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Form 2 CRE Notes On Jesus' Ministry In Jerusalem
Grade/Class: Form 2
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TOPIC 5:JESUS’ MINISTRY IN JERUSALEM
Jerusalem was an important place in the mission of Jesus. The city of Jerusalem was conquered from the Jebusites during the reign of King David. He thus made Jerusalem a holy city.
Solomon, David’s son built the temple in Jerusalem. So even during the times of Jesus it remained a major center of worship.
This is the place where he was going to fulfill God’s plan of salvation for .Jesus had already predicted the kind of suffering he was going to face in Jerusalem (LK :9:31,51 13:31-35,18:31-34)
Jesus had conflicts with the religious leaders and he knew that he would face opposition in Jerusalem.
THE TRIUMPHANT ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM (LK: 19:28-40)
When Jesus drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, he sent two of his disciples to go ahead into the village opposite, where they were going to find colt (a young one of donkey) the one which no one had ridden on. When the owner asks them why they were untying it, they would tell him that the Lord needs it.
They went and found it as Jesus had said.
And as they were untying it, they owner asked them where they taking it. And they told him that the Lord needs it. And then they brought it to Jesus. And as he rode on it, they spread their garment on the road.
The whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God with a loud voice saying “blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord”
And some of the Pharisees told him to rebuke his disciples .He answered them “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out”
This implies that Jesus did not want to hide his Messiahship anymore.
Significance of Jesus Triumphant entry into Jerusalem
- The fact that Jesus rode on a donkey that had not been ridden on shows that Jesus was a peaceful messiah.
- The people who shouted confirmed that Jesus was the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament (Zech 9:9)
- Christians should be ready and prepared to receive Jesus their lives.
- Christians should preach peace in their lives.
- Christians should be humble in their service to others.
- Christians should expect opposition and resistance as they evangelize.
- Christians should praise and thank God just as the crowd that followed Jesus did.
- Christians should be bold as they witness to Jesus like the crowd that followed Jesus had declared him as a King.
JESUS CLEANSES THE TEMPLE (LK .:19: 45-49)
And when he drew near Jerusalem, he wept over Jerusalem.
Why Jesus wept
i. This was because Jesus Knew that Jerusalem would reject him as the Messiah.
ii. He had seen the way Jerusalem would be destroyed.
iii. The people did not recognize him as a peaceful Messiah.
iv. They had forgotten that they were God’s chosen people.
v. They had turned the temple into a commercial centre.
vi. The people who sold in the temple made excessive profits.
vii. It was a center of worship but was spiritually dead.
viii. The religious leaders had forgotten the laws that they were supposed to keep and teach.
Jesus then entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling in the in the temple saying “It is written that, “My house shall be a house of prayer but have made it a den of robber”
This was a quotation from the Book of Jeremiah (Jer: 7:11)
Those who sold in the temple made excessive profits.
This was not the real purpose of the temple.
This prevented the Jews from being a light to the Gentiles.
The action of Jesus made the religious leaders more determined to have him killed.
Lessons Christians can learn from the cleansing of the temple
- Christians should respect the house of God and use it appropriately.
- Christian leaders should avoid exploiting members of through asking for excessive contributions.
- Christians should have courage in condemning evils in the society.
- They should pay more attention to inward righteousness than external observance of rituals.
CONFLICTS WITH THE JEWISH LEADERS (LK: 19:47-48, 20:1-47, 21:1-4)
After the cleansing of the temple, Jesus spent most of the time teaching in the temple. There were two groups of people; the ones who were keenly listening to his teachings and thos4e who wanted ways of trapping him. (The chief priests the scribes and Pharisees)
This was because Jesus had referred to them as hypocrite’s .He also did not confirm salvation to the Jews only. They also rejected his Messiah ship due to his ordinary family background. But Jesus knew that his rejection was part of his mission.
While he was preaching the chief priests and the scribes came to him. They wanted to know through whose authority he taught.
He answered them by asking them a question “Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men”
The question put the leaders in a dilemma. This was because, if they said it was from heaven, this would imply that Jesus’ authority was from God.
If they said from men, then the people would stone them. So they answered they did not know.
And he responded by telling them “Neither will I tell you, by what authority I do these things”
THE PARABLE OF THE WICKED TENANTS (LK: 20:20 9-18)
Jesus told them the parable of a man who planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants when the time for the harvest came ,he sent his servant to the tenants that they should give him the and sent his servants to the tenants that they should give him the fruits of the vineyard. But they beat him and sent him away empty handed. And he sent the second servant whom they beat and treated shamefully. He sent yet another third one whom they also wounded and cast out.
Then the owner of the vineyard decided to send his own son, but they beat him up and killed him.
Jesus then posed this question to them “what then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?”He will come and destroy those tenants and give to others.
Significance of the parable
- The owner of the vineyard is God.
- The vineyard if Israel and the tenants are the Jewish leaders.
- The servants who were beaten represents Gods
- The son of the owner of the vineyard represents Jesus.
- The death of the son represents the kind of rejection that he was going to face in Israel in the hands of Jewish leaders.
- It implies that Jesus whom the Jewish leaders rejected would be enthroned in heaven.
What can Christians do when faced with rejection?
- A Christian should not fear ejection for the sake of Christ.
- Should stand firm in times of rejection.
- Should pray to God to give him strength.
- Should seek pastoral guidance.
- Read the scriptures.
PAYING TAXES TO CAESAR (LK: 20: 19-26)
After telling the parable of the wicked tenants, the scribes and the chief priest were annoyed because they knew was the message in the parable was about them and they wanted to seize Jesus but they were afraid of the people
They therefore sent spices to him who pretended to be sincere. They wanted to trap him. So they asked him a question whether fit was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not.
Jesus resented the payment of taxes to the Roman authority because.
1. The coins used had the emperor’s image which according to them was a violation of Jewish law which forbade the use of images
2. It was also a symbol of their oppression by the Romans.
The question put Jesus on dilemma for if Jesus said yes then they would accuse him of being a collaborator with the roman rulers.
If Jesus would tell them not to pay, they would accuse him of treason. Jesus knew their trick and asked them to produce a coin and state whose name and image was on it. Whey they said
Emperors, Jesus told them to render to Caesar what belonged to Caesar and to God the things that are God’s. He wanted his questioners to make their own decision about the issue.
What Christians can learn about Jesus response to paying taxes?
- A Christian has a duty to pay taxes to the government.
- A Christian has a duty to be loyal to the state.
- He also has a duty to be loyal to God.
Why does a Christian need to pay tax?
- It is a sign of loyalty to Authority /government.
- Since Jesus accepted the payment of tax, So A Christian should do the same in obedience to Jesus’ command.
- It enhances equitable distribution of the country’s economic resources.
- It helps to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich since the rich are taxed more.
- The government uses taxes to pay salaries of civil servants.
- Taxes are also used to initiate new development projects e.g. building of schools and infrastructure.
- Money generated from taxes are used to cater for emergencies such as floods.
- To maintain the country’s embassies abroad and meet international obligations.
- To run various government departments.
- To maintain already existing projects.
- To help the less fortunate members of the society.
THE QUESTION ABOUT RESURRECTION (Lk.20:27-38)
The Seduces presented Jesus with an issue concerning the resurrection. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. They asked him a question saying that according to Jesus when one childless then his widow would be married by his brothers so that he bear sons on his brother.
They asked him question about a woman who married seven brothers and all of them did without having a child with her. They asked him whose wife she will be at the time of resurrection .Jesus responded by telling them that. There is no marriage after death, they become immortal and are sons of Gog .They are equal to angles.
They applauded at him for having spoken well and they dared not ask him any more question.
Lessons Christians can learn from the question on resurrection
- That there is the resurrection of the dead.
- Those who will resurrect will neither marry nor be married.
- They become immortal (cannot die anymore)
- Those who resurrect will be like angles.
- They will be the sons of God.
- God is God of the living and not the dead.
JESUS WARNS AGAINST THE TEACHERS OF LAW. (LK. 29: 46-47)
Jesus addressed his disciples and warned them to beware of the hypocrisy and exploitative nature of the teachers of the law.
He openly attacked them for
- The love to go on long robes so that they could be seen and respected.
- Love to be greeted with respect in market places.
- Seeking best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at the feasts.
- Making long prayers without meaning.
- He also accused them of taking advantage and robbing the widows of their property.
These direct attacks on the teachers’ of law provoked a conflict between them and Jesus.
THE WIDOW’S OFFERING (LK: 21:1-4)
Jesus also observed the way offerings were being done in the temple.
He saw the rich people putting their gifts into the treasury. A poor widow also gave two copper coins (the smallest denomination).Jesus praised the widow for giving that entire she had .This may have caused conflicts between Jesus and the rich who listening to him.
Explain how the following factors causes conflicts in our Churches today
- Leadership wrangles
- The issue of Family planning e.g. the use of contraceptives.
- Women being ordained as priests.
- Corruption among the leaders.
- Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
- Sex Education.
- Alcohol and drug abuse.
- Polygamy. Some churches do not accept polygamists to be incorporated into the congregation.
Causes of conflicts in the families today
- Unfaithfulness where the couple or partners are not faithful to one another.
- Childlessness where the couple are not able to give birth to a child due to barrenness.
- Separation due to work or education.
- Misunderstanding on the practice of family planning or the number of children.
- Finance and Education which brings tension more so when the wife is of higher educational background or has more money.
- Poor communication between the couple.
- High dependency ratio.
- Cultural difference between the partners.
- Drug abuse and alcoholism which may lead to domestic violence.
- Misuse of domestic resources.
JESUS TEACHING ABOUT THE ESCHATOLOGY (LK 21:5 -38)
The term “eschatology” is derived from the Greek word eschatos which means end. Eschatology therefore is the study of the end of times.
Jesus also talked of what would happen at the end of times.
This passage is written in apocalyptic style.
In the bible, the book of Daniel and revelation are referred to as apocalyptic books because they reveal what would happen in future in relation to God’s judgment.
This apocalyptic writing is also found in prophetic books of Jeremiah, Amos and Zephaniah.
THE PROPHECY ON THE DESTRUCTION OF THE JERUSALEM TEMPLE (LK: 21:5-6)
Some of the disciples remarked about how beautiful the temple was. Jesus then warned them about the destruction of the temple.
“All these you see the time will come when not a single stone here will be left in its space. Every one will be thrown down”.
This raised curiosity in wanting to find out what signs they were to look out for.
The signs of the end of times
- Many would come claiming to Jesus, the messiah. He therefore warned them not to be led astray.
- Wars between Nations would arise.
- There would be earthquakes, famines and plagues
- There would be great signs from heaven
- The disciples would i.e. brought before kings and governors for the sake of Christ
- Close relatives i.e. parents and brothers, kinsmen and friends will hate them.
- Some of the disciples will even be put to death.
- Jesus disciples would be betrayed to the authorities
- He warned his disciples that the city of Jerusalem will be surrounded by enemies.
He told them that before the coming of son of man there would be:
i) Disruption in the sky and in the sea.
ii) All countries would be in despair
iii) People would faint from fear as they witness the signs
After all these signs the son of man would appear in the power and glory.
THE PARABLE OF THE FIG TREE (LK 21:29 - 33)
Jesus then told the disciples and other audience the parable of the fig tree to explain the reality of his coming.
The fig tree sheds its leaves during the winter and during spring it comes back to life and a sign of summer is near. In the same way there will be signs that the end is near.
He therefore encouraged his disciples to lead a righteous life.
They were to avoid too much feasting and drinking.
They were told to be watchful all the time and keep on praying.
Jesus continued to teach in the temple, and many people kept coming to listen to him.
The relevance to the teaching of eschatology to Christians today
-Jesus teaches that the end of the world will come.
- Christians should note that nobody knows the time not the hour.
-Christians should beware of false prophets.
- Prayer is important to Christians particularly during moments of crisis.
- Christians should stand firm in faith.
- Christians should live righteous life as they prepare for the second coming of Christ.
How Christians prepare for the second coming of Christ
- Encouraging people to repent their sins.
- Preaching Gospel top new converts.
- Obeying the commandments of God.
- Taking part in the Holy Communion.
- Praying l and fasting.
- Enduring suffering for the sake of Christ.
- Accepting baptism with water in preparation for baptism with the Holy Spirit.
- Living an exemplary life.
- Helping the needy and the less fortunate members of the society.
- Forgiving those who wrong them so that God may forgive them.
- Praising God thorough songs and dances.
- Avoiding tempting worldly situations.