QT 24/01/2024 Wednesday Matthew 21. The wise learn it only once. 聪明人只学一次。

QT 24/01/2024 Wednesday Matthew 21. The wise learn it only once. 聪明人只学一次。

QT 24/01/2024 Wednesday Matthew 21

Read Matthew 21. You heart might be pained, if you felt the full emotions of these 3 verses, Matt 21:1, 10 & 12.

REFLECTION: What's the significance of the simple verse Matt 21:1? "Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples."

REFLECTION: And how about Matt 21:10? "And when he entered Jerusalem..." Or Matt 21:12? "And Jesus entered the temple..."

You see, God is now in HIS TEMPLE again, having entered it from the EAST side, from the Mount Olive direction (Matt 21:1).

We recall that the last time there was this kind of movement was in the OPPOSITE direction. In Ezekiel chapters 10 & 11, God's glory DEPARTS from the temple in the EASTWARD direction.

God's glory moved from the cherubim (holy places) to the temple threshold (the exit of the building, Eze 10:4), then "went out from the threshold of the house" (Eze 10:18), then on the way OUT "stood at the entrance of the east gate of the house of the LORD" (the exit of the compound, Eze 10:19), then OUT of the city and ACROSS the Kidron Valley to MOUNT OLIVE (Eze 11:23).

REFLECTION: Previously, descriptions of how God's glory FILLED His temple/tabernacle took only 1 or 2 verses (Exo 40:34 & 1King 8:10-11). BUT it took 2 WHOLE chapters in Ezekiel to describe God's glory DEPARTING. Why so verbose?

It was because God was RELUCTANT to leave His temple and His people. "因为神舍不得". In Matt 21, the divine entered the temple AGAIN. However, Jesus found things that PAINED God, ALL OVER AGAIN. It was NOT a house of prayer (quoting Isaiah 56:7--Isaiah again, oh no!), but a mercantile exchange, a trading hub where the usual intrigues were expected - "a den of robbers" (quoting Jeremiah 7:11).

Not only was the ACTION rotten, the ATTITUDE was also rotten - when both the blind and the lame got healed, the "chief priests" & "the teachers of the law" were INDIGNANT (Matt 21:14-15). What kind of attitude and heart was that? Shouldn't they have rejoiced and shouted "Hosanna to the SON OF DAVID" too (Matt 21:9)?

When Jesus quoted Isaiah & Jeremiah in one breadth, you can feel the exile mood & punishment coming upon God's people. Again, the divine "went out of the city" (Matt 21:17, just like in Eze 11:23).

REFLECTION (1): Why must God's people make the same mistakes all over again? Adam and Eve were chased out to the EAST (Gen 3:24), the Exodus generation died in the "EAST" of Jordan, Israel was exiled EASTWARD to Assyria and Babylon.

REFLECTION (2): If Jesus were to visit our church today (in fact, He IS there at every worship service, with His church 24/7), WHAT will Jesus find in us all, temple of the living God?

Are there yucky things too? Bare trees (Matt 21:19)? Unsubmissive pride (Matt 21:23-27)? Words not matched by actions (Matt 21:28-31)? Ungrateful spirits that always persecuted God's messengers (Matt 21:33-45)?

星期三2024年1月24日 今日读经:马太福音21章