Jesus is telling parables and teaching his disciples as he makes his way down from Galilee through Jericho, to the Mount of Olives and finally to Jerusalem. He’s greeted like a king (called Son of David) to shouts of ‘Hosanna’ (Save!). He immediately heads for the temple and drives out those who would profit off of the poor and create barriers instead of making God more accessible. The section ends with a fierce rebuke to the Pharisees.
“And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
Vision of God
As Jesus approaches the week before his crucifixion, he faces many challenges and handles them all with divine intuition. People often project their own image onto Jesus, making him totally hardline or totally compassionate or totally concerned with social justice and on and on. But here, Jesus proves to be nimble. He responds to a myriad of issues in unique and unexpected ways. He shows patience and severity with James and John’s request. He displays compassion as he heals the blind men at Jericho. He allows himself to be worshipped coming into Jerusalem. He makes a whip and yells in the temple. He makes an example out of a fig tree. He traps the chief priests with their own words. He teaches in parables that remain timeless in their ability to pierce our hearts even today. He silences all of the religious factions that try to trap him and then he lets loose on the Pharisees. We have to be careful not to put God in a box but rather constantly expand our vision of who God is through the life of Jesus.
Vision of Self and Others
Jesus is always kind and compassionate with the humble. He is always direct and severe with the proud. So, for myself I want to fight for humility and keep reminding myself that what I don’t know is so much greater than what I know. As I approach others I need to be discerning. A prideful person doesn’t need compassion – they need the truth.
Go With God
I want to be better at seeing pride in myself and others and calling it out by pointing people unashamedly to Jesus.
The key verse is an amazing statement from Jesus. Coming to Jesus is like falling onto a rock. It’s going to hurt and break some things (sins, bad habits, mindsets, relationships, etc…). This is better than the alternative which is the rock falling on you which results in being crushed.