Jan. 31, 2018

If you have faith; believing, you will receive.

Matthew 20:29-21:22 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. 30 And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 31 The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 32 And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 33 They said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” 34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.

21 When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold your King is coming to you, Gentle, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!” 10 When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”

14 And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself’?” 17 And He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.

18 Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry. 19 Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.” And at once the fig tree withered.

20 Seeing this, the disciples were amazed and asked, “How did the fig tree wither all at once?” 21 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”


Today’s text includes the accounts and the events of the last week of Jesus life on earth, as a man. It includes Matthew’s account of the triumphal entry, what the church celebrates as Palm Sunday. The events and accounts of that final week or final ten days of Jesus life, His death and His resurrection make up about one third of the gospel accounts and texts. Jesus knew His time on earth, with His disciples, was coming to an end and so in that last week He gave them everything He could to prepare them to carry on when He was gone. We could spend a lifetime, on just the events, the accounts and the words of Jesus from that final week and never get to the end of all that would be revealed to us about Jesus, the Son of David, our Lord, our healer, our king, the One who is worthy of our highest praise, He who cleanses us, as He cleansed the temple, the One who commands all of creation and says that we too can command it by faith.

What is we would see in today’s text? Everything mentioned in the previous sentence is revealed about Jesus in today’s text. It is a question only of whether we have faith and do not doubt, if we believe, Jesus says we will receive. In John 14:12-14, Jesus says:  Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”   That’s the key to faith that will move mountains, it’s the key to receiving all that we ask in prayer. It is believing in Jesus. It is knowing and understanding the fullness of who He is; that He is: the Son of David, our Lord, our healer, our King, the One who is worthy of our highest praise, He who cleanses us, as He cleansed the temple, the One who commands all of creation and He is so much more. He is God in flesh. He is God with us. He is the creator and the sustainer of all life and of all of our days. He is our Redeemer and Savior. He is the One who loves us so much, that He demonstrated that love dying for our sins. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, and He is everything we need in between. He is I Am, eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, all loving, compassionate, holy, righteous and just. Jesus says if we believe in Him we will receive. We will do what He did; actually He will do for us and through us.

The challenge for us, as we walk through this life, is knowing and believing, having faith in the exact part of I Am that we need for the time and circumstance. It is difficult, when we are in the midst of a storm, not to see the effects of the winds and the water. It is difficult when we are in a dry and barren desert not to feel the heat and the thirst. It is difficult when we are surrounded by enemies on every side, not to hear their taunts and to fear their arrows. It is difficult when we are stricken by sickness and disease not to feel forsaken, alone and fear the overshadowing darkness. As I said, in our lifetime we will never fully know and comprehend all of who Jesus is. Jesus tells us that we will have and face difficult times. He says: “In the world you have tribulation.”    The fullness of what He says though in John 16:33 is:  “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”     I Am has overcome everything we will face. Jesus is all that we need for every situation. While we can never fully understand or comprehend the infinite and eternal qualities and characteristics of Jesus, all we need is to know who He is for where we are and what we are facing.

The psalmist says:  The Lord is my shepherd, Ishall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23) He says: Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. (Psalm 37:3-7)      I say Amen. While I can never fully understand or comprehend the magnitude and the depths of who You are, I believe, I delight in You, that I might know who You are for what I need, heavenly Father, through Your precious Holy Spirit, reveal all that Jesus, the One who has overcome the world is for everything I will face today.  Amen.