A MARE USQUE AD MARE
Today’s Reading: Zechariah 9-10
Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).
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Key Verses: Zechariah 9:9 & 10b
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey… His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.
It was very clear to every person in the vicinity of Jerusalem that Jesus’ ride on the donkey into Jerusalem meant that He claimed to be, and the people believed He was, Messiah, King of the Jews. To protect their Roman appointed and enforced positions, the Jewish leaders had to act to destroy Jesus quickly or the thousands of Passover pilgrims in Jerusalem would bring down the wrath of Rome on all Jerusalem and the Jewish people. Peter had even bought a sword with which to fight. When Jesus showed no interest in an armed overthrow of the occupying power and their Jewish backers, Judas tried to force Jesus’ hand, forcing Him into action at His arrest. All the people, His disciples, the Jewish leaders, and the Romans, failed to see that our key verses, known well by all, had two completely different times of fulfillment, the first and second comings of the Messiah. The people, including Jesus’ disciples, missed all the prophetic Scriptures which inform us of the lowly, suffering Messiah (Read Psalm 22…also read Isaiah 53). The donkey, the Bethlehem manger, and Jesus’ refusal to use His miracle-working power to help Himself, symbolized His first coming. He taught clearly that there would be another arrival in Jerusalem (Matthew 25:31-46). When He stood before the Jewish parliament He left no room for doubt when He was asked, “Are You the Christ, the Son of God?” His answer was to refer them to the prophet Daniel, another Scripture with which they were totally familiar. Jesus said, “Hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of Heaven.” Read Daniel 7:13-14. Also read and perhaps weep, Matthew 26:47-68.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, as I read the Bible with the advantage of hindsight, it’s very clear that there are two very different times involved in the Messiah’s coming to rule and to reign on the earth. Once again today I bow before Him, confessing that He rules and reigns over my heart, my mind, and all of me by love and grace. I also confess that He is yet to come to rule and to reign over all the earth with great power and glory. I pray for a greater manifestation of Your love and grace through me! In the Name of the lowly suffering Saviour… the One who shall soon return in His second coming, Jesus Christ! Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I can identify with Jesus’ disciples (“talmudim” in Hebrew…used today to mean students). Over and over again Jesus had told them, as recorded in the Gospels, that He was going to Jerusalem where He would be arrested, crucified, die, and rise again. How did they miss it? There’s a Ben Franklin couplet that says, “Convince a man against his will, he stays the same opinion still.” I know myself well enough to say that once I think I have all the facts, and once I’ve made up my mind, it’s tough to change my mind. Just ask Norma-Jean! Let me give you just one example of what was going on with two of Jesus’ students, James and John. Both Mark and Matthew record the fact that Jesus took His disciples aside while they were travelling to Jerusalem and told them, with absolute clarity, that when they arrived at Jerusalem He would be mocked, scourged, crucified, and He would rise again the third day. He could not have made it more plain, but what was really on the minds of James and John? It was the planned request of their mother, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand, and the other on the left in Your kingdom.” In this case, human pride and ambition made them incapable of actually hearing what Jesus had just said (Matthew 20:17-28 and Mark 10:32-45). Through the years, as I’ve read the Gospels over and over, I’ve come to realize that God is often speaking to me through His Word, and because I have my own plans, I don’t really hear Him. I have a recommendation for all blog readers. It’s this…at some point take just the Gospel of Matthew, take note of all the times Jesus tried to tell His students about His death, and see if you can find the reasons why Jesus’ message didn’t get through. Take those reasons and think about yourself and your reactions to God’s truth. You’ll learn, as I have sought to do, what the mental blocks are (for me I would call it thick-headedness!!!).
Yours with a measure of frustration, because often I feel like a blockhead when it comes to truly understanding what God is trying to say to me as I read His Word! Also, I’m increasingly disappointed in myself when I look at the name of this blog (my original intention about its length when I named it)…”100words.ca,”
P.S. O yes, I forgot to mention that Canada’s official motto, “A Mare Usque Ad Mare” (Latin for “From Sea to Sea), is taken directly from today’s reading, as well as Psalm 72:8. Also I wanted to write a special thanks to all blog readers who have prayed for me for healing from MDS acute leukemia. I truly believe that God has said “yes” in answer to your prayers for me. I feel so good that I’ll challenge any 79-year-old reading this to a race… ha-ha! As the doxology says, “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow! Praise Him all creatures here below!” Amen!!!