The Anointed

The word Anointed means, uniquely appointed by God to rule. It is sometimes refers to a royal rule, sometimes a priestly rule, but basically it points to godly ‘speciality’. In the New Testament it is often translated Christ. Christians are members of the body of Christ, see Romans 12:5.  We are called Christians, a name which began in Antioch of Syria, not Jerusalem of Israel, see Acts 11:26.

Jesus was anointed by three different women in 3 different places.

In Lk. 7:11-50, by a woman who was a sinner of the city, near Nain in Galilee.

In Jn. 12:1-8, by Mary the sister of Lazarus near Bethany in Mary & Martha’s house.

In Matthew 26:6-16 & Mark 14:1-9 by an unknown woman in Bethany at Simon the Leper’s house. Women then and now, seem (in general) to have a talent for perceiving inner character. When Jesus walked the earth, women were the ones which saw His inner identity most clearly. it was the Apostles (men) who were still asking teh dumb questinos about, “when the restoration of Israel would take place”, Acts 1:6. Even after Peter & Thomas declared Jesus as the Christ and Son of God, they still didn’t understand the Anointed Kingship of Jesus.  Later Jews asked Him if he was the Christ and Jesus agreed, Mt. 26:62-64.  Pilate then asked Jesus if he was a King and Jesus agreed, Lk. 23:3.  On the cross the thief proclaimed the coming of Christ’s Kingdom and Jesus agreed, pronouncing, “TODAY you will be with me”, not tomorrow or centuries from then or now, Lk. 23:42-43.

John introduces Jesus to the 7 churches of Asia as the RULER of the kings of the earth, Rev. 1:5-6. The old King James version wrongly uses the word, “prince” of kings, because it often loves the Latin (princeps regum terrae) moreso than the Greek, which literally means “First Chief”. This agrees with the title twice given to Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords, Rev. 17:14 & 19:16. How was Jesus seen by God to be the anointed King of Israel?  By people like the women who sacrified their own reputation and possessions to show Jesus as divinely royal.

Do not forget what was written above His cross. “The King of the Jews”, Mt. 27:37, Mk. 15:26, Lk. 23:38 & Jn. 19:19. Paul later proclaimed that Christians are the true circumcision (Jews), see Php 3:3. John says we have an “anointing”, 1st John 2:20. These truths help us endure problems in our life and faith, seeing God making us special in Christ.

Cleansing The Temple & Cursing The Tree

Jn. 2:13-22, Mat. 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-19, Luke 19:45-48 

The first time Jesus cleansed the Temple, He made a whip of cords, it is described in the Greek, as vegetation, not leather, Jn. 2:15. It probably was simply long strands of bedding from the oxen & sheep stables. The whip was pieces of plants weaved together to make a cord strong enough to wave around and get attention, it wasn’t used to hurt anyone. Once he had their attention and was frightening animals with it, he gave them a saying which stuck in their minds, “in 3 days I’ll raise it up again”.  His enemies didn’t understand that he was using the physical Temple as an analogy of His body, which we are now members of.  The second Temple of Zerubbabel which Herod enlarged took 46 years to build. The Jews thought it was preposterous for Jesus to claim it’s demise and reconstruction in just 3 days.  As Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover, he meant to clean the Temple again, which he had done once before, recorded in Jn. 2:13-22. This must have been discouraging to see the greed of priests cover the Temple all over again.  He proclaimed that the Temple is His Father’s house of prayer, not a den of robbers, Mt. 21:12-13.  This teaches us one of many reasons, God comes to live with us in our bodies as a Temple, 1 Cor. 6:19-20. Prayer is an essential ingredient, making up our health, both spiritually and physically.The anger of Jesus is seen clearly by overturning tables and sending their money flying. There isn’t any mention of him harming the sellers, but financially, they must have taken a loss, because doves were let loose. Perhaps the most amazing feature of his action, is that the sellers were actually DRIVEN out of the Temple complex. This is an obvious miracle in forcing your enemies to retreat. It is prophesied in Malachi 3:1-2, “Who can stand when He appears?”. On more than one occasion Jesus displayed this power, it happened again in the Garden of Gethsemane during his arrest, John 18:3-6. God’s power within His wrath is amazing and it had the attention of is disciples too, Jn. 2:17. The zeal Jesus had for God’s house, consumed him and when people insulted him for his actions, they led to his death, this was prophesied in Psalm 69:9.  His Father’s house, the Temple was to become a house of prayer for ALL NATIONS, not just Jews, see Isaiah 56:7. But, instead of encouraging Gentiles to pray in the courtyard of the Temple, they made it difficult and expensive for Gentile proselytes to buy their sacrifices, and stole their money in the currency exchange.  The Lord was watching their greedy actions in the Temple, and Jeremiah wanted them to know it, Jer 7:11.  His wrath was seen again in the body of Ananias and Sapphira’s greedy lies as the church was being born, Acts 4:32-5:11.The even connected to his final cleansing of the Temple is the cursing of the fig tree, which was an attempt for Jesus to engrave on his disciples heart, the power of God’s wrath against hypocrisy. Mark 11:12-14, later after the image of the withered tree was in their mind, he told them a parable about the fig tree leaves giving them a sign of God’s presence they would experience powerfully, Mk. 13:28-31 & 9:1.  This world did change at Pentecost and Judaism fell, it has never and never will be restored. God’s Temple is in our hearts, not Jerusalem. These lessons of His Temple must remain as warnings to us. His holiness in our heart should be protected. Therefore guard your heart, Prv. 4:23. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Mt. 5:8

His Triumphal Entry

 Key Text: Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:29-44, John 12-36

The way Jesus entered Jerusalem was provocative and made a clear statement to his enemies. Sometimes Christians must take a stand for the truth in the face of sin, disregarding the consequences. Peter, John, Stephen, Paul, Silas & Jason, all displayed this attitude when faced with sin opposing truth, (Acts 4:5-5:18, 7:1-60, 16:16-24, 17:6).Zechariah 9:9 was known to Jesus, and fulfilling this prophecy meant he must instruct his disciples to acquire the foal of a donkey, through miraculous foreknowledge, it was accomplished. This unbroken new donkey was ridden by Jesus with miraculous control. Jesus was demonstrating the nature of his reign as a King over anyone or anything that was in submission to him. Even something as stubborn as a mule! Normally, Kings and royalty rode on well-trained donkeys, if and only if they were on a mission of peace & diplomacy, but if a King journeyed on a mission of confrontation & war, they would ride on a horse, here Jesus made a miraculous statement on a lowly donkey to state that his reign would produce friendship between humanity and God. It is no coincidence that the triumphal entry into Jerusalem was on a Sunday, 1 week prior to his resurrection. His reign is introduced and established on the 1st day of the week. Every Sunday we should remind our self of His Kingship as Lord of our life and the entire universe, Col. 1:13-17.His journey from Mt. Olives to Jerusalem is prophesied in Zechariah 14:4-9. The very graphic and physical language of Mt. Olives separating is apocryphal language used to describe the separation of heaven and earth when Jesus began this journey. In Heaven, he was offering peace, on earth a war began. The thief on the cross was the first to cross over the wide gap opened up from Mt. Olives, entering into peace. Today, we can enjoy the security of the new Jerusalem, as our spiritual inheritance is a reality today in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 1:3. The crowds that praised Him in his entry, were not shouting, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus”, instead they were quoting Psalm 118:25-26, they believed that God’s Davidic Messiah had arrived and that a new government would be established, never to be shaken. Many Jews understood Psalm 118 to be a Psalm of dedication for the new 2nd Temple, if this is true, we can appreciate the statement God is making to announce the dedication of his Son’s body as becoming our new Temple, Col. 1:18, 1st Cor. 6:19-20. The Pharisees, Sanhedrin and chief priest were outraged at the public’s praise. When tell Jesus to silence the crowd, his reply shows them that God is in control of their praise, and even the rocks would break out in praise if needed. See Hab.2:9-11, where evil coveters who give bad counsel, are rebuked by stones and a reply is made from beams. This alludes to their physical Temple testifying their demise.The statements of Jesus after His entry are themes established forever. Firstly, If humanity’s spirit doesn’t praise His Kingship, then nature will praise Him – God is in control, not us. Secondly since the Jewish Leaders reject His Kingship, then Jerusalem will fall, (Lk. 19:40-44). Thirdly, God will honor anyone who serves Jesus, and that service is to be based on denying our self, in imitating Jesus, (Jn.12:23-27). Fourthly, God’s voice is heard to establish the name of Jesus as a standard for judgment, (Jn. 12:30-32).  His presence as the Son of Man is synonymous with the Christ, and while He is in the world, He is a light. Our faith in Him as Christ, reflects that light in a dark world, Jn. 12:34-36.

Jesus & Zacchaeus

Key Text: Luke 19:1-10

Jesus knew the name of the wee little man in the tree, why? Because when Jesus looks at us, he perceives the desire of our heart, and when our heart wants him, He comes closer and gets to know everything about us, even the number of hairs on our head, Isa. 43:1, Jer. 1:5, Mat. 10:30.  Do the eyes of our heart desire to see Him and follow Him? This was true of Nathaniel, Jn. 1:47-50. Zacchaeus was a man who spent most of his life running from God. Then one day he decided to run towards Jesus and was found by God.  What exactly leads us to learn more about Jesus?  Zacchaeus was not only rich, but he was a “chief” tax collector.  Jesus directly invited himself into Zacchaeus’ hospitality. We can not get a better example of eagerness to share our faith. Being able to invite our self into sharing our faith, is essential, if we want to be like Jesus. Yes it is true, Jesus could perceive the desire of Zacchaeus to come to his own house, so therefore Jesus was not being rude in inviting himself to Zacchaeus’ house. Jesus read the thoughts of people’s mind, see Matthew 9:4, 12:25 & Luke 6:8.

If we want to see Jesus today, we cannot just stand to watch out for him, we must climb a tree. What does that mean? Our physical eyes cannot see the Spirit of Christ, but if we pray that our spiritual eyes can see, they will, Eph. 1:16-18. His Spirit lives in Christians, Rom. 8:9 But if we should see someone climb a tree to learn the truth, would we not be safely assuming he is interested enough, for us to create a conversation?  People don’t wear signs saying, “I’m desperate, I’m seeking God”, so what cues might they give us, to show they are ready to “climb a tree” and/or hear about Jesus? Many Christians simply will not talk about Jesus, unless they are first approached. But how many of us would be pro-active in creating a conversation, if we should see some kind of interest? If not, why not?  What may Zacchaeus have heard and believed about Jesus that made him so eager to catch a glimpse of Jesus? v3-4. Could Matthew the tax collector have had some kind of influence on Zacchaeus?

Why would the public ‘talking’ of Jesus to Zacchaeus give him mixed feelings? (v5-6). Tax collectors were ostracized from Jewish society because they collaborated with the Roman occupation forces. What risk does Jesus take in entering Zacchaeus’ home? v7. How do Zacchaeus’ actions indicate the authenticity of his repentance? v8, read Lev. 6:1-5 & Ex. 22:1.  

Zacchaeus had been seeking Jesus, but in verse 10, Jesus had come seeking Zacchaeus.  How can it help us to know that the Lord actively seeks the friends you are talking to? This is proof that rich people can be saved, it is very hard, but with God, all things are possible, Lk. 18:24-27 & 19:9-10. Zacchaeus proved it.  The Spirit of Jesus Christ in your spirit continues to seek and save those who are lost.   As his disciple, what can you do to follow his example and invite people to hear the truth about Jesus? Will you need to change your direction and bear fruit in order for Christ’s Spirit to find your friend? Read Luke 3:8 and Matthew 3:8-9. 

Some of our sins have consequences which are impossible to restore. What can be done in the face of  the costs of our sin, which make us bankrupt? Trust in His grace and stay submissive. Would the skeptics of Jesus consider Zacchaeus ‘seeking Jesus” genuinely, just because he climbed a tree?  Even after Zacchaeus expressed his desire to repent, would the skeptics really believe Zacchaeus could become a saint? Remember that some of the skeptics in the crowd may have been personally defrauded by Zacchaeus.

Searching For God?

Key Text: John 12:17-26

What are we looking for?  Everyone is searching for something.  It may be a secure job, a good retirement, a loving spouse, a child to be proud of, a house that’s comfortable, on and on the list goes, but, above all, we should be searching for God. Why? 

We were created to search for God, so that we will Find Him., He will not hide Himself! Acts 17:24-27, 31,  Isa. 55:6 & Jer. 29:13 

While seeking we won’t be turning to evil, we will be heard and Forgiven. 2nd Chron. 7:14.  

We will gain a greater understanding of life, wisdom is precious, Prov. 28:5. We will gain a greater Life, Jesus says he came to give us an abundant Life.  John 10:10, Amos 5:4 & Psalm 69:2. 

We will be Hidden from His anger on the Last Day,  Zeph. 2:3.

We will be rewarded for seeking Him diligently, Heb. 11:6. 

Searching for God, gives us the privilege of having God Searching for us, Psalm 14:2 & 53:2. God searches for those who want to truly worship Him, Jn. 4:23. 

Like Jehoshaphat, once you find Him, you can Help others find Him too, 2Chronicles 19:1-4. This is essentially what Andrew did for Peter. John 1:40-41. 

We as God’s children in Christ, need to keep looking to Jesus in order to win the race of life, so we will not be distracted and disqualified, Hebrews 12:1-2 & 1Cor. 9:27. 

People who deliberately refuse to know God, have accepted a lie.  Jer. 9:6.  If you do search for the truth, you are at least open-minded in getting to know God.  The lie of evolution’s theory can shut you off from even considering the possibility of God’s existence, it can make you narrow-minded.  If you can admit that you don’t know the all truth about everything, then the one thing you may not know, is that there is a God to be found.  Get to know Him, not just things about Him.