July 2

Text: Matthew 21:4, 5

Now this took place that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, "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.'" (NASB)

This is an illustration of why some think Matthew was originally written for a Jewish readership.  Quotations from Jewish prophets in Jewish scriptures would have little (if any) meaning to the majority of people who worshipped idols.  However, Messianic promises from Jewish scriptures would have significant meaning to anyone among devout Jews.  Such quotes would be evidence that Jesus fulfilled the prophetic predictions of the one who was Godís Messiah (the Hebrew language) or Christ (the Greek language).  Thus devout Jews should seriously consider Jesus to be the person God promised to Abraham and the nation of Israel (consider John 3:2).

As this scripture indicates, there were things that happened to deliberately provide evidence that Jesus fulfilled Godís promises.  Though these happenings were a powerful form of evidence to a Jew familiar with the prophetsí promises concerning the God-promised Messiah, they were not the only evidences.  His character (see John 7:12), his miracles (see Matthew 9:33), and his teachings (see John 7:14, 15, 45-47) also were each a part of the total evidences.

The basic issue for the devout Jews and idol worshippers was not the same basic issue.  For the Jews, that issue was did he fulfill Godís promises concerning the Messiah (or Christ) [see Acts 3:18-26]?  For the non-Jewish idol worshipper, that issue was resurrection (Acts 17:18, 32, 33ónote the context).

The issue has never changed.  Is evidence more important than expectation?  Does expectation interpret the meaning of evidence?  It always takes a combination of evidence and faith to determine religious truth.  The same combination produces conviction in some and rejection in others.  Two thousand years ago all did not conclude that Jesus was Godís son.

Suggestion for reflection: How does your faith interpret the evidences?  (Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.)

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