As we follow the movement of Jesus through His final days, from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Sunday to the temple courts on Monday, where He drove out all who were buying and selling there (Matthew 21:12) and confronted the religious leaders of the day, the Bible tells us, he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night (Matthew 21:17). The next day he once again entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?” (Matthew 21:23)
Tuesday was a long day of teaching for the Lord Jesus, His last day in the classroom, (He would continue to instruct His disciples privately, but this was the last day of formal, public teaching). His teaching once again ruffled the feathers of the Jewish leaders: When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet. (Matthew 21:45-46) He taught with authority about Kingdom values and what is most important, warning those who opposed the truth and speaking of eternal realties.
It's in this context that Jesus speaks the word we all long to hear: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:21,23). His words remind us what matters most and reflect the consistency of His teaching. Earlier, in the Sermon on the Mount, He exhorted His followers to, seek first his kingdom and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
Jesus continually draws His followers back to that which is our highest priority; that He would do so days before laying down His life reinforces the significance of this value. So we must each ask ourselves, what is my highest priority, to whom or what am I giving my life?
The Apostle Paul would write, For to me, to live is Christ (Philippians 1:21) -- To me, living means having Christ (Philippians 1:21 - NLV). May the truth given to us by our Lord and the testimony of Paul cause us to search our own heart as we take time today to reflect on the truth we find in the Holy Scriptures.
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing
Christ Jesus my Lord.
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection
and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:7-8, 10-11
Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18 - The Message