Tag Archives: teacher

Matthew 21 – Jesus & the Pharisees

Things are starting to come together.  The end is nigh and the countdown is beginning.  This chapter begins with the triumphal entry.  Jesus enters Jerusalem for His / the final passover.  The disciples find the colt as He predicts.  He rides the colt into Jerusalem with the bystanders worshiping YHWH and giving Him adoration calling for Him to fulfill His mission as Messiah to save  them and desiring Him to free them from Roman tyranny.  However, as is the case quite often, our expectations of what YHWH should do, and what He does, are two different things.  Even when we have the same message / prediction.

Christ comes in and begins the process of redemption and rescue from tyranny… He drives the money changers and the seats of those who were selling in the temple.  Those who were turning His Father’s house into a den of thieves.

The next morning he was hungry and came upon a barren fig tree.  It should have had fruit, but it didn’t.  He cursed it, and it began to wither and die.  This is a great analogy of the pharisees.  They too are not bearing fruit to righteousness.  As a result, they begin to wither and die as Christ sacrifices Himself to build the church.

The rest of this chapter is focused on this dynamic action – reaction of Jesus and the Pharisees.  They challenge His authority wanting to know what right He has to teach preach, and do these things.  Christ in turn He puts their actions and those of sinners into perspective.  He shows that knowing the law and being sinless are two very different things, and He criticizes them for it.

Jesus continues with another parable about a landowner who builds a vineyard, rents it out to vine-dressers, and sends his servants out to collect the fruits of the vineyard.  The vine-dressers instead beat the representatives and eventually kill the owner’s son.  This is the final truth of their relationship.  The pharisees will kill the landowner’s son, but the landowner will destroy the vine-dressers and redeem His people.

The relationship between Jesus and the pharisees is such a contrast.  Jesus cares for the fruit of the vine, while most of the Pharisees care more about what they can get from the fruit than they do about caring for the fruit.  They are killing the vineyard from the inside out, and they just didn’t seem to care.  This dynamic seems to define and explain all that follows.  It is  the reason and purpose for all that follows.

This is a key turning point in Jesus ministry and the pharisees focus when it comes to Jesus.

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Matthew 8 – Ministering

It’s amazing how even simple daily chores and tasks can be so very different day-by-day when we are connected to other people.  Our lives can have set schedules and predefined plans, but once you add in the “other person” factor, everything we plan and do suddenly changes.  Our “set schedule” suddenly becomes a possible plan or a good idea or a guarantee of what WON’T happen.  This is the case while Jesus is ministering as well.

Jesus ministers to a leaper, and all is normal… or as normal as they can be when you heal a leaper with a touch.  Then along comes a Centurion, a solider, many of whom dislike and mistreat the Jewish people.  Only this one is asking Jesus for help.  Not only does Jesus help him, but Jesus then turns around and says that He has not seen such faith in all of Israel!  Next we see people desiring to be His disciples, but then Jesus pushes them away.  What kind of teacher doesn’t want students?

After a long day, Jesus and His disciples head out in a boat and cross the sea.  Suddenly a tempest strikes and it looks like they will all drown.  When His disciples wake Him to help with the boat, He rebukes them.  Then He rebukes the storm and it immediately stops!

They all reach the other side only to run into a pair of men who are demon possessed and who have been driving people out of the region.  They free them from the demons only to be driven out of the region by the rest of the people BECAUSE they freed these men from being held captive by demons!  (I have my own theories as to why they kicked them out, but i’m not going to say them here and now.)

When you minister day by day directly with people, these are the kinds of unusual days and situations you are going to run into.  If you are in the ministry, and your schedule is well defined and set.  If you don’t have days where your plans and schedule are messed up by people, then i would wonder if you you are “ministering”, or if you are “doing the ministry”.  If you are doing the ministry I would challenge you to consider what your call and purpose is.

Jesus did not sit in an office all day.  He was hands on, and if we are to be like Him, we need to reconsider what it means to “minister” to the flock.

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Filed under Application, Bible, Content, Gospels, Matthew, New Testament, Process, Project, Purpose