for Jesus at the hands of the Jews #. Wanting Jesus ‘to spare himself’ – i.e. come back to Greece with us
    2. NO, that was NOT God’s plan for Jesus

John 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. 

    1. Jesus had performed so many miracles                                           i.    Yet there were so many that still did not BELIEVE

                                        ii.    There were some on the Sanhedrin that DID believe

1.    But they were FEARFUL

John 12:42 - 43 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:  For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

TUESDAY - The LAST day of our Lord’s PUBLIC ministry

  1. Jesus and His disciples had again spent the night in BETHANY
    1. On the way back to Jerusalem, they passed that same FIG tree                                           i.    Before it had leaves but NO fruit

                                        ii.    NOW it had NO leaves

    1. The disciples were amazed how QUICKLY the tree died
    2. Jesus used this opportunity to teach His disciples

                                          i.    Of Faith

Mark 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 

                                        ii.    Of PRAYER

Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them

                                       iii.    Of FORGIVENESS

Mark 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

  1.  Meanwhile the Sanhedrin had reached a breaking point
    1. Jesus’ CLEANSING of the temple #. Jesus’ POWER
    2. Jesus’ POPULARITY

                                          i.    It was MORE than they could handle

  1. The Sanhedrin tried desperately to DISCREDIT Jesus
    1. When Jesus came into the court outside the temple proper, the chief priests and the elders asked WHO gave Him the authority to teach, to perform miracles, and to cleanse the temple.

Matthew 21:25 - 26 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?  But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. 

                                          i.    They hoped to TRAP Him, no matter how He answered.

    1. If He claimed to have authority in Himself as the SON OF GOD,

                                          i.    They would accuse Him of blasphemy.

    1. If He claimed authority from MEN,                                           i.    They would discredit Him.
    2. If He claimed authority from GOD,                                           i.    They would challenge Him.
    3. They considered themselves the GUARDIANS of the faith,                                           i.    PROFESSIONALS who by formal training and human appointment were authorized to DIRECT the religious life of the people.
    4. Jesus had NO formal schooling and certainly NO credentials from Israel’s rulers.  
  1. Then Jesus exposed their unbelief with 3 parables which we will look at next year.  
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