October 31, 2021

And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant . . . (Matthew 21:14-15).

Why did the Chief Priests (Pharisees and Sadducees) and Scribes (religious ‘lawyers’ or ‘doctors’ of the Law) hate Jesus? The Jews looked to these religious leaders for spiritual guidance and the practical application of Mosaic Law. The Sanhedrin (religious ‘supreme court’) decided matters concerning Mosaic Law, Jewish traditions, rites and rituals, ceremonies, etc. You would think such leaders would be holy, righteous, compassionate, caring, willing, and wanting to serve the Kingdom of God by helping the people of Israel experience the truth of God’s Word and the blessings of His covenant with them. You would think they would recognize Jesus as the Messiah, Son of God, and Redeemer of Israel by His life and ministry. They didn’t, they wouldn’t. And that’s key - it was a willful decision on their part to reject and condemn Jesus.

Amid the cacophony of the Passover Festival Jesus was in the Temple complex ministering to the people who flooded into the city of Jerusalem. He was a recognized Rabbi (teacher) among the people but despised by the religious leaders. He was loving, compassionate, caring, and a servant of the Lord to the poor, needy, sick, disenfranchised, and spiritually hungry but He was condemned by the religious leaders.

The blind and lame came to Jesus, and He healed them. Rather than celebrate the wonderful (miraculous) things He did, rather than rejoice with the children (young boys; teenagers) who cried out ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’ as their parents had done in His triumphal entry into the city, they became indignant. The word means ‘fury’ and ‘wrath’. They wouldn’t recognize Jesus as Messiah, ‘Son of David’. They wouldn’t acknowledge Him as a legitimate teacher of Israel. They wouldn’t accept Him as a servant of God. They hated Him. They condemned Him. They called Him the servant of Satan and said His miraculous power came from Satan.

Why such hard hearts, closed minds, and condemning spirits among the clergy? (1) Pride. Their arrogance and pride as priests made them jealous of Jesus’ popularity with the people. People flocked to Him by the hundreds and thousands. His name was constantly on their lips. They talked about His power, humility, compassion. It made the priests jealous. (2) Love. The people loved Jesus for who He was and all He did. They feared the priests because they were strict, judgmental, condemning. They criticized, chastised, and condemned people for their sin. Jesus loved, cared, forgave, and saved people from their sin. (3) Their sin. Jesus exposed the self-righteousness, unholy, godless hearts and hypocritical minds of the chief priests. This revealed their arrogance and pride and affirmed their hatred for those they were to minister to and serve.

“Lord Jesus, keep my heart, mind, and spirit in check through the ministry of Your Holy Spirit. Kill any arrogance and pride I may have that hinders me from ministering to those You came to save and serve. May the name of Jesus be at the heart of every conversation and act of ministry I engage in. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.” 


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