I recently watched a video on Youtube.com as two men attempted to cut a hornet’s nest hanging from a tree. They wanted it to fall into an open plastic garbage bag, and only one thing went wrong as the plastic bag failed open properly and bumped into the nest.
The hornets were quick to counter-attack and the shears failed to reach the stem as angry hornets chased both men away from the nest, while delivering many painful stings. In like manner when Jesus confronted the leaders of the Jewish church in the Jerusalem temple as recorded in Matthew 21, it was as if He poked a hornet’s nest and made the leaders of the Jewish church so angry that they determined to kill Him.
He entered the temple in fulfillment of prophecy, but that’s not all He did. He also healed and taught the people, which was far more important.
We tend to give all of our attention to the scene of confrontation and spend little time on this final week of the wonderful ministry of Jesus, and as I study this lesson I will spend the majority of my time appreciating how Jesus loved people during these final hours.
I’m reminded of this counsel from Ellen White,
“God will bless His people only when they try to be a blessing to others” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 3, page 436.
“Faithful work is more acceptable to God than the most zealous and thought-to-be holiest worship. It is working together with Christ that is true worship. Prayers, exhortation, and talk are cheap fruits, which are frequently tied on; but fruits that are manifested in good works, in caring for the needy, the fatherless, and widows, are genuine fruits, and grow naturally upon a good tree.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, page 24.
As Jesus entered upon the final phase of His ministry, He never changed the emphasis or priority of what He did. The majority of His ministry was directed towards helping people out of His love for them.
The illustration of the fig tree demonstrates the need for us to bear good fruit, and that is why Jesus pronounced the curse. He didn’t hate that tree. He said those fateful words for your and my benefit that we might better understand how our fruit should result from a relationship with God.
As our bodies are also a temple of God, and as the temple in Jerusalem was to be a house of prayer, so we also should be giants of prayer leading us to partake of the divine nature and bear the fruit of the Spirit. (2 Peter 1:4)
I pray that this study of Jesus will increase our desire to be closer to Him and will transform our lives.
Join me this week and pray more and more. Come closer to the Father and Jesus and let the words of Matthew stir your soul.