John T. Willis

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Biblical Teaching of Disciples--12

Matthew 21-23 contain FIVE references to Disciples.

1. Two events involve Disciples in Matthew 21.
     a. Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. Matthew 21:1-11.
         When Jesus and his traveling companions arrived at Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent TWO DISCIPLES to go into the village ahead and find and bring a donkey and a colt to Jesus. The two disciples did this, and Jesus rode into Jerusalem as a king would (see 1 Kings 1:33). The crowds spread branches broken from the trees on the road, and proclaimed: "Hosanna to the Son of David."
     b. Jesus Curses a Fig Tree. Matthew 21:18-22.
         The next morning Jesus returned to the city and was hungry. He came to a fig tree which had no fruit. He said to it, "May no fruit every come from you again!" The fig tree withered. When THE DISCIPLES saw this, they were amazed, saying, "How did the fig tree wither at once?" Jesus told them, If you have faith and do not doubt, you can cause a fig tree to wither or a mountain be thrown into the sea. "Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive."
The Bible does not tell the hearer or audience who these disciples are.

2. Matthew 22 relates one event involving the DISCIPLES OF THE PHARISEES. Matthew 22:15-22.
    Trying to trap Jesus, the Pharisees and the Herodians sent their disciples to Jesus, asking him, "Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?" Jesus asked him to give him a denarius. Then he said: "Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's."

3. Matthew 23 contains one event involving the DISCIPLES of Jesus.
    Jesus taught the crowds and HIS DISCIPLES about the nature of the scribes and Pharisees. He told them to follow whatever the scribes and Pharisees teach, but not to follow their example, because they do not do what they teach, for they do not practice what they teach. Obviously, Jesus warns his disciples against practicing hypocrisy.

 As in all other texts concerning disciples, here disciples often misunderstand what Jesus teaches and does. Jesus sternly warns his disciples not to be hypocritical, but to be honest and forthright.

Share YOUR experiences and shortcomings and anxieties and losses and concerns with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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