King's Business - 1928-04

K i n g ’ s B u s i n e s s


T , h e

April 1928

Having entered Jerusalem and viewed the .temple, at eventide Jesus “went out into Bethany with the twelve” (v. 11). Returning from Bethany the next day, "he was hungry, and seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon .’]H He found nothing but leaves, “fo r the time o f figs was not yet”' (v. 13). So full and green was this tree that it could be seen at great distance. The very sight o f such a luxuriant tree would whet one’s appetite for fruit, for it is the nature o f this fig to produce fruit before foliage. If leaves were there,.fruit cer-^ tainly must be there. The peculiar thing about it, however, was that it wasn’t even time for figs. It was a freak tree, yet the fact that it had leaves would indicate that figs should be there. What a type o f freak Christian!:, who make a great religious profession “in season and out o f season,” yet bear no real fruit! What the fruitless tree was' to Jesus, Judaism had become- to the people in their soul hunger. They went to the priests with the burden o f their sins and sorrows, only to get leaves. Even Fun­ damentalism may become barren o f fruit. That which does not fulfil the divine pur­ pose is doomed to wither away. Let us take warning. Dr. E. M. Poteat, in a Northfield ad­ dress, recently said: “I see our Lord on His way to the capital city o f the kingdom o f God, and I see him passing nation af­ ter nation. He is approaching now a fig tree, beautiful in proportion, luxuriant and strong. That is our nation, and our nation must feed the heart-hunger o f our risen Lord, or stand withered in the road o f progress to the eternal city.” Jesus said unto the tree: “No man shall eat fruit o f thee hereafter f o r e v e r (v. 14). What a fuss some men have made about our Lord cursing an innocent fig tree for being fruitless when it wasn’t time for fruit 1 Remember that His many miracles o f mercy were all performed upon men. His one miracle o f judgment was upon a worthless tree. He simply condemned this tree to be in appearance what it actually was in fact —USELESS. What a lesson it has been to men! The curse was not so much for having no fruit, as for professing to have what it did not have. That is dangerous business. The Jews who made such loud profes­ sions o f religion, were only blown up with soiritual pride, while they were bar­ ren. The- Gentiles who had no religion, and didn’t pretend to have, were in no greater need. What Jesus did with that useless tree, He will certainly do with every hypocrite, for usefulness is the grand end o f all created existences. Verses 15-18 record the last .cleansing o f the teriiple. Jesus "began to cast them out that bought and sold in the temple, and overthrew the tables o f the money changers, and the seats o f them that sold doves” (v. 15). Booths were erected in the temple courts for the convenience of those wishing to sacrifice. Foul abuses had grown out o f these practices. The temple was filled with the noise o f huck­ stering and competition. If Jesus ever came near being “hot,” it was on this occasion. He would not so much as suffer them to carry their wares through the temple (v. 16), to say nothing o f buying and selling there. He looked upon God’s house as “ the house of prayer.”^ That means that all business must be marked off from worship with a

If any man objected to the borrowing o f the colt, the disciples were directed to say: “ The Lord hath need o f him” (v. 3). Here is Jesus taking the title o f Jehovah and saying that He is in need. It is the only time the Lord is said to have been in need of any creature. It is rather humbling to us that it is said o f a crea­ ture commonly despised. On the other hand, the incident exalts the dignity o f creature instrumentality, for there are those who think themselves too insignificant to be o f any use. An ass bore the Saviour to Jerusalem, but a man took up His cross and carried it for Him to Calvary. We read in the Old Testa­ ment that the Lord spake through Balaam’s ass. Could He not speak through you? Perhaps this very moment He has something for you to do that no one else-could perform (1 Cor. 1:26-28). The disciples found the colt as He had said. Their right to take it was chal­ lenged, and they gave the reply they had been instructed to give. The opposition ceased. When we use the word o f Jesus upon men, we arejj|sing the “Sword o f the Spirit.” They brought the colt and "cast their garments on him” (v. 7). Mark alone adds the detail that “many spread their garments in the way” and that “others cut down branches off the trees and strewed them in the way” (v. 8 :). John’s account informs us that some com­ ing from Jerusalem met him bearing palm branches (Jn. 12:13). The people who went before Jesus and those who followed, acclaimed Him in almost the words o f prophecy written nearly 500 years before: "Hosanna; Blessed is H e that cometh in the name of the L ord : Blessed is the kingdom o f our father David that cometh in the name o f the Lord.” They had, however, misunder­ stood Zechariah’s prophecy, for it had been distinctly stated that when their king came unto them riding upon an ass, He was coming in lowliness and having salvation (Zech. 9 :9 ). Isaiah also had said: ■ “ Behold, thy salvation cometh; be­ hold, His reward is with Him and His work before Him” (Isa. 62:11). In spite of the nature of this demon­ stration, let it be noted that Jesus dropped no hint o f any purpose to overturn the existing government and set up the throne o f David; all His teaching suggests a kingdom o f a different nature. To the very last, the populace, and even His dis­ ciples, hoped that it should be He who would release them from the Roman yoke (Acts 1:6-7).

M a y 13, 1928 Jesus Enters Jerusalem Text: Mark 11:1-18 —o— L e s s o n i n . O u t l in e Mark 11:1-33. I. The Triumphant Entry o f the King. Vs. 1-10. 1. Two disciples sent for an ass. Vs. 1-3. 2. They obey orders. Vs. 4-7. 3. The entrance of joyous procession into the city. Vs, 8-10. II. The Ministry o f the King.-.Ys. 11-26. ■1. His •entering the Temple upon ar­ rival. V .T 1 . 2. The cursing, on the morrow, o f the barren fig tree. Vs. 12-14 (cf. Lk. 13:6-9). 3. The second cleansing of the Temple. Vs. 15-18 (cf. Jno. 2:13-22). 4. The return to Bethany in the even­ ing. V. 19. 5. The withered fig tree, next morning, noted by Peter. Vs. 20, 21. 6 . The power of faith. Vs, 22, 23 (cf. Jas. 5:16), 7. Condition of heart for effectual pray­ ing. Vsh 24-26. III. The Authority of the King. Vs. 27-33. 1. Authority o f Jesus questioned by re­ ligious leaders. Vs. 27, 28. 2. The reply o f Jesus to His opponents. Vs. 29, 30. 3. The studied answer o f leaders to Jesus. Vs. 31-33. —o— T N this chapter we find the account of how oür Lord planned the lowliest of all memorable parades—a procession which has been commemorated the world see no swords gleaming around the Hero of the occasion, and no forces with intent to overturn the existing government. Those who would follow this King, must forget their earthly ambitions, and awake to the truth He taught, that the Kingdom He was then preparing was a spiritual one, and its treasures are in heaven for all who will believe upon Him. As they came nigh to Jerusalem, Jesus "sent forth two o f His disciples, and saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him and bring him.” Tertullian records the fact that the Gentiles ridiculed Christians because they believed in a Christ who rode an ass, the beast of burden. It is indeed an indication that He had no kingly pretentions at that time. While it is recorded in the Old Testa­ ment that royal personages rode upon asses, it will be noticed that it was only when coming peaceably. The horse was the beast of war. Riding a mule, there­ fore, suggests no special aggressiveness. The very style in which Jesus made His entrance to Jerusalem should have proved to every reflective spectator that He had no intention, at that time, o f acting the part of an earthly monarch. With Him was but a small company o f unarmed peasants.' around. It was the fulfilment o f an an­ cient prophecy: "Thy. King cometh u n t o thee; H e is just and HAV ING SALVA ­ TION” (Zech. 9:9). As you look upon this parade, you will

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