As we continue our study of Jesus in Prayer University it is important to understand this time of history, and factors that were influencing the culture and decisions of the day.
During the time of Jesus’ life, the Jewish people were looking for their Messiah, the saviour of their people, that would liberate from the grip of the cruel Roman empire and its Kings. This Messiah was frequently referenced in the Torah and spoken of by the Prophet Moses and the Prophet Isaiah. The Jewish Messiah was to be the One to save the nation of Israel and establish it in its rightful position in the world – restoring Israel to its former glory and prominence as in the days of King David and King Solomon. The Messiah would come from the line of King David.
Then there was the issue of the Jewish Law. Chief Priests and temple priests were experts and masters of the Rabbinical Law and were held in high esteem. The attributes of this law abiding Messiah for which the Jews were seeking was reinforced by the temple priests and their teachings. There were 613 laws required for adherence to proper Judaism – laws that pertained to most every aspect of life. We are all familiar with the “Big 10” but there were 603 lesser known laws of the day. These laws were burdensome and oppressive, making Jewish life unnecessarily challenging. Jesus came to fulfill the Law.
Jesus had grown up in Nazareth in a quiet, unassuming family, the son of a carpenter. At the age of 30 when Jesus was actively inviting men to become His disciples, He met and encouraged Phillip to “Come and see”. Philip then asked Nathanael to meet his friend Jesus who was from Nazareth. Nathanael stated, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth ?” (John 1:46) Jesus was seemingly a Man of no name from no where – certainly not a mighty political or military force or even perceived religious leader possessing qualities required to lead the nation of Israel out of bondage. Yet Jesus was the most powerful Man on the earth and no leader knew Him.
Jesus migrated quietly from city to city, “conquering” these cities through healing, delivering, prayer and teaching. He primarily taught through parables or stories illustrating truthful and righteous principles that He desired people to understand. As the Son of God, Jesus was a King and represented a powerful Kingdom. On earth, He had no authority to legislate or impose rules or laws. If people were instructed by law that they could not heal on a Sabbath day, the only way He could communicate that it was the Lord’s will was through demonstration, thereby raising the ire of the Rabbinic priests.
For 3 years, The Teacher taught openly in the temples, to large masses of people in the countryside, one on one to those in need and to the 12 disciples so they could spread His Good News. The only aggression was what emanated from city leaders that resisted His teachings. His disciples were flogged, beaten and imprisoned. Following Jesus’s crucifixion, they were all individually put to death, except John the Revelator, who was exiled to the Island of Patmos. There was no violence recorded for which they were involved with the exception of Peter slicing off the High Priest servant’s ear but Jesus’ immediately restored Malchus and rebuked Peter.
Jesus’ esteem and influence grew and grew as He taught the principles that God the Father instructed Him that would reveal His true heart. Without one military strategy or tactic or any political maneuvers – Jesus and the 12 humbly and without fanfare, walked, taught and saved thousands in their surrounding region, sparking a spiritual revolution that began a new way to consider God – a way that showed Him as a loving, caring Father, merciful and full of grace for His people.
Jesus’ lowly entrance on a donkey into Jerusalem must have confounded and enraged the priests even more as they heard the citizens yelling, “Hosanna ! Hosanna!” Hosanna means “Save us, Rescue Us, Deliver Us! “. Surely this could not be the Messiah that they have been waiting for, for centuries – coming in on a donkey ? What kind of liberator of a nation arrives to save on a donkey? And He is calling Himself the Son of God – how does He know to respond I AM ? This is heresy. We MUST get rid of Him – this is what the priests had to have been thinking.
And we surely know the rest of the story. Pontius Pilate gave the people a choice between Jesus and Barabbas and the priests were wildly yelling for Jesus to die. Pilate had Jesus severely flogged first, thinking that this would assuage the thirst for His death but it did not. What they could not know was that this was the plan from the beginning of time, and part of the final assignment. After Jesus was hung on the cross, He dismissed His own Spirit and announced to the world; “Tetelestai!” All is accomplished! The temple curtain tore from top to bottom signifying no more separation between God and man. And then they knew.
Christ Jesus, the true Messiah, as prophesied, came from the line of David. His father Joseph, was a descendant of King David however Jesus’ true bloodline, was the blood of deity; the blood of God. Jesus came to earth to fulfill God’s plan to redeem His people back to Himself. He is still today seen through the eyes of those that want Him, those eyes and hearts that are opened by His Spirit – the Spirit of Truth. If you have not prayed to receive Jesus as your Messiah, and personal Lord and Saviour – You can do so today.
Lord Jesus, please forgive me for my sins. I repent and turn from my sins and with your help, I will overcome them. You exchanged my sins for Your righteousness, and paid a debt on my behalf to God that I could never pay. I acknowledge that You are the Son of God and I receive You now as my Lord and Saviour. Amen
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Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus