Since this is really an “on-going” study, I am changing my thoughts and adding a fourth block:}
WHY– 1. On Tuesday of Holy Week Jesus uses John’ baptism to silence/anger the religious. 2. This time period reflects Exodus 12: 1 – 13. Which is the time before the Passover when the lamb was prepared and in the time of no yeast. 3. This is the start of the final teaching/preparation period for Pentecost – the birth of the Church.
I am starting this block in Matthew 21 (the Triumphal Entry) and going to the Ascension. This is an aggressive period for Jesus. He has forceful actions and teachings that contrast His actions after His arrest. Then, after the Resurrection, He takes on a new attitude as He prepares His followers for the future.
John the Baptist– Each of my sections have John the Baptist at or near the start of them. I know I am starting with the last section but there is nothing wrong with reading the end of the story first. Using John’s signature teaching and act truly honors him and his place in God’s story. I know Isaiah links John to Elijah but there is also a link to Moses because of baptism, which is linked with the passing through the Red Sea. (See Dividing the Red Sea in Passover to Pentecost Week 1.)
At the start of Matthew, John is physically present and doing his ministry, and as the story progresses he is slowly removed until it is just his primary teaching and act. After all, John the Baptist did say he had to decrease and Jesus increase.
Sunday– Jesus fulfills Zechariah 9:9. The Kingdom principle He allows praise. This probably runs over into Monday (Matthew 21: 15 – 16). Luke has Pharisees complaining about the praise as Jesus enters the city.
Monday– It is not recorded, but I have an idea that Jesus returning to Jerusalem set off another round of praise. This would have set off the Pharisees, again! When He cleaned the Temple, stopping the selecting/buying of the lamb and other offerings, He focused on prayer. Not a bad combination – praise to bring Jesus in and prayer once He is there! Mark/Peter has the fig tree being cursed today and then found dead on Tuesday. Luke simply says He taught daily. John is the only one to add (12:20) that Greeks wanted to meet Him and that the Father confirmed Jesus’ message about why He had to die with a voice from Heaven. John also includes Jesus teaching that He came as a Light and not a judge – the Father’s word will do that.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday–
This is the time period required in Exodus 12: 5 + 6 when the Lamb was to be taken care of before the meal. (After some consideration, Tuesday maybe be a better start to the fourth block of teaching. The fig tree represents religious acts/systems that started with Adam and Eve.). “Tuesday” starts at Matthew 21: 18 and goes to chapter 26: 6. Following when and how Jesus used the word kingdom will be this portion of the study, I will use one of the three times “kingdom” is mentioned in John.
Jesus putting the elders in a bind with the question about John is very fitting for the season they were in. Baptism is connected to Passover with the parting of the Red Sea and passing through the Jordan (Joshua’s Passover). Unless noted all of the references will be in Matthew.
- 21:31 – Jesus uses the Kingdom of God (here and in 43). I feel it is an “in your face” move for the Elders. He stresses those who repent and believe and going into the kingdom.
- 21:43 – Jesus is prophesying a change of membership in the Kingdom. He emphases’ doing what the Father wants – “fruit production”.
- 22:1 – The new membership is again shown in verse 8. The bad attitudes will be left out and not being “clothed” correctly will get you removed!
- 23:13 – This is restating 21:31 and begins the “Seven Woes” against the religious elite.
- 24:7 – Power struggles are a sign of Jesus’ return.
- 24:14 – Another sign of the Return is the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached so no nation will have an excuse about not knowing Jesus.
- 25:1 – The parable of the Wise Virgins and the mindset to be ready for Jesus’ return. The foolish Virgins give the idea that just “playing church” will not get you into the Kingdom.
- 25:34 – The Kingdom has been prepared for the Sheep!
- 26:29 – The promise of a party when we get to Heaven.
- John 18: 36 – Jesus clarified His Kingdom for Pilate.
It is important to remember that item 1 through 8 is taught in one day (Tuesday). As the Master Teacher He states who are going into the Kingdom, why the religious leaders are missing the kingdom, and examples for the people to follow in waiting for the Kingdom.
To the Ascension– Acts 1: 3b (NIV) He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the Kingdom of God. (See Passover to Pentecost Week 4 – See Class in Session, Passover to Pentecost Week 5 – The Great Commission, Passover to Pentecost Week 6. I wrote several posts on topics about Jesus teaching the disciples and The Ascension. My favorite is After the Cloud.)
Jesus began His ministry of teaching and showing the Kingdom with a forty-day fast, after His baptism. The baptism is symbolic of passing through the Red Sea (Week 1). He ends His time on earth with a forty-day time of teaching. The Holy Week teachings are very pointed about the Kingdom but they were being taught to the people and the Disciples. This forty-day period was just for the Disciples and I believe that Jesus went into great detail. These teachings would frame the first church attempt in Jerusalem.