The Coming of the Kingdom

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The Coming of the Kingdom
Matthew 21 -25

I give an interpretation of these chapters using this framework: The Jews expected that Jesus, the Messiah, would remove the Roman government and re-establish David’s kingdom in Jerusalem. So everything Jesus actually did and taught in these chapters is completely contrary to what everyone expected.

Chapter 21
As Jesus entered Jerusalem for the Passover, the Jews expected Jesus to overthrow the Roman government. With over 2 million Jews in the city, Pilate and the soldiers were out-numbered. But what did Jesus do? He didn’t go to palace, but to the temple. Instead of overthrowing the government, he overthrew the temple! “He wasn’t supposed to do that!”

Chapter 21-22-23
In the temple, Jesus begins to proclaim parables against the priests and elders: a disobedient son, tenants who reject the landowner, and guests who refuse to attend the banquet. If Jesus was to re-establish David’s kingdom, shouldn’t the priests and elders be the best candidates for his cabinet members. But instead of recruiting them, he criticizes them and everything they do. In chapter 23 he insults them with strong language that includes everything short of four letter words. “He wasn’t supposed to do that!”

Chapter 24
The Jews expected the rebuilding of Jerusalem as the capital city. Here Jesus predicts the destruction of Jerusalem. “He wasn’t supposed to do that!”

Chapter 25
A political candidate is expected to set forth his campaign plan. The Jews expected a battle plan to conquer the Romans, and a political plan on how to govern the provinces of Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. Instead Jesus sets forth three parables to outline a new government of the people. The Ten Virgins: Be alert and watchful. The Talents: use what God has given you and put it to work. The Sheep and Goats: help those in need. In other words: “Wake up to a new reality and use all that God has given you to help your neighbor.” We are expected to do just that.

Then he died to save us. “He wasn’t supposed to do that!” (But he did.)