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Sunday, March 20 2016

Matthew 21: Hosanna In The Highest

"Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest"

The Mount of Olives is a ridge located just a few hundred meters / yards east of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. About 3.5 kilometers / 2 miles long, it rises over 60 meters / 200 feet above the Kidron Valley which separates those two famous mounts (see Why Did King David Purchase The Temple Mount? and Zechariah: He Shall Stand Upon The Mount Of Olives).

Bethphage, from the Hebrew word meaning house of unripe figs, was a village located on the Mount Of Olives, on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho (see also Jesus In Jericho). Bethany was also a village on the Mount of Olives, on the south-eastern side, with a roundabout distance from Jerusalem of a little less than two miles.

One or the other of the villages were the scene of a number of well-known events during the ministry of the Messiah, including the resurrection of Lazarus (see Who Else Did They Want To Kill At Passover?), the obtaining of the donkey's colt that was used for the "triumphal entry" into Jerusalem (below), and the Messiah's ascension into heaven after His Resurrection (see the Fact Finder question below).

The Messiah's "triumphal entry" into Jerusalem as His Passover Sacrifice was nearing its due time (see also The Passover To Pentecost Connection) was greeted by cries of "hosanna." Hosanna is based on a Greek word of the New Testament that was derived from a combination of two Hebrew words of the Old Testament, pronounced yaw-shah, meaning to save or deliver, and naw, meaning pray. Originally intended as "Save/deliver us, I/we pray," hosanna is now more often used as a exclamation of praise.

Bethany

"21:1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, 21:2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. 21:3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.

21:4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 21:5 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.

21:6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, 21:7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 21:8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. 21:9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying,

Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

21:10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?

21:11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee." (Matthew 21:1-11 KJV)

The also-famous driving out of the bankers and peddlers from the Temple happened at that time. At the end of the day, He "went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there."

"21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

21:14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. 21:15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,

21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say?

And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read,

Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

21:17 And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there." (Matthew 21:12-17 KJV)

The Messiah was a Teacher. Like any good teacher, He made use of the things around Him to reveal Truth to those whose time of truth had come (see also The Meaning Of Parables).

"21:18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

21:20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." (Matthew 21:18-22 KJV)

The then-worldly religious "authorities" were "leaders" by nothing more than brute force and intimidation. On the other hand, the Messiah was a true Leader, not a mere blustering pusher (see Leaders And Pushers).

"21:23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?

21:24 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. 21:25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?

And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? 21:26 But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.

21:27 And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell.

And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things." (Matthew 21:23-27 KJV)

The way to repentance is seldom easy (see The Soul That Repents Shall Live and A Faithful Winner Among Unrepentant Losers). Nevertheless, those who have many problems in coming out of the dead-end ways of the world are far ahead of those who refuse to accept the LORD's offer of salvation.

A Vineyard

"21:28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

21:29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

21:30 And he came to the second, and said likewise.

And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

21:31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father?

They say unto him, The first.

Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him." (Matthew 21:28-32 KJV)

The Messiah used vineyards in a number of His parables (see The Messiah's Vineyard Lessons). Among them was the "parable of the tenants" which was about the religious pirates who seized what others had built: "When the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them."

"21:33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 21:34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

21:35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 21:36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. 21:37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.

21:38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. 21:39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

21:40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

21:41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

21:45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 21:46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet." (Matthew 21:33-46 KJV)

Fact Finder: Where did the Messiah ascend into heaven?
See The Ascent From Bethany


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This Day In History, March 20

141: The 6th recorded perihelion (the point in the orbit of a comet or planet when it is closest to the sun) passage of what was later named Halley's Comet (named after English astronomer Edmond Halley, 1656-1742) (see also The Christian Universe and The Maker Of Mystic Mountain).

235: Maximinus Thrax was proclaimed Emperor of Rome. He was the first foreigner (he was born in the Balkans of northern Greece) to hold the Roman throne, and the first Roman Emperor to have never been in Rome (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

1413: King Henry IV of England died. He was succeeded by Henry V.

1568: Albert (German, Albrecht) died at age 78. The Protestant German ruler was known chiefly for ending the Teutonic knights government of East Prussia (as advised by Martin Luther) and founding a hereditary dukedom in its place. For that, he was placed under the ban of the empire by Emperor Charles V (see also The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1602: The Dutch East India Company was established. It became one of the world's most powerful companies over its 96-year history.

1616: Sir Walter Raleigh was freed from the Tower of London after 13 years of imprisonment.

1727: Sir Isaac Newton died at age 84. The English mathematician and physicist was best-known for developing calculus and for his studies of the Creator's laws of physics that governed motion.

Isaac Newton
1760: The great fire of Boston destroyed 350 buildings.

1792: The French Legislative Assembly approved the use of the guillotine for executions.

1815: Napoleon Bonaparte entered Paris after his return from Elba, beginning his "Hundred Days" reign before his defeat at Waterloo in Belgium.

1852: Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, was first published in book form.

1916: In Switzerland, German-born Albert Einstein published his now-famous general theory of relativity.

1918: During the First World War, the U.S. took over Dutch merchant vessels lying in U.S. waters (the U.S. did not enter the war itself until 1917, more than half-way through the war that ran from 1914-1918).

1922: The converted navy coal carrier USS Jupiter was re-commissioned as the USS Langley to become the first U.S. aircraft carrier. Japan launched the first purposely-built aircraft carrier, the Hosyo, that same year. Britain was the first to have an aircraft carrier, the Argus, built during the First World War a few years earlier.

1948: The Soviet Union, in response to the signing of the "Brussels Treaty" 3 days earlier, withdrew from the Allied Control Council, ending all formal four-power control of Germany.

1956: Tunisia became independent from France.

1965: President Lyndon Johnson ordered 4,000 troops in to protect the Selma-Montgomery civil rights marchers.

1974: An attempt was made to kidnap Britain's Princess Anne in The Mall, London.

1985: Canadian paraplegic athlete and humanitarian Rick Hansen began his circumnavigation of the Earth in a wheelchair for spinal cord injury medical research.

1990: Former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos's widow, Imelda Marcos, went on trial for bribery, embezzlement, and racketeering.

1996: The British government announced that mad cow disease could probably be transmitted to humans.

2003: The U.S. began the bombing and invasion of Iraq with the stated purpose of seizing Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction." No such weapons were ever found to actually exist.



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