April 21, 2021
From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raise up on the third day (Matthew 16:21).
This is the Gospel in a nut-shell. This is the key that opens the door of salvation to anyone who will believe. The problem with humanity is that we will not accept simple truth for what it is. We take simple truth and make it complex and challenging. Nothing is spelled out in ‘plain English’ any more. The same is true with saving faith.
The straight forward truth of the Gospel is that Jesus was crucified and resurrected for our salvation. However, we want to take that simple truth and add baptism, speaking in tongues, church membership, doctrinal and theological interpretation, denominational considerations, ritual, ad nauseum. It’s always been this way. God gave the Jews 10 Commandments in the days of Moses (1446 B.C.). By the time Jesus arrived and began His ministry (A.D. 26), the Jews had turned the 10 Commandments into 613 laws - 365 “thou shall not” laws and 248 “thou shall” laws. Why do we do this? We simply do not want to submit to the Word of God as is.
For 2½ years Jesus taught the principles of Kingdom life. During that time thousands of people had heard and been ministered to by Jesus, but many of them turned away from Jesus when He got down ‘to where the rubber hits the road’ (John 6:60-66). During this time some of the 12 disciples truly came to faith in Jesus Christ as Messiah, especially Peter. We cannot discount his great confession, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). That truth was revealed to him by God Himself (v. 17). Then Jesus told the disciples to conceal His identity from the Jews because they had already rejected Him as their Christ.
This introduces us to the final turning point in the life and ministry of Jesus. In Matthew 4:17 we read, From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." This marked the beginning of His pubic ministry. Now we read, From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raise up on the third day. This marked the end of His public ministry. At this point He would devote Himself to the private and personal instruction of the 12 disciples in preparation for His death, burial, and resurrection.
“Father, my heart is grieved over the spiritual blindness that over-shadowed the Jewish people throughout their Old and New Testament history, a blindness that still plagues them today. I know it is part of Your plan, but it only proves how willing we are to be blinded to the truth by our own wants and wishes. Continue to keep my spiritual eyes open and my ears tuned to Your truth and to Your will for my life and Your people. To the honor and glory of Jesus Christ I ask, Amen.”