We are in the Christ Stream reading from Holman Christian Standard Bible.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Wow, Lord, give us the mind of Christ, we pray. Amen.
Jesus is in the final days before the Crucifixion – that He and God the Father know is set to happen before Passover. However the Priests, Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes and the Turnips (my husband went off script there) are frantic to get rid of this Jesus/pest before the week is up. They were utterly scrambling to accuse a perfectly innocent man – and they end up revealing their own twisted characters. We just read in the prophets this week that the nation is judged because the Priests and religious leaders led the people into spiritual oblivion. They let it happen and then made sure it happened. Their line of thinking: attempting to make Jesus look like he doesn’t have his head together, turns into practical comedy. It ends up merely displaying Jesus’ pure heavenly brilliance, and their spiritual irrelevance.
20 – They ask Him where He gets his authority. You heard the interchange about John-the-Baptist. The only reason this comes up is that Jesus was walking through Jerusalem with ultimate celebrity status and the illicit “religious board” is having their authority threatened. And they “inquire” of Jesus who responds so that theirmisgivings are exposed. How do they respond? ‘they play stupid. Did they have a choice? The Parable of the Vineyard further exposes their derelict leadership … (their “how dare you!?” response is lunacy) as if everyone didn’t already know! So they try a “taxes paid to Caesar” question. Think a minute, did they really want an answer? They hate taxes. They hate Caesar. If you have any experience in education like husband and I do, there’s always the real question from a student who wants an answer and then there’s the “stalling for time” question from an imposter who’s more-or-less killing time at school because the workforce is too brutal. These types also offer plenty of deflection questions, distraction questions, digression questions – that makes sure no one else gets their real question in. The Pharisees have all this deviant thinking mastered. Yet Jesus stings them again. You gotta love this. The Sadducees then ask a question based on a concept they don’t believe in either; The Resurrection. Come on, do they even want an answer? His Messiah- logic-against-what-David-said in Psalms 110:1 hits to the core. The Pharisees are prancing around Jerusalem all this week trying to rumor the crowd into thinking Jesus ISN’T the Messiah. And they think Jesus doesn’t know what they’re up to, … Hmm. KaChow! He got ’em again. We don’t mean to ridicule, we ought pity these leaders in Jerusalem, they think they are going to outfox Jesus. Wake up guys – Jesus went to Law School in heaven [pardon the phrasology]. You’re going to lose all these arguments. Hey, Jesus had to warn the people about these in the ‘old boys club’.
21 – Jesus sees people putting money in the Temple Treasury and his assessment still speaks to percentages and offerings and such matters that are occurring today. We can’t buy off God. We need to give to His Work what he has asked of us. His Apocalyptic teaching in Lu. 21 is a pillar in the doctrine that must be taken into account along with Daniel, Revelation, the other gospels, I Corinthians 15,
I Thessalonians 4 & 5, II Thessalonians 1, etc. It’s powerful words coming from our Savior. Prophesying the destruction of The Temple [by Romans in 41 years] carries symbolism that morphs into the End of Days, Signs of those coming days on earth and in the sky, the Jews returning to Israel wrapped up in the fig tree story, … This is all loaded material for discussions that are ongoing 19+ centuries later!
Jesus ends our time today reminding us to be watchful for the End Times. For messages from God. We are in the middle of history’s most intense week. And the crowds listening to Jesus grow and grow … and grow.