10:1-31 – The Pharisees came to Jesus – ‘to test Him’ (2). They asked Him about divorce (2). He spoke to them about marriage (6-9). We need to be positive, well grounded in the basic principles of God’s Word. When the thorny problems come – as they surely will – we will face them with maturity, and not as ‘children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine’ (Ephesians 4:14). Jesus loved the little children (13-16). Do we? Some say ‘No’ to the love of Jesus (21-22). Say ‘Yes’ to Him. We cannot save ourselves. Salvation is God’s doing, not ours (26-27). Don’t let ‘self’ take the place of Christ: ‘we have left everything…’ (28). Don’t say, ‘I have given so much to God, done so much for Him, given up so much for Him’. God has given you more! God has done more for you! God has given up more for you! John 3:16.
10:32-52 – Jesus was ‘going up to Jerusalem’ – to the Cross (32). He came to die, ‘to give His life as a ransom for many’ (45). The death of Christ lies at the very heart of the Gospel (1 Peter 1:10-12; 1 Corinthians 1:23 & 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; 1 John 1:7, 2:2; Hebrews 2:9). Don’t think, ‘Glory for me’ (37). Think, ‘Glory to God’ (43-44): ‘God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Galatians 6:14). Bartimaeus cried out to the Lord for mercy (47). ‘How embarrassing’, some people thought – ‘how undignified’ (48). When God is at work, some people don’t like it! They like everything to be dignified – dull and dead! When God is at work, people get converted. This may not please the ‘critics’, but it pleases God – and that’s what matters. Cry to God for mercy. Your prayer will be heard – and answered.
11:1-33 – Here we learn of the authority of Christ. Calling the ‘colt’ into His service, He says, with authority, ‘The Lord has need of it’ (3). With authority, He speaks to the fig tree (14) – a ‘visual aid’ of His teaching: ‘Every branch of Mine that bears no fruit, He takes away’ (John 15:2). In the temple, He speaks with authority, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer…’ (17). He speaks of authority in prayer: ‘whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours’ (24). The religious leaders did not understand Jesus (27-33). Why? – They didn’t love Him. We can experience His authority: His Word spoken to us ‘in power…’ (1 Thessalonians 1:5). We can exercise His authority: Through prayer, setting His Word free to do His mighty work (Ephesians 6: 18-20) – if we are learning to love Him!