“But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
They said to Him, “We are able.” Matthew 20:22 NKJV
In today’s reading Jesus is going along checking off prophesies that must be fulfilled.
Ride donkey, check. Clean temple, check. Curse fig tree, check.
And the Disciples are along for the ride. So when Jesus asks them are they able to continue the ride – of course they say yes. And they did – right through to death.
Can you answer this question for yourself – knowing the suffering of the cross and the suffering of the disciples? Of course we are able, through Him – BUT are we willing?
Like Jesus had prophecies over His life – we all have them over our own lives. Because we were created with a purpose – then born into sin and it was all corrupted to hell – until we subject ourselves back to the will of God for His glory. We may not know what those prophesies and purposes entail. We may not even want to know. We are able to drink of that cup – we are created to. The question Jesus was asking James and John and the question Jesus is asking us – are we willing to check off all the things on the list.
Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is from the book of Matthew, chapters 20 through 21 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). Today’s reading covers a lot of ground in the busiest time of Jesus’s life. Day after day, night and day, Jesus served the people. When the anointing of God falls and you are in the will of your father – it is restorative work. Not just healing and restoring mankind – but yourself also. I have seen it in Jesus (fully man and fully God and His human body did not wear out during this season) as well as in every anointed man of God. They do not weary in good doing – if they do it in the anointing and in God. Because God, who doesn’t sleep, is actually the one working and working through us and we are just vessels used by him. It’s the safety of the secret place and the rest of under His wing. It is the benefit of walking in the spirit. It is the Joy made full, the peace, and innocence of complete surrender.
Today’s reading begins with the last lessons before Jesus travelled into Jerusalem for the last time with The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard – the reminder to be kingdom minded.
On His way to Jerusalem Jesus, a Third Time, Predicts His Death and Resurrection. Then again reminds and teaches the disciples about being humble in the Greatness Is Serving and the request of the Sons of Thunders’ mother. Two Blind Men Receive Their Sight and begin to follow Him.
This journey into Jerusalem reflected the death and resurrection – first with the prediction of His death, then the key to the victory which is humility and then the life – the healing of sight. Just as He was to die in humility and resurrect in healing and life – for the sight, and understanding!!
We discuss The Triumphal Entry every spring. (Please refer to those if you want further explanation and study) It is in this prophetic act, that in the spirit, Jesus’s authority was manifested in a new way. You see, it was now time. This act of riding on a donkey, as Daniel saw in the spirit – caused a shift. (Remember in Daniel, he prophesied this to the date! This must be the Christ, because NO ONE ELSE road a donkey into the city on this date and before no one else were the palms and clothing laid out for!) In this power and authority (I am not saying Jesus did not have authority before – I am saying a new thing happened, which was spiritual and therefore indescribable in the physical – because now, was the time. So a new, or renewed, or made whole power and authority came upon Him) Jesus Cleanses the Temple! The Heavenly Father was moving through Him! (I have often wondered where Peter, James and John were during the cleansing of the temple – Peter was always ready to engage and this was right up the ally of the Sons of Thunder! I suppose it would have been too much of a scene if they were there!)
I recently studied a Preacher who some say is anointed and many are healed and slain in the spirit. I will not say who it was. I was surprised at the amount of chaos and noise in His sanctuary as He preached and ministered. Jesus was turning table! Evil was being whipped. God is a God of order, so to me – the chaos was confusing. My eyes and ears heard disturbing things yet my spirit said this is God. At a few points, I actually said out loud, why don’t you cast that devil out of there?!? And God answered with this passage along with the verse on the anointing breaks the yoke of bondage. Jesus, the word, goes forth and the tables turn! Chaos breaks out! Then God restores order in the proper way. Do not be quick to judge something out of order, that God is in the process of shuffling around to put in order!
Jesus is flowing with the anointing and the power, and the adrenaline of flipping tables – why did he curse the fig tree and it withered? In The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree, He was hungry. I bet. In the spirit, that tree should have known and supernaturally had fruit (even though theologians say it should not have had fruit in that season). I have heard many a study on it – and knowing God there are many things we can learn – but I have always thought Jesus was just hungry, overrun with adrenaline and the anointed power of God was flowing through Him. The reason I think this is because He says – we will do greater things than whither a tree – we can move mountains! When we submit to the anointing – it will be tangible! (And be prepared to be hungry as well! Lol)
Well, after all of this Jesus’ authority was questioned! Well, of course it was! Flipping tables?! Isn’t this the peace loving healer, who warred in challenging words? There was nothing physical until this point! And John the Baptist, really did prepare the way for this moment! (as well as preparing the hearts of many.)
So Jesus teaches another one point sermon using a couple parables. The Parable of the Two Sons and The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers. These are hard words. These are probably the most graphic (viewer discretion is advised) kind of stories Jesus preached. They lived through some scary times – the Bible is NOT for the soft. But this time it is not living it – but a story… and what is more disturbing is we (knowing what happens next) can see how it wasn’t a story – but what was happening in the spirit. With these He pulls back the drape and says look at what IS happening.
Again – we must ABIDE in the secret place of the Almighty (Psalm 91). Again – we must walk in the spirit. If not we miss the truth of what is really happening. The physical world is like the Matrix (silly Hollywood movie from 1999). It is incomplete. We only know in part (1 Corinthians 13). BUT the Spirit realm is all of what happens in the physical and so much more. We must learn to walk there! Not with one foot in physical and one in spirit. It sounds crazy – until you press in with your relationship with God and suddenly these abstract words and concepts make since and are not so very strange after all.
However, do not seek this, or the anointing, or understanding of it – seek God! Seek God through Jesus Christ. Eyes on Jesus! Submit and obey what He says and everything else is added – everything else falls in place. March 16:17-18 will follow you. You will be what God intended! You will fulfill His purpose.
When I was a teen – the church had a campaign with a catchy phrase, which I remembered and even tried to obey. It was “pursue His purpose” and as well intentioned as it was – I failed because there is a flaw! Now, let me fix it – Pursue the one with purpose, not the purpose. Purpose within yourself to pursue Him! Only Him. Obey His will and purpose in your life while keeping your eyes on Him! Elevate your gaze from looking for “what do you want me to do?” to “let me look at you Lord”.
Our world is getting crazy – God is shuffling things from wrong to right and we are living in that chaotic moment of tables flipping over and people running around and animal fleeing and noise and a whip of judgment flying!!! Oh Lord – Do your work! There will be order again. What can we do to help? Should we attack? Should we help?
Look Jesus square in the eyes and say: Here I am Lord, use me! If you cannot yet see Him – pray and press in to the secret place – there you will learn and understand what it means to see Jesus and look Him in the eyes. If you can look Him in the eyes and say use me – then surrender and keep your eyes on Him. That is what you should do to fight the oppression and the evils of this age! (Because the battle is won and we have the victory.) Just seek God. Seek Him with all that you have. And when you think you are giving it your all – ask him, humbly to show you and he will say: repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. This is not condemnation – but conviction unto repentance and growth. We continue until the great day when we are transformed! Hallelujah!
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! Knowing the Word is our Sword and Jesus is the Word! Jesus accomplishes what He set out to do. Quoting this verse is therefore the very act of walking in the victory!
NKJV – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
NAS – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
ESV – “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
AMP – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
NIV – “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READING: Matthew 20-21 NKJV
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing [a]idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, [b]and whatever is right you will receive.’
8 “So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ 9 And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they [c]complained against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ 13 But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For[d] many are called, but few chosen.”
Jesus a Third Time Predicts His Death and Resurrection
17 Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, 18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.”
Greatness Is Serving
20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him.
21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?”
She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.”
22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, [e]and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
They said to Him, “We are able.”
23 So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, [f]and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.”
24 And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Two Blind Men Receive Their Sight
29 Now as they went out of Jericho, a great multitude followed Him. 30 And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”
31 Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”
32 So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
33 They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” 34 So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.
The Triumphal Entry
21 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to [g]Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. 3 And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”
4 [h]All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”
6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, [i]and set Him on them. 8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Hosanna in the highest!”
10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”
11 So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
12 Then Jesus went into the temple [j]of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were [k]indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?”
And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read,
‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have perfected praise’?”
17 Then He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He lodged there.
The Fig Tree Withered
18 Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.
The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree
20 And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?”
21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Jesus’ Authority Questioned
23 Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”
24 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: 25 The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?”
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.”
And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
The Parable of the Two Sons
28 “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?”
They said to Him, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward [l]relent and believe him.
The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers
33 “Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. 34 Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. 35 And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. 37 Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?”
41 They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will [m]render to him the fruits in their seasons.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord’s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. 44 And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
45 Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they [n]perceived that He was speaking of them. 46 But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.
- Matthew 20:6 NU omits idle
- Matthew 20:7 NU omits the rest of v. 7.
- Matthew 20:11 grumbled
- Matthew 20:16 NU omits the rest of v. 16.
- Matthew 20:22 NU omits and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with
- Matthew 20:23 NU omits and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with
- Matthew 21:1 M Bethsphage
- Matthew 21:4 NU omits All
- Matthew 21:7 NU and He sat
- Matthew 21:12 NU omits of God
- Matthew 21:15 angry
- Matthew 21:32 regret it
- Matthew 21:41 give
- Matthew 21:45 knew