The Sermons on Two Mounts-Topics of the Sermons

This edition of the Sermons on Two Mounts series is about the topics of the sermons. Like the first sermon (Matthew 5-7) these sermons contain more than one bullet point. I separated out the locations and the audiences as best I could. The actual topics may be called other things, this is still a study, so if you have a suggestion please leave it in the comment section. I have written on some of the lessons, they will appear in blue and are linked to that WordPress post. Notes to myself are in italics if you are wondering. This is primarily from Matthew, Mark and Luke are slightly different and there is a very small reference in John; some of those will be present. 

The references to Tuesday of Holy Week are:

  • Matthew 21:18 to 23:39-24:1 to 26:5
  • Mark 11:20 to 12:44 -13:1 to 13:37
  • Luke 20:1 to 21:4-21:5 to 21:38
  • John 12: 37-50 This one is iffy, John goes from Monday to Thursday with this in the middle of that narrative. It seems to fit with the teachings on Tuesday. 

Mount of Olives

            To the disciples

Faith and prayer from the fig tree and mountainMark 11:26 sounds like Matthew 6:15 which is in the Sermon on the Mount. Reference Matt. 18:21-35 where Peter is being taught about forgiveness. And the Lord’s prayer. Stop doing fig tree activities, see Genesis 3:7.

Temple Mount

            To leaders in the presence of the crowds

                        Authority (around John and believing him)

                        Two sons (doing what the Father wants)

                        Tenants (ownership of the work). Mark and Luke are more dramatic in their telling of stories, Matthew is very factual and focus. Mark 12:6 is very dramatic about the son. Luke 20:17 is dramatic. All mention of vineyards in Matthew is in three parables-two here and Matt 20. See Isaiah 5:7 The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel.

Stone rejected/Fruit produced

                          Banquet (end time?)

 Questions and answers Matthew 22:15-46 by and to the Pharisees

Civil Law – Roman coin/taxes and what does and does not belong to God. Mark also has Herodians, not Luke. This would have had serious legal implications. They were not liked so this is an alliance for ill-will

                        Jewish Law– Marriage and the resurrection (draws in the thought of the kingdom)

                        Greatest Law-love God and neighbor

                        Law-giver/ruler/enforcer

                                    David and Lord

            To the crowds and the disciples; leaders were still present

                        Seven Woes to holders of Moses’ seat (Genesis 18).

  1. Shutting up the kingdom to the people.
  2. Make their disciples worse than they are.
  3. Gifts, gold, and swearing oaths.
  4. Problems of why they give.
  5. Clean the inside first then the outside.
  6. Appearing righteous.
  7. Guilty of killing prophets.

Mark and Luke have the story of the widow’s offering. These woes are in Luke 11: 37-52 the teachings are very similar. Woe = quai. The seven woes are part of the fig tree dying and the stones being pulled down. https://franknelte.net/article.php?article_id=363

Matthew 24:1 prophecy about Jerusalem and the Temple. Relates to the fig tree dying.

Mount of Olives

        Disciples

                        Watch out

                        Persecuted

                        Abomination in the Temple

                        Distress

                        Son of Man Coming

                                    Fig Tree-additional lesson 

                        The time. Reference Isaiah 61 for year and day.

                        Keep watch

                        Faithful

                                    Ten Virgins

                                    Talents

                                    Sheep and Goats-both were allowed in some offerings/sacrifices 

            Announcement of Crucifixion – Matthew 26:1-5 This is not part of the sermons, but Jesus told the disciples several times He would die. These are other references and the predictions in the Tuesday teaching.  Matthew 21:39, 20:18+19; John 3:14 and 12:34 are predictions.

The Sermons on Two Mounts-Authority

The Sermons on Two Mounts is on the other end of Jesus’ ministry from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. These teachings took place on what we call Tuesday of Holy Week. Oh, the two mounts are the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. 

I am looking at authority in this study, but staying to one theme has been hard. There is so much going on in the stories and interactions this Tuesday. (See the intro-post on the various audiences.) Jesus’ authority has been a thorn in the leaders of the people’s side for a long time. The Sunday and Monday of Holy Week pushed the showdown to occur in Matthew 21:23. As I study about the Kingdom, it has become clear that Jesus was not a victim but He pushed the Father’s agenda to the discomfort of leaders. To get the feeling for His plan, you need to read Matthew 19:1, Mark 10:1, Luke 17:1, and John 11:1 to the Triumphal Entry or Palm Sunday ride into Jerusalem. 

The people/crowds saw authority in Jesus. The leaders knew he had something they did not possess and feared it, and the disciples had been around it for so long you wonder if they lost sight of who He was. Grace extends His authority to us. We recognize it and claim it. Some leaders are uncomfortable with it because they lose control. Or, like the disciples, you get around it and get secure and stop growing in it.

Luke 7:8 is a snapshot of what Jesus is looking for. The centurion was familiar with authority and operated within it very well. Jesus, in verse 9, sees the man as having faith, so the gift is sent, accepted, and received. We should note that the centurion first used his authority by sending elders of the Jews, but changed and sent friends with the second message.

The Leaders—I imagine the chief priests and elders put on a show to question Jesus’ power. First, they interrupted Him as He was teaching, but to have the chief priests come down and question Jesus was an all-out power-play on their part. I am sure they tried to rival Jesus’ ride into the city on Sunday. The trap I believe they wanted to spring on Jesus-have Him claim the power came from God and they could stone Him for blasphemy. 

Matthew 9 has the story of Jesus healing the paralytic. I see this as the start of the elder’s groundwork for the showdown in Matthew 21. Jesus displayed authority-the people praised God, and the elders were angry. The Pharisees upped the level of their attack in Matthew 12:24 when they said Jesus had that kind of power because of Beelzebub (lord of flies or Satan). This change of their speech was to stir the crowd to attack Jesus. It did not work because He was healing people and not taking the credit for the miracles. 

I will list the things Jesus did from clearing the Temple to His stay by the Jordan to show the authority displayed before this Passover.

  • He cleared the Temple and used Scripture to justify the action.
  • The crowd honored Him as He rode into Jerusalem. I still think the ride was part of the ritual of a groom choosing his bride.
  • He healed blind eyes in Jericho-Matthew 20:29, Mark 10:46, and Luke18:35. (Bartimaeus)
  • He brought a sinner to repentance-Zacchaeus, Luke 19:1.
  • A rich man showed confusion because his good deeds and money were not enough to get him into heaven.
  • Jesus acknowledged children as important.
  • The Pharisees failed with a legal question about the fear-club of divorce they used for control. 
  • John 11-12:12 Lazarus was raised from the dead, in plain view of many people.

The Common People—Jews were not illiterate. Jews knew the Torah, Psalms, and the Prophets. The crowds loved Jesus’ teachings and how He silenced the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law. Unlike the leaders, they recognized the authority of His words, miracles, and the work of John the Baptist. Unknown to them, the leaders feared the crowds. Many people with rocks were something to be worried about. The works/acts of clearing the Temple to raising Lazarus from the dead were not lost on them. They may have not fully understood Jesus, but someone who heals and supplies food, then gives the glory to the Father, and associates with them, was a person who needs to be acknowledged. 

Disciples and the Twelve—Jesus started by preaching that the kingdom of God was near. Words may be cheap, so He showed this good news by healing and doing miracles. The people who left everything and followed Jesus wanted this. (God called and direct hearts, it was not an accident who followed Him.) The time from Matthew 19 to 21 shows that these men and women knew they were at the front of a serious movement. I think they liked the authority they had and wanted more. From the Jordan to the Temple Mount, Jesus addressed authority issues with them. He had to.

  • The fig tree-faith and pray.
  • Clearing the moneychangers out of the Temple-honor God.
  • Mommy Zebedee asking favors for her sons. This provided the opportunity to teach that serving is the way to authority.
  • Matthew 20:1 taught (Third Hour Workers) about the mindset that leaders need to have.
  • The rich man covered rewards for following Jesus. 

Note to Self—Jesus chose not to use His authority during the trial and the cross. He never lost it or gave it up. He willingly laid it aside and used it while in the tomb. So the Father could put His enemies under His feet.

The Sermons on Two Mounts-Three Audiences

 The Sermons on Two Mounts is on the other end of Jesus’ ministry from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. Jesus is preparing to be sacrificed for our sins. These Sermons occur in the four-day period before Passover that starts on the 10th of the month and is referenced in Exodus 12. These teachings took place on what we call Tuesday of Holy Week. He has had His tour deforce entrance (Palm Sunday) into Jerusalem and cleaned the yeast (money changers) out of the Temple on Monday. Oh, the two mounts are the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. Who Jesus taught that day is important and I will start with an introduction of them.

The three Gospels are fairly unified in identifying these groups. My focus will be Matthew as he is the most complete on the activities of the day.

The Leaders-The first groups to meet Jesus are the chief priests and elders of the people.

  • Chief Priests-This term is used very little in the Old Testament (both KJV and NIV). I will say it was after David’s reign that someone became a chief priest. It is used by Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 19:11 and by Jeremiah (the chief priest was his uncle). They do have list of these men and when they served. Herod in Matthew 2 ask them questions about the birthplace of the Messiah. Matthew 21:15 has them upset at Jesus because of the children on Palm Sunday. Since Jesus had messed up their business of the money changers, I am sure they were on guard when He showed up again on Tuesday. Remember Zachariah (John’s father) was offering incense in Luke 1 and he was not a chief priest. So, there was a single-family group that used this title and wielded a lot of authority in Jerusalem. They belonged to the sect of the Sadducees.
  • Elders of the People-Acts 5:21 identifies the Sanhedrin as the elders of the people. It seems that this group would have had Sadducees and Pharisees in it. They are the civil government under the Herods and the Romans, with the chief priest being the leader of this group.
  • Teachers of the Law-This group probably had both Sadducees and Pharisees with this title. I imagine that most of these men were also elders.
  • Herodians-They were Jews who were loyal to Herod. Most Jews did not like Herod because he was part Jew by birth, and Roman by choice, and just crazy. Luke uses the term spies for these people. If the Pharisees joined with this group they really wanted Jesus dead.
  • Pharisees-This sect is the orthodox group of the day. From my reading about them, their thoughts and way of life is the foundation for modern Jewish thought. In reading Acts, some became followers of the Way. Where they the ones that objected to the Gentiles and tried to add circumcision as a requirement to be a believer? I do think they loved God, but the Law was more important to them.   
  • Sadducees-They did not believe in the supernatural or the resurrection of the dead (Matt. 22:23). The chief priest belonged to this sect. Paul used their doctrine in Acts 23:6 to divide the Sanhedrin. 

At some point, the leaders fade from the story of Temple Mount teachings. There are several references that they had nothing more to say or Jesus saw through their game and did not play along. Matthew 26 has them meeting together to arrest and kill Jesus. It would be hard to imagine that they did not have spies in the crowd for the rest of the day.

The Crowd-The Gospels list very interesting things about the crowds. Some of this group may have been with Jesus at the Jordan River and followed Him to Jerusalem. So, these people were part of the parade that ushered Jesus into town, or at least they asked who this man was. Jesus was on everyone’s radar after clearing the coin changers out of the Temple, they wanted to see what He would do next.

  • Matthew-1. They held John to be a prophet and the leaders were afraid of them. 2.  They were astonished at Jesus’ teaching. 3. Received the teaching/woes about the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law.
  • Mark-1. Amazed at Jesus’ teachings. 2. Listened with delight. 3. Caused fear in the leaders. 4. Put money into the Temple treasury.
  • Luke (NIV) and the KJV use the word people instead of crowd. Results are the same, the people loved Him and the leaders hated.
  • Okay, did Jerusalem have piles of stones in the streets or did everyone carry a rock, just in case?

The Disciples-We tend to think that there were only twelve disciples. There were twelve Apostles, but there were the women, Justus, Matthias (Acts 1:23), the seventy that Jesus sent out, and the 120 in the upper room. I think the parade into Jerusalem started with just His disciples and other people joined them. Thinking back to Pentecost maybe there were 3,000 disciples.

How many were with Jesus when He left the Temple on Tuesday of Holy Week? I am not sure, but I bet it was more than twelve. They actually asked the question that finished the teaching that started with the fig tree earlier that day. The Second Temple that had Herod’s upgrades would be destroyed and Jerusalem with it.

On the Mount of Olives, the disciples asked for the sermon on that mount (Matthew 24: 3). It consisted of several stories and warnings and the prediction of His death (26:2).

Sorta off topic-Because of so many lessons that had a wedding as the base of the teaching, I would like to add an idea to the ride into the city. It is viewed as a king coming into town, and that fits with Psalm 45. In Kingdom Wedding, I studied about the erusin, which is when the groom declares His intentions to marry His wife. They legally were married at that time, even though she did not live with the groom yet.  The actual wedding feast would be picked by the groom’s father. During this period of time, the groom would give gifts to the bride. I believe Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem was when He came to declare His intentions for His bride.

More studies from the Sermons on the Mounts are in the works, I just wanted to look at the three audiences that heard them.   

Chazon, Ouai, and Oy 

If chazon, ouai, and oy are strange words to you, don’t feel bad. They were to me. Their English translations are frequently used in the church. Chazon (Hebrew) or vision is the one that set this study into motion. “Without a vision”, Proverbs 29:18 in the KJV has been the key verse in many sermons. Well, this weekend I looked into seeing a vision. Doing a New Testament word search left me empty. So, I changed to the word dream and found no help from the biblical context. To be fair, vision and dream often get run together in the same sermon, but in the New Testament, those words and our English ideas hit a rough spot. Vision and dreams are supernatural acts that instruct people on a topic. They do not support the idea of your desires and goals and where YOU want to be in life.

The words purpose and calling, which are God-ordained concepts, should be used instead. The way ministers preach most sermons, the concepts of purpose and calling, get mixed with visions and dreams. 

Okay, let’s look at chazon. It is true we need a vision or things will fall apart. In the early part of Matthew, John the Baptist and Jesus are preaching the good news of the kingdom. What they taught was repent, for the kingdom of God is near. The kingdom being near is the chazon they gave the people. They preached that to give the masses hope. Jesus did miracles to prove just how near the kingdom had come to them. The mindset of the disciples and the crowds seemed to be that the Messiah would lead an army and conquer Rome. Psalm 110 and 45 are just a few places where that idea came from. Israel had battle-fighting messiahs, but they did not heal the sick and feed thousands or preach repentance. When these messiahs died, their movements faded away and stopped (Acts 5:35).

A chazon from God leads you to your purpose in life and opens the door to your calling. A dream from God may lead your thinking in this process.
Now to add in the words ouai, and oyouai is Greek for woe and oy/hoy is Hebrew for woe. How does woe connect with vision? The Father and Son are protective of their kingdom. Because the Father has a purpose for His kingdom, I believe He will defend the people He has called to fulfill that purpose. The post –God’s Love and Let God Arise talk about this topic. While studying for a new series called The Sermons on the Mounts, I read Matthew 23. That passage contains the seven woes for the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees. The way we translate woe and the context people use for that word seemed strange to me. Oy and hoy in Isaiah and the other prophets and ouai in the Book of Revelation do not fit what many try to put in Jesus’ warnings. In these warnings, the weight of woe is not a statement of you may be sorry, or too bad you did your actions. They imply a judgment is going to fall on you. For some reason, a large part of Christianity has grown away from the idea that Jesus is a king that leads an army. The world definitely does not like a strong, in command, conquering Jesus. To answer my question -you will receive woe (in this life) if you come against God’s vision or plan for His Church.

On Tuesday of Holy Week, Jesus made these pronouncements-He cursed the fig tree (man’s works to be acceptable before God), the seven woes of Matthew 23, and prophesied that the Temple would come down. While in the Temple, He also told (through parable) the leaders of the nation they had to change or they would get thrown out of the Kingdom of God. Matthew 11 has the message of woe to several cities in Galilee and Luke 11 has a similar list of woes to Matthew 23. These woes added to the leaders’ anger at Jesus.

Did Jesus speak these woes twice, maybe? I feel Luke put together the stories he heard into something that Theophilus needed to read. Luke 11 to 18 has many of the same teachings as Matthew 21 to 26. That is not a statement against the book from Luke, rather, it shows his ability to communicate to his audience. Matthew and Mark had been eyewitnesses, so I tend to follow their timeline.  

Chazonouai, and oy are powerful words. Please use the reference websites I listed below for more details. I have no associations with any of those sites; they are references. So, reader beware.

Chazon-https://www.hebrewversity.com/what-is-shabbat-chazon/

https://biblehub.com/hebrew/2377.htm

ouai-https://franknelte.net/article.php?article_id=363

Third Hour of the Day

Time 

The third hour of the day in the New Testament refers to the modern 9 a.m. Time keeping was different. They used sunrise and sunset to determine the start and stop of the day. They divided the light part of the day into twelve parts. Yes, that means an hour may vary in length according to the season. Passover is in spring so there was more daylight. Passover begins the religious calendar year for Jews. 

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/526872/jewish/Hours.htm

Tour de force-Jordan to Jerusalem

Third Hour of the Day is a term only used three times in the Bible. (Three and third appear hundreds of times from Genesis to Revelations.) They occurred when Jesus was by the Jordan and continued to Pentecost. Personally, I find the grouping and timing of these interesting. 

Verse/Stories with the Third Hour of the Day

Matthew 20:3-This is a kingdom of heaven parable about the landowner hiring workers at various times during the day. The end of this story is the first will last and the last will be first. 20:16 has taken on new layers of meaning. I also realize how I have used that saying out of context.  

A story with a setting like this would be familiar to his listeners, but the tale is out of season. Several sources put grape harvest in the late summer to fall of the year. (More questions.) The time of the third hour makes them the second group picked, and they worked about eight hours (number of a new beginning). 

Mark 15:25-Mark is the only Gospel writer to mention the time for the start of Jesus’ crucifixion. Does this refer to the story in Matthew? I believe Peter helped his nephew with details, but Mark just lost his fancy Passover robe a few hours before. Running home without all of your clothes makes some moments in time stick in your thoughts better than others.

The timeline for the day is a new revelation for me. The Jewish trial took place during the dark of the day (remember sunset starts the new day). So, the trials with Pilate and Herod, the beating by the Romans, and the walk out of the city took three hours-sunrise to the third hour. Jesus hung on the cross for six hours, three in darkness. Joseph of Arimathea got less than three hours to get the body, prepare it, and bury Jesus. Someone else at his house must have been tending to the Passover lamb and the other preparations. Jerusalem feasted as Jesus raided hell to take back the keys.    

Six hours (the number of man) may not be long, but it was enough for Jesus to pay the price for our sins. This short period shook and surprised the centurion, soldiers, and Pilate, who knew it should take longer. Wine and myrrh numbed the pain to extend the victims’ suffering on the cross, Jesus refused it.

Please note- the third to the ninth hour is when the Passover lambs were killed at the Temple. Makes you wonder how that was going without electric lights to turn on. Temple lambs came from Bethlehem, more layers to ponder. 

Acts 2:15-Pentecost is fifty days after Passover. Forty more days to be with Jesus and learn about His kingdom. The hundred-twenty labored for ten days in pray and picking Judas’ replacement. The Holy Spirit comes in just like at Mount Sinai-wind, noise, and fire. Then as now, the gift of speaking in tongues is marginalized and ridiculed. The Disciples, all 120 of them, are drunk three hours after sunrise. Because people in the crowd understood the languages, and Peter preached a rational sermon, silenced the drunk theory. Were the 3000 another set of workers, like in Matthew 20? I credit Joseph Prince with this statement-3000 died at the giving of the Law, 3000 are born again at the giving of the Spirit.

Things found and more questions 

  1. How prophetic is Matthew 20:1-16? Does it show periods of Church workers/witnesses?
  2. Could Zacchaeus, Bartimaeus, and Lazarus be a wave of early laborers? (See Triumphal Entry)
  3. Matthew refers to the holy city when people came to life and walked into the city (27:53). The phrase holy city started a search which led to Hebrews 13:11-14 and 2 Chronicles 8:11. Jesus died outside of the city. First, his death mirrors what happened to sacrificed animals, but speaks to the matter of clean/unclean or Law vs. Grace. The Ark, or presence of God, had been in Jerusalem. God forsook Jesus during those six hours. This is the reason Solomon built his Egyptian bride’s palace outside of the city. The city was holy; she was not.
  4. Jesus predicted His death three times.  Luke 9:2-27, Mark9:30-32, and Matthew 20:17-19. (I am still looking into these.) Matthew 26:1-2 is also one and several times in John. All I know is the Disciples did not go to Galilee like Jesus had instructed them. Jesus showed up in a locked room (twice) to get them to leave. The Law did not require their staying in Jerusalem for the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
  5. 3000 souls baptized from the sermon. All the baptizing would have been a lot of work and Pentecost is Shabbat (no work). There is some wiggle room here. Those water baptisms may not have occurred on Pentecost. The biggest and nearest pond was where Jesus healed the lame man. He laid there for thirty-eight years (see the post please). Another possibility is 3000 people received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

https://www.conformingtojesus.com/charts-maps/en/jerusalem_in_jesus_time_map.htm

https://www.google.com/amp/s/terminalsalvation.com/2015/07/09/into-what-did-the-3000-get-baptized-on-the-day-of-pentecost/amp/