JohnSWilson3 Blog

“Do you see all these things?”
July 18, 2011, 6:45 pm
Filed under: A Gospel According to Matthew

I recently had a discussion with a dear sister reference Jesus’ discourse found in Matthew Chapters 24 to 25. Jesus says this two days before the Passover after leaving the city of Jerusalem.

He left the city calling out to Jerusalem saying: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'”

Matthew then writes: “Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. ‘Do you see all these things?’ he asked. ‘I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.'”

I can only guess at how Jesus must have felt in those few moments, a heart torn for His people, a heart desiring His people, but they would not have Him. They received Him not. It could be well said that when Jesus died on the cross He died more from a broken heart than from the nails in His hands and feet. How religion and institutionalism blinds our hearts to the love of Christ. Jerusalem was supposed to be the city of peace, the city where God was found, the place of rest for God’s people but because of religion and institutionalism they did not find Him.

Even the disciples did not see this. They only saw the physical temple and its beauty but failed to see the beauty of their Lord in front of them. Matthew tells us that “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus looked at them with kind eyes and shared from the life of His Father within Him. His first words were: “Watch out that no one deceives you…see to it that you are not alarmed.” Later in the discourse He says: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” He also comments on “…the coming of the Son of Man” and gives four parables that describe how “…you must be ready….” The first contrasts “the faithful and wise servant” with the wicked servant who “beat his fellow servants.” The second is a contrast between five wise virgins and five foolish virgins. The third is a contrast between “good and faithful” servants and a “wicked, lazy servant” in regards the use of their talents. And the fourth a contrast between righteous sheep and cursed goats. The thought that comes to mind is the parables seem to describe the same thing, there are those in Christ who will enter His rest and those in Christ who appear to not do so. Some suggest that the parables describe those who are in Christ and those who are not and the resulting consequences.

I am not sure if the point of the parable is to determine who is who, who are in Christ and those who are not in Christ, but to realize it is important to move forward in Christ, to love, to be ready, to endure, which is a testimony of our life in Christ. If we do not we are not living by the life of Christ but by the flesh and if so we need to question our relationship with Christ. I also notice that in all four parables there is a community involved, we move forward by being in community, we grow in love by being in community, we are made ready by being in community, we endure temptations and sufferings be being in community, and we express love to others through community, the body of Christ, the ekklesia, that is a testimony of our life in Christ.

What a contrast to life in Christ, as Jesus sees it, versus that of the religion and institutionalism that had made seeking and knowing God almost impossible. In the rest of the New Testament we see this same thought: the importance of moving forward, loving one another, being made ready, enduring, and love expressed by the community, the ekklesia, as a testimony of their life in Christ. If we looked at our Old Testament we might also see this as well.

The life of the “old Jerusalem,” the flesh, is really about death and not life, but in Christ Jesus, who is the Life and the Resurrection, He has made a new Jerusalem! It is a life of the same kind that is Christ, it is spiritual life, real life! In Christ we now live by Him and not by our own life, a life of the Spirit. As we hear Him, believe Him, and express Him, we will bear the fruit of His life and we enter His rest! Jesus’ wept because while the people of Israel focused on keeping the Sabbath day, and every other commandment and law, they had forgotten that it wasn’t about keeping the letter of the Law but about the spirit of the Law, it was about love, it was really about Him.

It is my opinion that the four parables mentioned by Jesus in this section are more of a contrast between those who are entering His rest, who live by His life, and those who, while they may be in Christ, have not experienced His rest, they are living by what they do or don’t do. One is living by the Tree of Life the other by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. These are the ones who, because of “the craftinesses of the devil” have been deceived and think that our conflict is with our flesh and with people and as a result Christ’s life is but a dim light in a dark world. These are those who think they must control their flesh and the flesh of others through shame, laws, and regulations. These are those who are not focused on relationships but on themselves. Being right in their own eyes is more important than relationships. These are all “things.” As Jesus said: ” ‘Do you see all these things?’ he asked. ‘I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.'”

Jesus said: “Watch out that no one deceives you…see to it that you are not alarmed……because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved…the coming of the Son of Man…you must be ready.” Jerusalem, the body of Christ is called to be the place of God’s rest. It is a community, a shared life, it’s expression is Christ, “full of grace and truth,” full of love. Let us move forward in Christ, to love, to be ready, to endure, to express Him to others, which is a testimony of our life in Christ. Let us live by the Spirit together, expressing the fullness of Christ together, and enter His rest.


6 Comments so far
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Great blog John, The watch word…Be ready! You have been doing some great writing. Really enjoying it brother!

Comment by Pam Frazier

Thanks Pam! Really have been mulling these over with the Lord. Yep, be ready, moving forward in Christ! 🙂

Comment by John Wilson

My brother John,
How our hearts feel our Lord’s heart as He proclaimed the grief of His longing, His love! Our hearts cry in Him with such longing, with such depth of His love, for all to enter His rest, His Life Community in Him. Do we see? Do we see all the “its,” the “things” that blind us from our view of our Lover, our Rest, our Everything, the Person, Jesus Christ? Our hearts are bursting in prayer cries to our Holy Father, for we have been blinded by the “things” of this world, blinded by the “things” in religious institutions born out of this world. Open our eyes, our ears, our hearts to you Lord Jesus, that we may see only you alone as one people, as one family, as one in You!

Thank you bro John.

Comment by Kat Huff

Wow, Kat, thanks sis! Yes, His longing for His Bride, One Family, One in You, amen!

Comment by John Wilson

Wonderful revealing given to you John. Father is surely opening many eyes, yet, while yet there are so many yet who say they see, yet their sin remains.. I ask Father everyday, that as Son, to express that glory to which we have been graced in Christ Jesus to others that they may hear and see that which is Spirit and not flesh.. Blessed are you John Scott for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but your Father in heaven. Upon this rock I build my church.. Love your brother.

Comment by Joseph Black

Joseph, thanks brother for the encouraging words! I am awashed with His heart by what you just said. You are a blessing bro. Appreciate you.

Comment by John Wilson

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