Journey to the Passion

Jesus triumphally entered Jerusalem in Matthew 21, the last destination in the journey with Jesus.  Christian churches to this day remember that royal entry on Palm Sunday.  After arriving at the royal city, Jesus spends the last week of his life–passion week–with his disciples and among the Passover festival crowd, telling parables, answering questions and besting the arguments of his enemies.

Matthew 26 is a hinge in the story of Jesus.  The last two days of Jesus’ life are spent near Jerusalem in Bethany and in the holy city itself.  There is so much going on in the 75 verses of this chapter that we set aside one week to cover the 7 readings from Matthew 26 in Journey with Jesus – Book 4.  In this chapter Jesus goes from anointed to arrested, from highly honored to despised and beaten.  It is not an easy journey to make as we witness these events.

For today, take time to read through the chapter on your own–it will only take you five minutes or ten if you slow down to ponder the words.  The condemnation, the sufferings and the death of Jesus is called the Passion from the ancient word passio, which meant suffering. (more…)

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4. Worship the True King

Starting a Journey with Jesus, Day 4  (Matthew 2:1-6)

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea at the time of King Herod. That’s when Magi from the east showed up in Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one born King of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and we have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was upset (and all Jerusalem with him).  He called together all the chief priests and teachers of the Jewish people, and he questioned them about where the Messiah was to be born.   They said, “In Bethlehem in Judea, for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;  for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.‘”  (Matthew 2:1-6)

Bethlehem was just a short distance south of Jerusalem,


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