The First Earthly Ministry of Jesus Christ 1b

The Lord Jesus Christ Gives Signs to John the Baptist that Jesus is the Promised Messiah of Israel from Gospel of Luke 7

John the Baptist knew he was the forerunner of the Messiah and had been acting in that capacity for some time. However he did not yet know for sure who the Messiah was but by this time with some of Jesus' miracles and calling his twelve disciples he would have some suspicions that Jesus could be a good candidate for the Messiah not to mention Jesus' miraculous birth. John the Baptist then called two of his disciples and sent them on a mission to Jesus to try to get confirmation about whether Jesus of Nazareth was the promised Messiah of Israel or not both in general terms and to satisfy the issue for John himself and his role as forerunner of the Messiah. These two disciples of John then asked Jesus directly whether he was the one (the Messiah) that was to come or whether they should look for another. Jesus as he did on other occasions didn't answer such a question directly in concise words but gave evidence of his Messiahship by his actions including that he demonstrated at that time. Jesus in the presence and sight of these disciples of John then performed many miracles to show his supernatural power including healing many of their infirmities which could include mental diseases and plagues or mostly phsyical diseases and of evil spirits or demon possession. Jesus also healed many blind people and gave them sight. Jesus then spoke to the two disciples of John for them to tell John what they had seen and heard from him in the miracles Jesus performed in their presence. Jesus reminded them that he had shown them he had power to made the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers be cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead be raised and the gospel to preached to the poor which would include the poor in spirit but of course the materially poor as well. Jesus added blessed is the one that is not offended in him. Jesus said all these things for John the Baptist and people in general that these miracles and his preaching the gospel were evidence that he was the promised Messiah of Israel. We can as Christians today ask God in prayer in Jesus' name to do these same things for people we pray for to heal them and God will heal those for whom it is his will although sometimes God wants unbelievers to trust Him more for salvation from our sins or for believers to share in Jesus' sufferings in this world for which God will reward us as believers if we seek to live for God's glory. The scripture reference in Gospel of Luke 7 of the Lord Jesus Christ pointing to the miracles he did including in the presence of the disciples of John the Baptist as evidence of his Messiahship is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Gospel of Luke 7 of Disciples of John the Baptist Coming to the Lord Jesus Christ for Evidence of His Messiahship and Jesus Showing Them Miracles and Preaching the Gospel to Provide This Evidence

And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? When the men were come unto him, they said, John the Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosover shall not be offended in me. Gospel of Luke 7:19-23

Miracle of the Lord Jesus Christ Feeding the Five Thousand With Only Five Loaves and Two Fish to Start With in Gospel of John 6

Even by early in Jesus' first earthly ministry he had become very famous and popular, partly by the miracles he did. One of Jesus' greatest miracles that is mentioned in all four gospels is his feeding of the five thousand men plus women and children. After Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee the multitudes followed him along the shore to hear him and have him do some miracle. Jesus then went up into a mountain on shore and sat with his disciples. This was also the time of year just before the Jewish feast of passover. When Jesus looked around he noticed the huge crowd coming to him and he asked his disciple Philip where the people could find something to eat. Jesus as the scripture said was just testing Philip to see how much he believed Jesus could do a miracle in this situation as Jesus knew and had already made up his mind what he would do. Philip said two hundred penny's worth of bread was not sufficient to feed the crowd to give each of them a little. This would be a considerable amount of bread as a penny at that time was a day's wages for a labouring man. One of Jesus' other disciples, Andrew, Peter's brother, showed more faith in pointing to a lad probably a young teenager or adolescent that had five loaves and two fish. Although this wasn't very much and could hardly feed the great and probably hungry multitude. It showed a willingness and faith on the part of Andrew to make due with what was available and believe that Jesus could bless it and make it sufficient to feed the multitude. Jesus honoured this faith in Andrew by starting to prepare the people to have this food be blessed to feed them all. Jesus first ordered the people to sit down. This showed some faith on their part as they could have started to leave when they didn't see any apparent source of food for them but they believed that Jesus could provide for them so they did sit down. Jesus also it this instance gave glory to God by acknowledging him as the provider of the food which would please God and enable his blessing. Jesus then gave the food to his disciples and they gave the food to the multitudes. If there is a lot of Christian work to do it is good to delegate some of the work to other workers if willing and able Christian coworkers can be found. When Jesus had through the disciples distributed the food the people ate as much as they wanted and they all became full. Jesus again then worked through the disciples and instructed them to gather what was left over that nothing should be lost. This is a good lesson that Jesus does not want us to waste food or other things he was provided us with. The disciples then carried out Jesus' order and gathered twelve baskets of food leftovers. The men and most likely women and children that saw this miracle that Jesus did exclaimed that this was indeed the prophet that should come into the world referring to the messianic prophesy of a prophet like to Moses from among the Jews in Deuteronomy 18. However they still needed to believe that Jesus was the Son of God although some of them might have believed that. However we should believe in Jesus because of HIs teaching in the Bible especially the New Testament and not just because of any miracle we see or that he does in our lives. The scripture passage in Gospel of John 6 of the Lord Jesus Christ multiplying the fish and loaves of bread to feed the multitute is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Gospel of John 6 of the Lord JEsus Christ Multiplying the Fish and Loaves of Bread to Feed the Multitute

After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh (near). When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. Gospel of John 6:1-10

The Lord Jesus Christ Stilling the Storm and the Waves on the Sea of Galilee in Gospel of Luke 8

The first thing that should be noted here is that Jesus said before they launched their boat into the Sea of Galilee "let us go over to the other side of the lake". This showed that Jesus was fully confident they would safely reach the other side of the lake or Sea of Galilee and since these were the words of Jesus of Nazareth God made flesh they were as good as done even before they happened. Jesus then fell asleep in the boat which showed he was at peace and confident they would reach the other side safely. There then came up a windy storm on the lake. As I have heard before and that is quite a common interpretation of the wind storm here, this storm could have been caused by Satan or one of the other demons which have power to do these things despite what some Christians say as this is evidenced in the scripture in the Book of Job where a whirlwind that destroyed some of Job's property or family is attributed to Satan the devil. Satan could have tried to bring a windstorm in this case in Jesus' first earthly ministry in a vain attempt to kill Jesus and his disciples. The disciples then were worried they were going to die and didn't have any faith in Jesus that he could overcome and still the storm even though Jesus had already showed some of his miraculous powers to them by that time. Jesus then arose and he rebuked the winds and the waves according to another gospel in saying "peace, be still" and then there was a great calm. Jesus then rebuked his disciples for their lack of faith in Him and His ability to calm the storm or have power over nature by asking them where their faith was. The disciples then marvelled at Jesus and gained a greater realization of His supernatural power when they exclaimed they he was an extraordinary man that even the winds and the waves obey his command. In the next verse, verse 26, the scripture says they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes which was on the far side of the Sea of Galilee thus confirming after Jesus calmed the storm He and the disciples arrived safely to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. In answer to prayer in Jesus' name Jesus can and does still do miraculous things on behalf of or to his people saved by faith in Him and His death on the cross for our sins and resurrection from the dead to give us new life. The scripture reference from Gospel of Luke 8 of Jesus stilling the storm and His disciples gaining a greater appreciation of his power is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Gospel of Luke 8 Of The Lord Jesus Stilling the Storm and His Disciples Challenged to Greater Faith in His Power

Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him. Gospel of Luke 8:22-25

The Demonically Possessed Man from Gadara That Jesus Heals from Mark 5

One thing to note about this demoniac from Gadara is that the demons gave him superhuman strength such as being able to break the chains quite easily. Nowadays, people that practice exorcism have to also to be careful with possessed people because they can be quite violent especially when an attempt is made to cast out the evil spirit(s). It should also be noted that the evil spirit or unclean spirit was a spirit of death and destruction driving the demonically possessed man to dwell among tombs and to cut himself. Although the man truly wanted to be delivered from the demons shown be his coming to Jesus and worshipping him, the demons in him didn't want anything to do with Jesus because they didn't want him to cast them out of the man or into the pit (hell). Jesus then spoke with authority to the unclean or evil spirit to come out of the man. Jesus of course didn't have to speak in the name of another as he was the Son of God but any effort that is done by humans which should be true Christians should be done in Jesus' name because it is Jesus not at all ourselves that has authority over the fallen angels or unclean spirits and we can have this authority when we speak as believers in Jesus' name. After Jesus asked the demons their name he said Legion for we are many. This indicates that sometimes many demons will possess a single person and also that demons have an organized system with a hierarchy what the New Testament calls powers and principalities and what the Old Testament sometimes calls the host of heaven. The demon also sought Jesus not to send him out of that country showing that the unclean spirit identified with that area or was a territorial spirit as there are also territorial spirits in many places on earth today. Jesus allowed the evil spirit to enter into the herd of swine and although it caused the death of the swine Jesus and God see a human being that has an eternal spirit as far more value than animals that at most have a soul but not a spirit that can have communion with God. The effects on the demonically possessed man were immediate and dramatic. He was then sitting in his right mind and clothed all of which were probably not the case when he was still possessed. The people of that area were afraid as they probably did not like to admit the reality of the supernatural or of that power like many today and sometimes people from an occult background that become genuine born again Christians have trouble gaining the trust or support of other Christians although true Christians should receive and encourage genuine converts to the Lord Jesus Christ from any background. Although sometimes Jesus asked people to follow him in this case Jesus asked this man to go to his own people to testify of Jesus and how he changed his life to this people. When a person trusts in the Lord Jesus they should seek God's will how God and Jesus would use them in His service after one is saved. The scripture reference from the Gospel of Mark 5 of the demoniac from Gadara and Jesus casting out the demons in him and calling him to serve Jesus is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Gospel of Mark 5 of the Lord Jesus Christ Casting Out Evil Spirits from a Possessed Man Then Calling the Delivered Man to Testify of Jesus

And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces; neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country, And they went out to see what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart from out of their coasts. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel. Gospel of Mark 5:1-20

Jesus After Raising the Young Girl from the Dead Tells Those Present Not to Mention His Miracle in Mark 5

The Lord Jesus Christ after he raised the young girl from the dead told her family and others present not to mention this miracle to anybody else. He probably did this so he could still give some attention to his teaching and people would be carried away with the wonder of his miracles. Jesus probably also told her family this so he could still have some private time with God the Father in prayer or just with his disciples without the crowds following him all the time. Jesus might have also wanted the crowds to focus on His teaching more than His miracles. One thing God showed me is that Jesus also told demons when he cast them out of people not to tell people that he was the Son of God or the Messiah as demons aren't trustworthy witnesses and probably also so he could have some private time away from the crowds and so people could believe in Jesus based in His own teachings and miracles and that the people wouldn't try to prevent Him from dying for our sins and then rising again. These latter things were Jesus' main purpose in his first earthly ministry as Messiah and Redeemer of Israel and Saviour of the world. The scripture reference from Gospel of Mark 5 of Jesus telling the family of the girl he raised from the dead not to tell this miracle to others is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Gospel of Mark 5 of Jesus Telling the Family of the Girl He Raised from the Dead Not to Mention the Matter to Others

And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat. Mark 5:43

The Lord Jesus Christ Preaches the Gospel of the Kingdom and Does Miracles in Israel from Matthew 9

The Lord Jesus Christ in the latter part of him public ministry went throughout the land of Israel to appeal to the people of Israel to prepare themselves for the kingdom of Heaven. Although it is controversial and hypothetical, Jesus up to this time in His ministry and until after the 12 disciples were sent out and also did not get the people of Israel and their leadership to receive Jesus as their Lord and Messiah was leaving open an offer to set up the Messianic or Millennial Kingdom at that time. If this would have happened the Church Age would not have happened although Gentiles that trusted in Jesus would still have been included in the Kingdom but in an Old Testament sense not the sense of the Church as equals with Jewish believers. The death and resurrection of Jesus would still have had to be worked in somehow too because those were prophesied in the Old Testament. Jesus then went to the Jewish people or children of Israel in their cities and towns and synagogues and preached this gospel of the kingdom (meaning offering then the Messianic kingdom) as He hadn't been decisively rejected by the nation of Israel by that time yet. Jesus also showed His Messiahship or that He was the annointed one (Christ, Messiah) of God with His miracles. Jesus had compassion on the multitudes as they were as sheep without a shepherd meaning they were not getting good leadership from the existing Jewish leadership of the Saduccees and Pharisees. Jesus was saying that a great harvest of people for God in Israel was available then but there weren't many workers to share the gospel (then of the kingdom) with the people. Jesus said this to His disciples.(Immediately after that Jesus and sent out his 12 disciples to try to reach people with this gospel for God and Himself. The scripture reference in Gospel of Matthew 9 of the Lord Jesus Christ sharing the gospel of the Kingdom and doing miracles and appealing to the nation of Israel to recognize HIm as their Messiah and leader or shepherd is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Gospel of Matthew 9 of the Lord Jesus Christ Appealing to the Children of Israel as Their Prospective Leader or Shepherd by Preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom and Doing Miracles

And Jesus went into all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. Gospel of Matthew 9:35-38

Jesus Heals a Man on the Sabbath Day and the Pharisees Determine to Kill Jesus in Matthew 12

In verse 9 of chapter 12 of Matthew a story of Jesus going into one of the Jewish synagogues is told. In that synagogue there was a man with a withered hand concerning whom some of the Jewish religious authorities asked Jesus whether it was lawful, according to the law of Moses, to heal on the sabbath. In the law of Moses generally it was to be a day of rest and free from work according to the Law of Moses or first five books of the Bible. These authorities asked this question not because they genuinely wanted to know Jesus' opinion but so they could have something to accuse Jesus of breaking the law of Moses. Jesus then gave a hypothetical example of a Jewish man who lost one of his sheep in a pit and wanted to get it out on a sabbath day and then he said a person is more valuable than a sheep or other animal. Then Jesus healed the handicapped man after healing it was legal to do good, such as healing someone, on the sabbath day. There had been other incidents in which Jesus went against the interpretation of the law of Moses of the Jewish religious leaders but this was the last straw or what convinced them to plot intently for Jesus' death. It was also right after this in the next chapter with the mysteries of the kingdom that Jesus started to give more relevation of the church which would be in the place of Israel as God's primary people on earth while Israel is temporarily set aside until the rapture or catching up of the church or all true Christians to heaven. God will then focus on the Jewish people again on earth by chastening them and restoring them to himself in the tribulation and second coming of Jesus including getting about a third of them to trust in Jesus as their Messiah after they survive the tribulation and then blessing this Jewish remnant to be the primary nation one earth during God's rule through Messiah Jesus in the Millennial or Messianic Kingdom. The determination of the Jewish leaders to kill Jesus and not mostly receive him as their Messiah 2000 years ago means the kingdom promises to the Jews have been postponed until after the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Church will also reign with Jesus over the earth with the believing Jews during that time. The scripture reference of Jesus healing on the sabbath and the Jewish religious leaders then determining to kill Jesus in Matthew 12 is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Matthew 12 of Messiah Jesus Healing on the Sabbath and the Decision of Jewish Religious Authorities to Put HIm to Death

And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. ANd they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Then said he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand, And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. Matthew 12:9-14

The Lord Jesus Christ Gives the Great Fish of Jonah as a Sign of His Death and Resurrection from Gospel of Matthew 12

A second and more frequently used sign that the Lord Jesus Christ gave of His death and resurrection from the dead on the third day was the account of the prophet Jonah. In the Old Testament book of Jonah, the prophet Jonah was swallowed by a whale or great fish and was in its belly until the third day later when Jonah was spat out to the land or close to the land. The whale swallowing Jonah was symbolic of Jesus dying and going to hell to the heart of the earth. This was not to give any person who died in their sins a second chance but so Jesus could bear our sins in this way too. If Jesus said anything to anyone there it was to comfort believers in the paradise part of hades or hell that he would soon bring them to heaven and to confirm to people that died in their sins and demons that they would be destined to eternal suffering in the lake of fire for their sins or rejecting the light God gave of Himself and in some cases of His Annointed One (Christ or Messiah). The great fish spitting out Jonah was symbolic of Jesus raising from the dead and the heart of the earth in his case with His resurrection body. In Hebrew or Jewish measure of time any part of a day was counted as a whole day so Jesus dying for our sins on Friday and rising from the dead on Sunday would still be considered three days and three nights. The scripture reference from Matthew 12 of the account of the prophet Jonah being three days and three nights in the great fish's belly of Jesus being the same length of time in the heart of the earth is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Gospel of Matthew 12 of the Prophet Jonah Three Days in the Belly of the Great Fish as Jesus Similiarly Was in the Heart of the Earth Between His Death and Resurrection

Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas; For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Gospel of Matthew 12:40-42

The Lord Jesus Asks His Disciples Who He Is and the Apostle Peter's Response from Matthew 16

Although people have many ideas today about who Jesus Christ is, this is nothing new. Jesus asked that same question of his disciples when he was on earth during his public ministry. People today think Jesus was a good man, a good teacher, a reformer or revolutionary, a prophet, a false prophet or an eastern mystic or one who had the Christ spirit and of course genuine Christians think he is God come in the flesh and the Messiah or the Christ. When Jesus asked that question the disciples answered Jesus that people who would be the Jews of that time thought he was John the Baptist (who by then had died), Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets in other words they thought he was a prophet. Then Jesus asked his disciples themselves who they thought he was. Peter gives the answer saying he believed JEsus was the Christ or Messiah the Son of the living God or the Son of God. Of course Peter meant identifying Jesus as the Christ or Messiah in a traditional Jewish way as the annointed one who would bring payment for sin and eventually political deliverance to the Jewish people not as a mystical Christ spirit. Jesus then commended Peter for his answer and said that other people, flesh and blood, had not revealed this to him but God (Jesus' Father who is in heaven). Jesus then gave that famous saying using Peter's name given him by Jesus but this is a statement built upon the object of Peter's faith Jesus Christ who is the rock as in 1 Corinthians 10:4 rather than Peter which means stone as the gates of hell prevailed against Peter when he denied Jesus three times but not against the Lord Jesus who rose victorious after living a perfect life and dying on the cross for our sins. Although people or groups have tried to prevail against the church in its 2000 year or so history they have not succeeded or against the object of true Christians faith the Lord Jesus Christ. Now Jesus is closer to finsihing his church called out from every people, nation, tongue and kindred than any time in church history and will likely finish the church soon and bring it to be with himself in heaven and then back to earth to rule with himself. Jesus says that he would give the keys of the kingdom of heaven to Peter that whatever he would bind on earth would be bound in heaven and whatever he would loose on earth would be loosed in heaven. But as far as binding or loosing sins Jesus gave that authority to all his apostles when they received the Holy Spirit in John 20:22-23 and I think to all Christians when he receive the Holy Spirit and are born again. This doesn't mean that we have authority of ourselves over others to forgive or retain their sins but when we are led by God's Holy Spirit and walking with Jesus as born again Christians our judgment should be the same as that of God and Jesus would be for forgiving and retaining of people's sins such as if they confess them and have remorse for them and if they are willing to forgive others who have sinned against them. The scripture reference from Matthew 16 of what people in Jesus' day and his disciples especially Peter thought of Jesus and Jesus' response is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Matthew 16 of General Opinions and Peter's Opinion of Jesus and Jesus' Response

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias (Elijah); and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shalt be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ (Messiah). Matthew 16:13-20

The Often Misquoted Passage of the Lord Jesus Referring to the Jewish Judges as Gods from Gospel of John 10

The context of this passage was just after Jesus mentioned about the security of the believer in His hand and in the hands of God the Father finishing by saying that he and the Father are one. The Jews rightly understood this to be a claim of Jesus to divinity and they took up stones to stone him which was the penalty under the Law of Moses for blasphemy. Jesus then referred to a passage in the Old Testament where God called people who he gave the word of God gods. This passage is in Psalm 82 and is involved with God's message to human judges associated with the Law of Moses. The word gods in the Old Testament as well as the word for the one true God (God) is Elohim which is the plural of El (God). This word Elohim is also used of the earthly Jewish judges who used the Law of Moses to determine matters of law with God's earthly people Israel and is used in that sense three times in Exodus 22 (verses 8 and 9) and once in Exodus 21 (verse 6). This is the true meaning of what Jesus was saying and he certainly wasn't granting that humans can become gods and that God authorizes that as many New Agers and Mormons claim. I think Jesus' statement that the scripture cannot be broken does not just refer to the Jewish judges after the law as gods but also that the word of God that they were given to be the basis of their judgments such as in Exodus cannot be broken. Jesus goes on to say it is not a great thing for him to claim to be the Son of God since the Israelite earthly judges were called gods. The scripture reference from John 10 of the Lord Jesus Christ using this scripture reference from the Old Testament (Psalm 82) of Israelite judges being called gods to downplay the possible offence to the Jewish religious leaders of his own claim to deity is as follows:

Scripture Reference from John 10 of the Lord Jesus Using the Reference to Israelite Judges After the Law as Gods to Downplay His Own Claims to Deity in the View of Jewish Religious Leaders

Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. Therefore they sought again to take him, but he escaped out of their hand. Gospel of John 10:32-39

Background of Request of Jesus' Two Disciples to be the Greatest in His Kingdom from Mark 10

Leading up to the Lord Jesus Christ going to the cross two main disciples of His James and John requested of Jesus that they could hold two main positions in His Kingdom. They were likely thinking of His Millennial or Messianic Kingdom on Earth that they thought was immediately then about to start and would be soon in their lifetime but because the majority of the leadership and people of Israel then didn't receive Jesus as their Messiah (Christ) and put His to death with the Gentiles (Romans as well bring that to pass) and their not understanding Jesus' first coming as Messiah (Christ) was to bring spiritual deliverance from sin in His death on the cross and eternal life through His resurrection from the dead rather than political deliverance for Israel from rule by the Gentiles (nations) then by Rome the Messianic or Millennial Kingdom is now postponed until the restoration of Israel is mostly complete after the tribulation and second coming in glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. The way the two disciples asked the Lord Jesus if they could be the greatest in His kingdom after Jesus Himself is whether they could hold the main position at His right and left. Jesus then asked these two disciples if they could drink of the cup He would drink and be baptized with the baptism He would be baptized with symbolic of His then coming sufferings leading up to His death on the cross for our sins. They said they could and Jesus said they would partake of similiar sufferings as Him. Although they didn't suffer in the same way as Jesus and their suffering didn't have as much value especially as Jesus' actual death and bearing God's wrath for our sins on the cross they would suffer for Him and for the Heavenly Father when James was killed as a martyr for Jesus and God the Father in Acts 12:2 and the apostle John was banished to the island of Patmos for the rest of his life in Revelation 1:9 in the early part of this present Church Age. Then Jesus said to give the position at His right or left side at least when God the Father through Him rules the Earth in the Millennial or Messianic Kingdom is not His to give but is up to the Heavenly Father. I will following this scripture share some other scriptures why I now think the witnesses for Jesus that God the Father will choose to be at Jesus' right and left side in His Messianic or Millennial Kingdom will be the ones mentioned in Revelation 11 in the trbiulation who will be Elijah and probably Moses and that were foreshadowed in the pictures of the olive trees in Zechariah 4. It is also interesting that this request by James and John was immediately after they had witnessed the Lord Jesus Christ glorified with Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration representing rule in the Millennial or Messianic Kingdom in the Gospel of Mark. Jesus then gave a rebuke to His disciples James and John for their self-seeking proposal. Jesus first called I think all 12 disciples or apostles to Him and then gave them an analogy about how He and God the Father see the way to greatness in His future kingdom. Jesus first compared the way greatness is pursued by the Gentiles by which at that time he meant unbelievers of the nations saying that is the people with great talents or abilities or power that are seen as worthy to have authority over them. It is interesting here that Jesus gives a comparison to the Gentiles or the nations and those worthy to have authority over them as Jesus could here be acknowledging that what James and John were seeking when they sought to sit at Jesus right and left side was to have authority over the nations in His Millennial or Messianic Kingdom. However Jesus didn't say there would be no one these positions would be given to only that it would up to His Father who would receive the position and it would not be some people who were seeking and pushing for their own glory and proud but some people who were seeking to serve God and other believers and was humble. Certainly Moses called the meekest man in all the earth in his time and who served God by serving to shepherd or look after the Israelites of his time and also Elijah who after the great miracle God did in his seeking God ran from Jezebel and had a time or self-doubt or weak faith in God and sense of lack of worth even though he had just served God's people to bring them back to God from idol worship to the false god Baal. So in this sense also Moses and Elijah would be good candidates to be those that will be chosen by God the Father to rule over the nations under Jesus and God the Father at Jesus' right and left side at least in His and God the Father's Messianic and Millennial Kingdom. Lastly Jesus concludes with His own example even though He was their Lord and God in the flesh He was leading a life of serving others not having others serve Him and came especially for the benefit of others to die for our sins to restore us to God through His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. The scripture reference from Gospel of Mark 10 by two of Jesus' main disiples James and John who should be the greatest in especially Jesus' Millennial or Messianic Kingdom as who would be at His left and right side but that Jesus' discouraged their hopes but that will probably be given to the two witnesses of Revelation 11 that will probably be Elijah and Moses is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Mark 10 of the Request by Jesus' Two Main Disciples James and John Who Should be Greatest In His Kingdom That Was Discouraged to Them by Jesus but That Could be For the Two Main Tribulation Witnesses Moses and Elijah

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized; But to sit on my right hand and my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles (nations) exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister (servant): And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Gospel of Mark 10:35:45

Relation of Jesus Appearing on Mount of Transfiguration With the Two Witnesses of the Tribulation in Revelation 11 Possibly Being the Two People at Jesus' Right and Left Side in His Messianic or Millennial Kingdom from Matthew 16 and 17

Just before the Lord Jesus Christ went up with some of His closer disciples to the Mount of Transfiguration He spoke to all His disciples about following Him in this life and suffering for Him and looking for a reward for service to Him from God through Jesus after His second coming in the Messianic or Millennial Kingdom. This is likely a primary thing the disciples that Jesus took up to the Mount of Transfiguration would be thinking about. When Jesus took His three closer disciples to the Mount of Transfigruation they were faced immediately with a very dramatic sight. The disciples saw Jesus transfigured or become radiant or shining and also Moses and Elias (Elijah) brought from paradise to appear with Jesus talking with Him on this Mount. It is quite likely Moses and Elijah would have appeared at Jesus' right and left side although the Bible doesn't say specifically if they were on either side of Jesus. However the picture is definitely of a foreshadowing of the Millennial or Messianic Kingdom in which Jesus as shown as radiant will be first in authority under God the Father but with prominent positions from faithful saints of previous ages with Moses representing the Law of Moses and Elijah representing the prophets. This could be an indication Moses and Elijah will have prominent rewards in having authority under Jesus as the Messiah and then King of kings and final King of Israel likely with Moses and Elijah being the two people who will be first under Jesus or the greatest in His Millennial or Messianic Kingdom. The apostle Peter certainly indicated he understood this vision in this way by offering to make three tabernacles for each of Jesus, Moses and Elijah indicating Peter thought this was an indication of Jesus ruling with Moses and Elijah under Him in the Messianic or Millennial Kingdom that Peter and Jesus' other disciples probably thought was then soon to come. A scripture that pictures what Peter and the other disciples thought was then about to happen with this vision is especially the latter part of Zechariah 14 which involves not just Israel but also all the other nations worshipping Israel's then world ruling in Jerusalem Messiah in the Millennial or Messianic Temple in Jerusalem. However then a cloud of glory came over them, at least the disciples, of God the Father from Whom a voice came out to give glory particularly to His Son Jesus Christ saying that Jesus (and not Moses or Elijah) was His Son and for His disciples to hear Him in Whom He was especially well pleased (although God the Father would be quite pleased with Moses and Elijah but not as much as God the Father being perfectly pleased with His Son Jesus Christ as the One who came into the world to die for our sins and rise again to make possible salvation and a relationship with God the Father of everyone who trusts in the Lord Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour). After this experience with the voice from God the Father out of the cloud of glory Jesus only appeared to the disciples to emphasize that their focus should be on Jesus even more than primary Israelite people of God like Moses and Elijah. The scripture reference from Matthew 16 and 17 of the Lord Jesus Christ encouraging His disciples to endure in serving Him to look forward to rewards for faithful service in Jesus' Messianic or Millenial Kingdom after His second coming at the end of the tribulation as the background of Jesus taking His closer disciples to the Mount of Transfiguration where they saw Jesus radiant with Moses and Elijah major Israelite saints talking with Jesus which Peter and probably the other two by interpreted as foreshadowing the Messianic Kingdom but which God the Father refocused them speaking out of a cloud in particular honour of Jesus as His Son is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Matthew 16 and 17 of Jesus' Mention of Suffering for Him at That Time and Future Rewards in the Messianic or Millennial Kingdom for His Disciples Setting the Stage for Moses and Elijah as the Saints That Could Likely be First IN Jesus Messianic or Millennial Kingdom Under Him to Appear With Jesus Radiant on the Mount of Transfiguration to Give a Foreview of the Visible Kingdom of God but With God the Father Putting the Most Glory for His Disciples to Jesus

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save (except) Jesus only. Gospel of Matthew 16:24-17:8

The Two Witnesses or Olive Trees of the Tribulation That Are Likely The Two People Who Will be At Jesus Left and Right Side in His Messianic or Millennial Kingdom from Revelation 11

The two witnesses of the tribulation will be God's primary witnesses to the people of Israel especially those around Jerusalem in the 1st half of the tribulation as they will be killed by the Antichrist or Beast out of the Sea when he fully rises to power at the mid-point of the tribulation as mentioned in Revelation 13 that is after chapter 11. Also these two witnesses are in the same chapter as the tribulation temple in Jerusalem that is probably in the 1st half of the tribulation when the Jews will be allowed by the Antichrist or Beast out of the Sea or the Man of Sin to resume their Levitical worship as under the Law of Moses. This will be in order for them to think he is the Jewish Messiah but allowed of God to prepare the Jews or children of Israel for worship of their true Messiah Jesus of Nazareth after the end of the tribulation with Jesus' second coming. After Jesus' second coming He will establish the Messianic Kingdom when He will rule the world from His throne in the holy of holies in the Messianic Kingdom Temple in Jerusalem especially described in the last chapters of the book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament. Another possible association of these two witnesses with the tribulation temple is that Moses was used of God to receive the design and lead the building of the tabernacle on which the future temples of God were based and Elijah had a contest with the false prophets of Baal at an altar that Elijah used to dedicate a sacrifice to God on Mount Carmel in northern Israel. The associatin of these two witnesses with Israel is also suggested by their being called the two olive trees with olives associated with Israel in their religious aspect with God in the Bible. A key phrase that indicates the special status of these two witnesses is them being called His two witnesses that stand before the God of the earth with the term stand meaning to be priveledged to appear especially in God's sight although on earth as the archangel Gabriel is described as standing in the presence of God in Luke 1:19 in that case in God's presence in heaven. This is an indication that these two witnesses will be in God's presence I think at the left and right side of the Lord Jesus Christ the divine Son of God when He reigns on earth from Jerusalem in His Messianic or Millennial Kingdom. The term of these two witnesses as the two olive trees I think is a reference to the two olive trees of Zechariah 4 who were historically the Jewish governor of Israel in the line of David Zerubbabel and the high priest of Israel Joshua immediately after Israel came back from Babylonian captivity around 520 BC. It is said that some of the special miraculous powers these two witnesses have was to shut up heaven that there be no rain which God used Elijah to do in the time of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel of the northern kingdom of Israel in the time of the divided kingdom after Solomon and to turn waters to blood which God enabled Moses to do in the time of God delivering the Israeltes from bondage under Pharoah of Egypt. The scripture reference in Revelation 11 of the two witnesses to Israel in the 1st half of the tribulation probably to be the two people at Jesus' right and left side in Him Messianic or Millennial Kingdom for a reward for their service to God in the tribulation is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Revelation 11 of The Two Witnesses to Israel in the 1st Half of the Tribulation Probably to Be Rewarded by God to Be At Jesus Right and Left Side and Greatest After Him in His and God the Father's Messianic or Millennial Kingdom

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. Revelation 11:1-6

Jesus' Raising Lazarus From the Dead Jesus Before Jesus Went to the Cross in Gospel of John 11

One of the greatest miracles Jesus did he did just before he went to the cross to die for our sins and then rise again. This miracle was the raising of his earthly friend Lazarus from the dead. Jesus spent much time at the home of Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha in Bethany just on the other side of the Mount of Olives from Jerusalem. Lazarus' sister Mary was mourning for her brother Lazarus after he died and criticized Jesus as not caring enough for him by letting him die. Jesus was troubled in his heart and groaned deeply when he saw Mary and other of the Jews weeping for Lazarus. However as I have heard from a number of sermons on this passage, Jesus' groaning here was probably not just for the death of Lazarus for the burden death imposed on humanity because of our sins since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden and the reign of death over humanity. Jesus then asked them where they put Lazarus and they volunteered to show him where they put his body. Jesus also then showed his humanity and wept for Lazarus which caused some of the people there to comment of the depth of Jesus' love for Lazarus. Some of the people there also questioned why Jesus hadn't stopped Lazarus from dying based on their knowledge of the other miracles Jesus did including many healings. Jesus then came to the grave where Lazarus was and it was a cave with a stone in front of it somewhat like the place Jesus would later be buried in but would rise from the dead and leave. Jesus again groaned at this time when he came to Lazarus' grave. Jesus then asked the people gathered at Lazarus' grave to remove the stone which blocked the entrance to Lazarus' grave. One additional reason Jesus asked them to do this was to show their faith in him that he could do another miracle. Martha, Lazarus' other sister protested that by that time he been dead for four days and his body stank because it had begun to decay. (The Jews believed that after three days after someone died their spirit went into the other world and they were fully dead.) Jesus then reminded them that if they believed in him he could do miracles including raising Lazarus from the dead. After they had removed the stone from the dead, Jesus gave a short prayer in thanking the Father (God) for hearing him (to enable him to raise Lazarus from the dead). Jesus said he said that to give more faith in Him to those gathered at that place when Jesus actually carried out the raising of Lazarus from the dead in Jesus' working together with God the Father. Jesus then called out loudly for Lazarus to come forth (from the dead or the realm of the dead.) It has been remarked that at that time if Jesus hadn't said Lazarus first and just said come forth then all the dead would have come forth then as will be the case in the last day (John 5:25-29). Lazarus then rose from the dead still wearing his grave clothes. Jesus instructed them to let him go and to let him be changed into regular clothes. The raising of Lazarus from the dead was a special sign of Jesus being sent from and empowered by God although there were some others like Elijah and the apostle Peter that also raised people from the dead but only Jesus had a part in raising himself from the dead as in John 10:17-18. The scripture reference from the Gospel of John 11 of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead as a sign of his power and authority is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Gospel of John 11 of Jesus Raising Lazarus from the Dead as a Sign of Jesus Power and Authority

Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? They they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I know that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and he face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Gospel of John 11:32-44

The Triumphal Entry of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Public Offer of Himself to Israel as Their Messiah from Gospel of Luke 19

On Jesus' way to Jerusalem, that was with the probable intent of going to the cross for our sins, Jesus made one final and primary offer of Himself as King and Messiah to Israel. When Jesus came with His disciples to Bethphage and Bethany on the far side of Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives and from there sent ahead two of his disciples. Jesus told them to go to a certain place probably on the other side of the Mount of Olives where He knew there would be a donkey or ass and its offspring a foal and ask that they could borrow them for the Lord. Jesus showing his omniscience or prior knowledge was sure that the owner of this donkey and foal would allow use of these animals when the disciples asked to use these animals in the name of the Lord (Jesus). God through Luke the writer of this gospel then says that this was leading to a fulfillment from the Old Testament scriptures namely Zechariah 9:9. Then the scripture reference is given from Zechariah that Israel's King was coming with a meek manifestation on a colt. The disciples then did as Jesus requested and went to ask for the donkey and the foal. The disciples then got the donkey and the colt and brought them to Jesus on the far side of the Mount of Olives from Jerusalem and put their clothes on the animals and then sat Jesus on the foal. This scripture passage then said a great multitute of people appeared and spread their garments and tree branches that I believe one of the other gospels says are palm branches in the path of Jesus and the donkey and the foal. This was when Jesus started to descend from the Mount of Olives toward Jerusalem. These disciples began to rejoice and praise God for God's works done through Jesus. They said Blessed be the King that cometh in the name in the Lord that was a fulfillment for recognition of the Messiah from Psalm 118. However some of the Pharisees or Jewish religious leaders were offended and urged Jesus to silence his disciples from praising him. Jesus said such praise was warranted and due and that if his disciples didn't praise Jesus even the stones would praise him instead because this was God's will. The scripture reference from Gospel of Luke 19 of Jesus' triumphal entry is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Gospel of Luke 19 of the Triumphal Entry of the Lord Jesus Christ to Jerusalem and His Public Offer of Himself as Messiah

And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they sat Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. Gospel of Luke 19:28-40

Jesus Laments Over Jerusalem Including His Recognition That They Wouldn't Hold to Receiving Him as Messiah and Some of the Recompense That Would Happen from Luke 19

When Jesus came near to the city probably when he was still riding on the foal Jesus gave a heart felt and heart rending lament and wept over Jerusalem and its inhabitants. Jesus first wept over the inhabitants of Jerusalem that they didn't recognize the day that Jesus offered himself as Messiah. Part of the reason Jesus wept for the Jewish people not responding more positively and enduringly to His and His offer of Himself as their Messiah is because this was exactly on the day 483 years or 69 x 7 years after the decree of the Persian king Artaxerxes to allow the Jews to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. This is prophesied in Daniel 9 as leading to the time when the Messiah would present and offer himself as Messiah to the Jews which Jesus did on the appropriate day on his triumphal entry. Jesus said that the Jews didn't know the things that belonged to their peace but they were then hid from their eyes. This peace even in the next verse in Zechariah, Zechariah 9:10, namely a world peace in the Messianic Kingdom was offerend to Israel when the Messiah comes and they receive him. Jesus then predicted the enemies of the Jews would lay siege to Jerusalem and break it down and not leave one stone on another. This was later fulfilled about a generation later in 70 AD when the Romans, who were the enemies and oppresors of the Jews, laid siege to Jerusalem and burned it with fire and tore down its stones including of the Jewish temple or Herod's temple. Jesus then repeated that this devastation would be because the Jewish people did not know the time of their visitation when Jesus offered himself as Messiah then just beforehand. The scripture reference from the Gospel of Luke 19 of Jesus lamenting for Israel's neglecting their opportunity to receive him and his offer at that time of the Messianic Kingdom when God through the Messiah (Jesus) would rule the world through the nation of Israel from Jerusalem and the Jewish temple in Jerusalem is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Luke 19 of Jesus Lamenting Over Jerusalem And Jesus Offering Himself and the Messianic Kingdom at the Day Specified by the Prophet Daniel

And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. Gospel of Luke 19:41-44

Mention of the Triumphal Entry in the Gospel of Matthew That Includes the Term Daughter of Sion Symbolically for Jerusalem in Matthew 21

Recently I was thinking about the Bible including the term daughter of Sion used in the account in the Gospel of Matthew of Jesus' triumphal entry when he publicly offered himself as Messiah to the Jews. Although most of the account in Matthew is similiar to that in Luke one additional thing that is in the Gospel of Matthew is the term daughter of Sion. This is also used in the Gospel of John (John 12:15). Matthew probably used this term because he wrote his gospel especially in a way the Jews could relate to and I found this term is used substantially in the Old Testament or Hebrew scriptures especially in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations and Micah but in some other books as well. It is generally used in a negative or condescending way both literally of the actual women of Jerusalem or symbolically of Jerusalem and its people in general. This term is often used of the Jews when they were wayward from God in idolatry or materialism or other sins and God's resultant judgment of them by the Babylonians but there are also some references to God's promised deliverance of them from their oppressors in the last days when God sends His Messiah (the Lord Jesus Christ or Y'Shua HaMashiach) to judge the world and set up His kingdom based in Jerusalem in which those Jews that will believe on Him and return to God will have first place among the nations for the Messianic or Millennial Kingdom. The Jews of Jesus day would be familiar with this Old Testament usage and understand some of the implications Jesus was conveying when He used this term that I just realized through studying the Old Testament references. The version of Jesus fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah referring to the women or people in general or the city of Jerusalem as the daughter or Zion is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Matthew 21 of the Use of the Term Daughter of Zion in Reference to Jerusalem or the People of Jerusalem in Their Oppressed State in Connection with the Lord Jesus Christ Offerring Himself as Their Messiah

All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt, the foal of an ass. Gospel of Matthew 21:4-5

The Lord Jesus Christ Specifies What the Two Greatest Commandments are from Gospel of Matthew 22

Just before Jesus went to Calvary he was faced by some very testing and pointed questions by representatives of some of the main sects of the Jews of that time. After Jesus had shamed the Saduccees into silence with his answer to their question, a lawyer of the Law of Moses who represented the Pharisees also asked Jesus a question to test him and in their minds try to get Jesus to say something that could be used against him. This lawyer asked Jesus what the greatest commandment of the law was. Part of the intention of asking this question was the hope that Jesus based on his reputation in the eyes of the Pharisees of breaking or revising the Law of Moses would say something that the Pharisees could use to accuse Jesus of being un-Jewish or unfaithful to the Law of Moses and nation of Israel. Jesus however answered in a very wise way using very appropriate scriptures from the Old Testament or Hebrew scriptures. The first commandment Jesus referenced was the command to love God with all our heart, soul and strength. This was a direct reference to Deuteronomy 6:5 which is from is today called the Shema which forms a sort of creed of Judaism. Jesus called this the first commandment. The Pharisees couldn't find anything in this statement to accuse Jewish of being against the Law of Moses or Judaism and were probably content with Jesus' answer. However, the second part of the answer would be more awkward for the Pharisees since they made a great effort to be faithful to God in their way but perhaps they weren't as faithful to love their fellow man even their fellow Jew. Jesus said the second commandment was to love one's neighbour as oneself which is also from the Law of Moses (Leviticus 19:18). Jesus also said this second commandment was like the first commandment to love God which could mean we are to love our neighbour with all our heart, soul and mind although the version in the Gospel of Mark 12 adds strength or with our physical strength as well. Jesus said on these two commandments hang or depend all the law and prophets. This would be an offence to the self righteous religious Jews such as the Pharisees because they prided themselves on making efforts and saying they kept all the detailed requirements of the many laws of the Law of Moses to the minutest detail and Jesus was saying here that the most important point is to keep the essence of the Law of Moses which was to love God and love one's neighbour as oneself. The Pharisees might have rightly taken this as an accusation that they weren't keeping the essence of the law because they didn't have very much love for God or for their fellow man. The scripture reference from the Gospel of Matthew 22 of Jesus being asked what the greatest commandment of the law was and his response is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Gospel of Matthew 22 of Question by a Religious Jew to Jesus of What Was the Greatest Commandment and Jesus' Response

But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Saducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hand all the law and the prophets. Gospel of Matthew 22:34-40

Description of the LOrd Jesus that Israel's House Would Temporily Be Left Desolate Because the Nation Didn't Receive Him as Their Messiah from Matthew 23

The Lord Jesus in Matthew 23 just after he offered himself to Israel as their Messiah at the triumphal entry lamented over Jerusalem starting with their previous rejection of many prophets God sent to them in Old Testament days. Jesus identifies himself with God the Father at wanting to deliver the Jews before when they strayed from God and he was implying that he wanted to do that in his first earthly ministry but had just been rejected again. Jesus then said to the Jews that their house from that time to Israel's restoration in the last days leading up to and at the time and after his second coming would be left desolate. This word house can mean both household or the Jewish nation and house meaning the house of the Lord or temple. The same Greek word and English one are used other times in the New Testament for either one for example in Matthew 21:13 it is also used for the temple or house of God and in Acts 2:36 it is used for the household or nation of Israel. Part of God's restoration of Israel in the last days will be to restore both of these houses for Israel in the Millennial or Messianic Kingdom when God will rule in blessing through physical Israel although also with the Church in our glorified bodies. When Jesus said that Israel would not see him again until they would say blessed is the name of the Lord he was saying that they would not see him much after his death on the cross until they recognized him as their Messiah by the nation of Israel through the effects of the tribulation and his glorious second coming at his second coming to establish God's kingdom on earth and judge the world when he will come with his true Church of all born again Christians who have trusted in the Lord Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour. The scripture reference from Matthew 23 of Jesus' lamentation for Israel and prophecy that he would temporarily set them aside until God's restoration of them in the last days is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Matthew 23 of the Lord Jesus' Lamentation for the Jews Rejecting Him at His First Coming as Their Messiah and His Announcement That They Would be Set Aside Until They Recognize Him as Their Messiah at His Second Coming

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Gospel of Matthew 23:37-39

Similiar Warning to the Jews of His Day by the Prophet Jeremiah of God's Impending Judgment of Jerusalem and Solomon's Temple from Jeremiah 26

Although God's message in Jeremiah's day was more to the Jewish people than in Jesus' day there was still some direction to the religious leaders in Jeremiah's day also. Anyway some of the response was in the same as in Jesus' day with the religious leaders such as the priests and prophets taking the lead in condemning Jeremiah as they did with Jesus and plotting to put him to death. This was even though Jeremiah as was the case also for Jesus only spoke what God the Father instructed him to speak. Although Jesus gave more emphasis that the temple the house of Israel would be left desolate although this can also speak to the Jewish nation as the household of Israel Jeremiah spoke more about the city of Jerusalem would become desolate. However in both cases both the temple of God of the day and Jerusalem were in line for God's judgment and were judged first by the Babylonians in Jeremiah's time and then by the Romans in Jesus' time. Both Jeremiah and Jesus spoke these words standing in the courts of the Jewish temple of their days in Jerusalem. Both were also sad that these things were about to happen and that they had to say them but felt they had to obey God the Father and announce God's displeasure and judgment on His people for their sins. Jesus however made clear that Israel and the Jews and the Temple would be restored in the last days after His second coming as Jeremiah elsewhere promised that God would restore the Jews to their land after seventy years captivity but that was only a partial restoration without the independence they had under their own kings before the Babylonian captivity. AFter Jesus second coming God will bring Israel and the Jews into their kingdom blessing under Him as their King and Messiah with the true Church also joining Jesus from heaven when Jesus will rule from Jerusalem through Israel and the Jews as God's restored chosen earthly people when they will be first among the nations and receive the blessings of God's covenant with them through Abraham, Moses and David and also the New Covenant after many of the children of Israel endure the tribulation and trust in Jesus as their Lord and Messiah. The scripture about the desolation of Jerusalem (and the temple) in Jeremiah's day as a parallel to the desolation Jesus prophesied for for the people of his day in Jeremiah 26 is as follows:

Scripture Reference from Jeremiah 26 of God's Pronounced Desolation of Jerusalem and the 1st Temple Under Jeremiah as Similiar to Jesus' Later Pronouncement Before He Went to the Cross

Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die. Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD. Jeremiah 26:8-9

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Doug Currie
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