READ : Matthew 21–22
When we proclaim the gospel, we ought always call the hearers to make a decision regarding the place Christ is to have in their lives. The actions and words of Jesus, as he entered Jerusalem for the last time, called for such a decision.
Previously Jesus had told his disciples to keep quiet about the fact that he was the Messiah. Now by riding into Jerusalem publicly on a donkey, he is openly proclaiming himself as Messiah, for all knew the prophecy of Zechariah.
When Jesus cleansed the temple, again he was challenging the people and especially their leaders to come to a decision as to who he is. The business in the temple was a racket being administered by the high priests. Jesus showed his authority when he chased out those who were doing business there. Now they either had to accept that authority or get rid of him, which they did through crucifixion.
The parable of the two sons and the parable of the vineyard were also challenges requiring the listener to make a decision about who Jesus is. The leaders realized that this was the purpose of these parables (21:45). Sad to say, they made the wrong decision. They wanted to arrest him, but they didn’t dare. Instead, they tried to lead Jesus to make statements which would get him in trouble (22:15). In every case Jesus answered them wisely.
Father, help us to graciously challenge people to accept Christ. Cause many to do so. In his name. Amen.