Have you noticed how the weather affects your attitude? A beautiful day makes us feel great, right? We can have that in the spirit, even if the weather decides to be bad! An evangelist came to our church in Daisy, Tennessee when I was about 8, and sang a song that has forever stayed with me, “You can smile, when you can’t say a word, you can smile when you cannot be heard, you can smile, if it’s cloudy or gray, you can smile any time any place!” I think the part that impressed me was that second time through he substituted a real smile for the word smile! Try it sometimes, it is funny but it does make a point!
In Matthew 21 & 22, Jesus makes His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, fulfilling the prophecy in Zech. 9:9 “See, your King comes to you… gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” The people lined Peachtree Street to welcome home the World Series winning Braves (do you think that will ever happen again?)! They threw their clothes down for the colt to walk on and waved palm branches. I know Jesus must have felt sadness at knowing how soon it would be that this same adoring crowd would turn on Him and cry out for His execution on the cross. I look at the world around me and it seems that as long as someone has money to pour over your needs you can be their friend, but the moment sickness comes and the money runs out, the friends are “scarce as hen’s teeth“! When Jesus got into the city and went to the Temple he got angry and started “fashioning” a whip, when He stood up and cracked that whip, the merchants cleared out! They were selling doves for use as sacrifice! “It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.'” Then He turned around and began healing all the blind and lame that came to Him. After this, the disciples were amazed that Jesus spoke to the fig tree and it withered, immediately! They wanted to know how He did it, and He gave them this answer: 21:21 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Jesus gave them several parables about the resurrection, and then was again in the middle of a bunch of prying Pharisees. They began to ask questions, again, concerning the Law of Moses: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Did you read that? ALL the law and the Prophets hang on these two!
This morning I took Gabriel to school in the midst of the morning rush, and I have never seen so many rude people in my entire life! Surely they never read that verse, or maybe it just doesn’t apply to morning traffic! Here’s the hard part, Love your neighbor as yourself!