My memory verse this week:
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciples must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it and whoever loses their life for me will find it."-- Matthew 16:24-25
NTC Day 11
Matthew 21-22 and Romans 1-3
WHEW! some meaty chapters today! Both Jesus in the Matthew chapters and Paul in the Romans chapters speak some basics about our faith...some of these things are hard to understand.
In Matthew 21, Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem to cheers and palm branches being waved at him. Little children are shouting and laughing and cheering. I find this troubling every time I read it...how can these people cheer and love Jesus so much one day, and just a few days later scream with hatred for him to be crucified???
Jesus tells three parables to the Jewish leaders and teachers, each with a message about what the kingdom of heaven is like, and how we get there by our faith.
Jesus told of the Kingdom of Heaven being like a wedding banquet. Many are invited but don't come, so the invitation is opened to anyone who wants to come. But, our actions do play a part in our place in heaven. If we come to the wedding banquet and yet refused the wedding clothes offered to us, we will be asked to leave. I think this means that even though we get to heaven by our faith...that gift of God through Jesus, we are still accountable for our actions.
Those Jewish leaders who wanted to bring Jesus down, tried to trick and trap him with questions. They asked him if it was right to pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus told them to look at the coin. Whose name and face is on it? Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's. (Many of us that don't like to pay taxes should think about that, huh?)
They also try to get Jesus by asking the greatest command of God. Jesus replies that we are to love God with all our heart, mind and soul and love our neighbor as ourselves. All the other commands stem from those two.
Each time they try to trip Jesus up, he gives them answers that make sense and reinforces that he is from God. The verses say that they were amazed at him! Why then do they not believe? It seems so obvious! However, as we have talked before, their refusal and denial of Jesus was all part of God's plan.
The Romans chapters are very meaty and important and I am running out of space and time to go into them today as I should. Paul is sometimes very deep and hard to understand. My study Bible Is a great help to me. Romans 3 is a very important chapter and explains some of the basics of the Christian faith. Read it and study it for yourself and see what new information is revealed to you.