We started a Podcast talking about real stuff. On this episode Dexter will be giving his testimony. It is important for the listeners to know our backgrounds. Our backgrounds and our paths in life shape who we are today. They shape our outlook on life. We will be having real talks about religion, culture, and life. Our first couple of episodes will be a little longer as we go through our testimonies. We have some great episodes ahead! We will be talking about Candy Coated Church, Tattoo Taboo, The Jesus Genie, and a few other exciting topics!
So what is this day all about?
Jesus is the only one that can save us. We can not, our works can not, no one else can, He and He alone is able to save us. God’s wrath was satisfied in the atoning blood of Jesus. Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin. We are completely sinful. We are not as sinful as we could be, but we are completely affected by sin. Sin entered in the world with the fall of Adam in the Garden, ever since man has been depraved, morally corrupt, and unable to save himself from the wrath of God.
Romans 5:6-17(HCSB) 6 For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. 8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! 9 Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life! 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have now received this reconciliation through Him.
Death through Adam and Life through Christ
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned. 13 In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to a person’s account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a prototype of the Coming One.
15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift overflowed to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the gift is not like the one man’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification. 17 Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
The good news is the story of Jesus and how the events of his life 2000 years ago still have a major impact on us today. What does Paul say is the most important thing?
What is the “good news” or “gospel”?
- We are all sinners
- Christ died
- He was buried
- He was raised from death.
- Our sins were atoned
Isaiah was a Hebrew prophet who was believed to have lived about 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. He wrote about the coming of the messiah and it was fulfilled in Jesus.
Isaiah 53:1-6 (HCSB)1Who has believed what we have heard? And who has the arm of the Lord been revealed to? 2 He grew up before Him like a young plant and like a root out of dry ground. He didn’t have an impressive form or majesty that we should look at Him, no appearance that we should desire Him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was. He was like someone people turned away from; He was despised, and we didn’t value Him. 4 Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains; but we in turn regarded Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds. 6 We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all.
Luke 23:1-56(HCSB) Jesus Faces Pilate
Then their whole assembly rose up and brought Him before Pilate. 2 They began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this man subverting our nation, opposing payment of taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is the Messiah, a King.”3 So Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews? He answered him, “You have said it.” 4 Pilate then told the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no grounds for charging this man.” 5 But they kept insisting, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where He started even to here.”
Jesus Faces Herod Antipas
6 When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man was a Galilean. 7 Finding that He was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem during those days. 8 Herod was very glad to see Jesus; for a long time he had wanted to see Him because he had heard about Him and was hoping to see some miracle performed by Him. 9 So he kept asking Him questions, but Jesus did not answer him. Reposte in Greco Roman times this was a question that demands an answer, I don’t know was not an answer, if you did not answer you were shamed. Every time in the gospels when Jesus is asked a question he answers except this time, he was shamed by not answering but the shame was overcome with the resurrection. Jesus could have gotten out of this trial by answering but he chose to keep silent to go to the cross. This is why he is praying in the garden “let this cup pass from me”
10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing Him. 11 Then Herod, with his soldiers, treated Him with contempt, mocked Him, dressed Him in a brilliant robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 That very day Herod and Pilate became friends. Previously, they had been hostile toward each other.
Jesus or Barabbas
13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people,14 and said to them, “You have brought me this man as one who subverts the people. But in fact, after examining Him in your presence, I have found no grounds to charge this man with those things you accuse Him of. 15 Neither has Herod, because he sent Him back to us. Clearly, He has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will have Him whipped[e] and then release Him.” [17 For according to the festival he had to release someone to them.][f]
18 Then they all cried out together, “Take this man away! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (He had been thrown into prison for a rebellion that had taken place in the city, and for murder.)
20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify! Crucify Him!”
22 A third time he said to them, “Why? What has this man done wrong? I have found in Him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore, I will have Him whipped and then release Him.”
23 But they kept up the pressure, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And their voices won out. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand 25 and released the one they were asking for, who had been thrown into prison for rebellion and murder. But he handed Jesus over to their will.
The Way to the Cross
26 As they led Him away, they seized Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, and laid the cross on him to carry behind Jesus. 27 A large crowd of people followed Him, including women who were mourning and lamenting Him. 28 But turning to them, Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and your children. 29 Look, the days are coming when they will say, ‘The women without children, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed, are fortunate!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Crucified between Two Criminals
32 Two others—criminals—were also led away to be executed with Him. 33 When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided His clothes and cast lots.
35 The people stood watching, and even the leaders kept scoffing: “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him. They came offering Him sour wine 37 and said, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”
38 An inscription was above Him:
THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39 Then one of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults at Him: “Aren’t You the Messiah? Save Yourself and us!”40 But the other answered, rebuking him: “Don’t you even fear God, since you are undergoing the same punishment? 41 We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!”43 And He said to him, “I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.”
The Death of Jesus
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three, 45 because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle.
The scene was not colorful it was dark to represent our sin and iniquities.
46 And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit.” this, He breathed His last.
47 When the centurion saw what happened, he began to glorify God, saying, “This man really was righteous!” 48 All the crowds that had gathered for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, went home, striking their chests. 49 But all who knew Him, including the women who had followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance,watching these things.
The Burial of Jesus
50 There was a good and righteous man named Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, 51 who had not agreed with their plan and action. He was from Arimathea, a Judean town, and was looking forward to the kingdom of God. 52 He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Taking it down, he wrapped it in fine linen and placed it in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever been placed. 54 It was preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55 The women who had come with Him from Galilee followed along and observed the tomb and how His body was placed. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.
Luke 24:1-12(HCSB) On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 They went in but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothes. 5 So the women were terrified and bowed down to the ground.
“Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” asked the men. 6 “He is not here, but He has been resurrected! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?” 8 And they remembered His words. 9 Returning from the tomb, they reported all these things to the Eleven and to all the rest. 10 Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them were telling the apostles these things. 11 But these words seemed like nonsense to them, and they did not believe the women. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. When he stooped to look in, he saw only the linen cloths. So he went home, amazed at what had happened.
Without the resurrection, the Christian religion comes tumbling down like a house of cards, Christianity is the meanest cruelest HOAX if Jesus is still dead — it is cruel and sadistic. Here we are singing to a dead man, praying to a dead man, preaching about a dead man, worshiping a dead man, trusting in a dead man! If Jesus is dead, everything is changed. The resurrection is crucial. If it wasn’t for the resurrection, we would still be in our sins. How could Jesus work in us to forgive us and make us like Him if He is still dead? Jesus is NOT dead – He is alive. Every other religious leader is dead — no one else conquered death — only Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15:1-58 (HCSB) Resurrection Essential to the Gospel
1 Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. 2 You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you—unless you believed for no purpose. 3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried,
that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.6 Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep.7 Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one abnormally born, He also appeared to me.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by God’s grace I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not ineffective. However, I worked more than any of them, yet not I, but God’s grace that was with me.11 Therefore, whether it is I or they, so we proclaim and so you have believed.
Resurrection Essential to the Faith
12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, “There is no resurrection of the dead”? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is without foundation, and so is your faith. 15 In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ—whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. 19 If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.
Christ’s Resurrection Guarantees Ours
20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ, the first fruits; afterward, at His coming, those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He abolishes all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He puts all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy to be abolished is death. 27 For God has put everything under His feet. But when it says “everything” is put under Him, it is obvious that He who puts everything under Him is the exception. 28 And when everything is subject to Christ, then the Son Himself will also be subject to the One who subjected everything to Him, so that God may be all in all.
Resurrection Supported by Christian Experience
29 Otherwise what will they do who are being baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, then why are people baptized for them? 30 Why are we in danger every hour? 31 I affirm by the pride in you that I have in Christ Jesus our Lord: I die every day! 32 If I fought wild animals in Ephesus with only human hope, what good did that do me? If the dead are not raised, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 34 Come to your senses and stop sinning, for some people are ignorant about God. I say this to your shame.
The Nature of the Resurrection Body
35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? What kind of body will they have when they come?” 36 Foolish one! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And as for what you sow—you are not sowing the future body, but only a seed, perhaps of wheat or another grain. 38 But God gives it a body as He wants, and to each of the seeds its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same flesh; there is one flesh for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is different from that of the earthly ones. 41 There is a splendor of the sun, another of the moon, and another of the stars; for one star differs from another star in splendor. 42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead:
Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption;43 sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; 44 sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, then the spiritual.
47 The first man was from the earth and made of dust; the second man is from heaven.
48 Like the man made of dust, so are those who are made of dust; like the heavenly man,
so are those who are heavenly. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the man made of dust, we will also bear the image of the heavenly man.
50 Brothers, I tell you this: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and corruption cannot inherit incorruption. 51 Listen! I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep,
but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. 53 For this corruptible must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal must be clothed
with immortality. 54 When this corruptible is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: Death has been swallowed up in victory. 55 Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?
56 Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
58 Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
What more wonderful reason could we have to celebrate! Whether we call it “Easter” or “Resurrection Sunday,” what is important is the reason for our celebration, which is that Christ is alive, making it possible for us to have eternal life!
Romans 6:1-4 (HCSB) 6 What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? 2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life. 5 For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in light of the fact that He lives, He lives to God. 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Christ’s resurrection is something that should be celebrated every day, not just once a year. At the same time, if we choose to celebrate Easter Sunday, we should not allow the fun and games to distract our attention from what the day should truly be all about—the fact that Jesus was resurrected from the dead, and that His resurrection demonstrates that we can indeed be promised an eternal home in Heaven by receiving Jesus as our Savior.
One of the biggest criticisms against some bible teachers is that our words are unChristlike, degrading, and divisive towards our brothers and sisters. The argument states that Jesus would never say “mean things” or act this way, but only ever responded in love and lifted people up. Below is a list of verses in which Jesus actually said harsh things in a polemical context. Further, we must remember that Jesus’ words, no matter how harsh they may sound, never return void and always accomplish its purpose (Isaiah 55:11).
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” –Matthew 10:34
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?” –Matthew 23:16-17
And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.” –Luke 11:39
“And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” –Matthew 25:30
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” –Mark 9:42
“But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word.” –John 8:55
“You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?” –Matthew 23:33
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.” –Matthew 23:27
“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” –John 8:44
“You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 8 ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me.” 9 ‘But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’” –Matthew 15:7
“But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.” –Luke 19:28
“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” –Matthew 7:6
“Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” –Luke 12:51
“And will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” –Matthew 24:51
“Woe to those who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.” –Luke 6:25
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” –Matthew 25:41
And perhaps the harshest thing Jesus ever said (or will say) is:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” — Matthew 7:21-23
But we’re not Jesus, so we shouldn’t talk to people this way, it just turns people away from Christ, right? Wrong! The Apostle Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 4 that the open statement of the truth is the only commendable method of carrying forth the Great Commission. Watering down Jesus’ words with a veil of niceness is “cunning” and “underhanded,” according to Paul. The Word of God serves two purposes; either it draws God’s people to Him, or it further hardens the hearts of those not called. But Paul clearly teaches that blunt speaking, even using harsh words when needed, is how we should carry forth the gospel and defend the truth.
1Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. — 2 Corinthians 4:1-6
[Contributed by Jeff Maples]
Proverbs 6:16-19 (ESV)There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
Proverbs 27:5-6 (ESV) Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
Proverbs 26:17 Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
2 Timothy 3:1-5(HCSB)I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. 4 They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But as for you, be serious about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Proverbs 16:28 A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
Gossips and people who are offending are like those who go to a mountain top and open a pillow and release all the feathers, then feel sorry or forgive their offense and then don’t even try to get the feathers back or if they do they will not succeed.
Palm Sunday is the Celebration of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and the beginning of the last week of His ministry.
Luke 19:28-40(HCSB) 28 When He had said these things, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As He approached Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, He sent two of the disciples 30 and said, “Go into the village ahead of you. As you enter it, you will find a young donkey tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say this: ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 So those who were sent left and found it just as He had told them.33 As they were untying the young donkey, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the donkey?”
34 “The Lord needs it,” they said. 35 Then they brought it to Jesus, and after throwing their robes on the donkey, they helped Jesus get on it.36 As He was going along, they were spreading their robes on the road.37 Now He came near the path down the Mount of Olives, and the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen:
38 The King who comes
in the name of the Lord
is the blessed One.
Peace in heaven
and glory in the highest heaven!
39 Some of the Pharisees from the crowd told Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”40 He answered, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out!”
John explains the same the scenario but puts more emphasis on the fulfilment of the mesainic prophecy.
John 12:12-19(HCSB) 12 The next day, when the large crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 they took palm branches and went out to meet Him. They kept shouting: “Hosanna! He who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One—the King of Israel!” 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written: 15 Fear no more, Daughter Zion. Look, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt. 16 His disciples did not understand these things at first. However, when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. 17 Meanwhile, the crowd, which had been with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify. 18 This is also why the crowd met Him, because they heard He had done this sign. 19 Then the Pharisees said to one another, “You see? You’ve accomplished nothing. Look—the world has gone after Him!”
The prophecy fulfilled in Zechariah 9
Zechariah 9:9(HCSB) Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
As Jesus entered the holy city, He neared the culmination of a long journey toward Golgotha. He had come to save the lost (Luke 19:10), and now was the time—this was the place—to secure that salvation. Palm Sunday marked the start of what is often called “Passion Week,” the final seven days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Palm Sunday was the “beginning of the end” of Jesus’ work on earth.
Luke 19:41-47 (HCSB) 41 As He approached and saw the city, He wept over it, 42 saying, “If you knew this day what would bring peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come on you when your enemies will build an embankment against you, surround you, and hem you in on every side.44 They will crush you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave one stone on another in you, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”45 He went into the temple complex and began to throw out those who were selling, 46 and He said, “It is written, My house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!” 47 Every day He was teaching in the temple complex. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people were looking for a way to destroy Him, 48 but they could not find a way to do it, because all the people were captivated by what they heard.
There is coming a day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10–11). The worship will be real then. Also, John records a scene in heaven that features the eternal celebration of the risen Lord:
Revelation 7:9-10(HCSB) 9 After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
Salvation belongs to our God,
who is seated on the throne,
and to the Lamb!
These palm-bearing saints will shout, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (verse 10), and who can measure sum of their joy?
The crowds who were crying out “Hosanna!” on Palm Sunday were crying out “Crucify Him!” later that week. Matthew 27:22–23(HCSB) 22 Pilate asked them, “What should I do then with Jesus, who is called Messiah?” They all answered, “Crucify Him!” 23 Then he said, “Why? What has He done wrong?”But they kept shouting, “Crucify Him!” all the more.
Hosanna is often thought of as a declaration of praise, similar to hallelujah, but it is actually a plea for salvation. The Hebrew root words are found in Psalm 118:25(ESV), which says, “Save us, we pray, O LORD!”. The Hebrew words yasha (“deliver, save”) and anna (“beg, beseech”) combine to form the word that, in English, is “hosanna.” Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!”
So, as Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem, the crowds were perfectly right to shout “Hosanna!” They were acknowledging Jesus as their Messiah, as shown in their address “Son of David.” Theirs was a cry for salvation and a recognition that Jesus is able to save.
Jesus is the only one that can save us. We can not, our works can not, no one else can, He and He alone is able to save us. John Owen said, “To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect.” But why?
Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin. We are completely sinful. We are not as sinful as we could be, but we are completely affected by sin.
Scripture reveals human character which is contrary to what humans think about themselves:
- Man’s heart is evil. Mark 7:21-23(HCSB)21 For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, 22 adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit,promiscuity, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a person.”
- Man’s heart is deceitful and incurable Jeremiah 17:9(HCSB) The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it?
- Man is a slave of sin Romans 6:16-20(HCSB) 16 Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to, 18 and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. 19 I am using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from allegiance to righteousness.
- He does not seek for God Romans 3:9-18(HCSB) What then? Are we any better? Not at all! For we have previously charged that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin, 10 as it is written:
There is no one righteous, not even one.
11 There is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away;
all alike have become useless.
There is no one who does what is good,
not even one.
13 Their throat is an open grave;
they deceive with their tongues.
Vipers’ venom is under their lips.
14 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and wretchedness are in their paths,
17 and the path of peace they have not known.
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
- He cannot understand spiritual things 1 Corinthians 2:14(HCSB) 14 But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.
- He is hostile to God Romans 8:7(HCSB) 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
- He is by nature a child of wrath Ephesians 2:3(HCSB) 3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.
“In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?” The answer is, “He cannot. Therefore God must predestine.”
The Father calls, the Son redeems and the Holy Spirit applies salvation.
Please note that all spiritual blessings are IN CHRIST, that the Father chose us IN CHRIST, that He predestined us to adoption as sons IN CHRIST. God elects according to his good pleasure but he gets the job done through Jesus Christ.
Matthew 25:31-46 (HCSB)31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35 For I was hungry
and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty
and you gave Me something to drink;
I was a stranger and you took Me in;
36 I was naked and you clothed Me;
I was sick and you took care of Me;
I was in prison and you visited Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink?38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’
40 “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ 41 Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!
42 For I was hungry
and you gave Me nothing to eat;
I was thirsty
and you gave Me nothing to drink;
43 I was a stranger
and you didn’t take Me in;
I was naked
and you didn’t clothe Me,
sick and in prison
and you didn’t take care of Me.’
44 “Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help You?’
45 “Then He will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either.’
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The good works mentioned in the parable are not the cause of salvation but the effect of salvation. We know from scripture that God is the author and finisher of salvation, it was His plan from the very start. He designed it, He initiates it, He confirms and seals it. It is a work of grace not a work that we can do.
Ephesians 2:1-10 (HCSB)And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2 in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient. 3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, 5 made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! 6 Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, 7 so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.
As we can see here as in many other scriptures it was God’s plan from the beginning. It is God’s blueprint, so to speak, of what he intends to do in time through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. God the Father elects, the Son redeems them, and the Spirit applies the work of Christ to the same. The Trinity, in other words, works in harmony, to bring about the redemption of the elect. God the Father does not do this alone, APART form the work of the other two Persons of the Trinity. All redemptive grace is found in Christ. Ephesians 1:3- 14(HCSB) 3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. 4 For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love 5 He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, 6 to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.
7 We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He planned in Him 10 for the administration of the days of fulfillment—to bring everything together in the Messiah, both things in heaven and things on earth in Him.
11 We have also received an inheritance in Him, predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will, 12 so that we who had already put our hope in the Messiah might bring praise to His glory.
13 When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. 14 He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.
After reading this clear explanation of salvation why are there so many arguments? Because people want the goats to be saved as well. People don’t want to crucify their pride and say “Hey it is all a work of God and I have no part in this!” How freeing is that thought?!
As Christians we become like Christ (Romans 8:28-30(HCSB) 28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son,so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.
Colossians 2:6-7 (HCSB)6 Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.
Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Good works in a Christian’s life are the direct overflow of these traits, and are only acceptable to God because of the relationship that exists between servant and Master, the saved and their Savior, the sheep and their Shepherd.
James 2:14-26 (HCSB) 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe—and they shudder.
20 Foolish man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless? 21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was perfected. 23 So the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by a different route? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
The separation between “sheep” and “goats” (v. 32) alludes to Ezekiel 34:17–19(HCSB)
17 “The Lord God says to you, My flock: I am going to judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and male goats. 18 Isn’t it enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of the pasture with your feet? Or isn’t it enough that you drink the clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Yet My flock has to feed on what your feet have trampled, and drink what your feet have muddied.
Palestinian shepherds frequently had to separate their flocks this way. Sheep and goats freely intermingled and often looked quite similar in appearance, at least from a distance. We too could probably not guess from superficial knowledge and external appearance who are truly God’s people, but he knows. “His right [hand]” (v. 33) refers to a place of honor; the “left” hand, to a place of disgrace.
This showing us that the church will have sheep and goats, just as it has wheat and weeds. God will be the one to separate them on judgement day. It is hard to distinguish between sheep and goats from a distance but there is a distinction in their behavior.
Our world is a vastly different place than the agricultural world of the Bible. This difference in lifestyles puts those of us who grew up in cities at a disadvantage when it comes to fully understanding some of Christ’s parables or various biblical metaphors. We simply lack the background. For instance, the Bible’s use of goats and sheep as metaphors for Christians is beyond many of us city folk. Most of us in the church seem to be more familiar with sheep. We hear a great deal about them in sermons and their attributes are fairly common knowledge: Christ is the Good Shepherd and we are the sheep
John 10:14-15(HCSB)“I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, 15 as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep.
We know many of the traits of sheep through studies into Psalm 23 and John 10.
Psalm 23:1-4(HCSB)The Lord is my shepherd;there is nothing I lack.2 He lets me lie down in green pastures;He leads me beside quiet waters.3 He renews my life;He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake.4 Even when I go through the darkest valley,I fear no danger,for You are with me;Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me
But our mental picture of goats is usually vague. We may think they regularly eat soup cans and ram into people. We will see that the attributes of goats, however, should not to be taken lightly.
What is it about goats that causes God to use them in such a negative light? Goats have many admirable qualities. They are intelligent, sensitive, playful, quick to respond to individual attention and affection. Sounds good, right?
Goats are inconsistent. They are impulsive and unpredictable, devious and contrary. When they are grazing, it is not unusual to see several with their heads through a fence, straining to reach the grass that is always greener on the other side!
Jesus spoke of the final judgment as being like a shepherd separating sheep and goats (shepherds grazed them in mixed flocks). Separating sheep from goats in western countries is not difficult, as the sheep have been bred to accentuate their wool production so they look quite different. However, sheep and goats in Asia and Africa are often similar in appearance.
Non-shepherds find it difficult to distinguish such sheep and goats, but the shepherd knows the difference and easily separates them. For example, there are differences in behaviour: sheep tend to follow; goats go their own way. At the judgment, the Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20(HCSB)20 Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus—the great Shepherd of the sheep—with the blood of the everlasting covenant, will know the difference and will separate those who followed Him from those who went their own way.
John 10:25-28(HCSB) 25 “I did tell you and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works that I do in My Father’s name testify about Me. 26 But you don’t believe because you are not My sheep.27 My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
Differences between sheep and goats
- Sheep eat grass and a few select herbs. – Spiritual sheep graze on the pure word of God and a few select books, websites and sermons. They are very careful to take in those things that will enhance their understanding of God, not interfere with it. Goats will nibble on grass and herbs and weeds and trees and paper. – “Goats” will “eat” any thing.
- Sheep will not try fences,They are content with what they have. Goats are difficult animals to keep in. they will go under or over or through most any fence, unless of course they decide to just open the gate. Spiritual goats are always trying the boundaries; always trying to see how close to the edge they can get. They are not content with the boundaries placed by God in their lives.
3.Sheep have 1-3 babies at a time. They keep their babies by their side at all times, nursing them frequently. A mama sheep isn’t much of a threat to any predator, but she will stand and fight to the death to protect her baby.
Goats have many babies (2-5) at a time. They leave them for long periods of time coming back only to nurse a couple of times a day. If a predator comes it may fight the predator But if it comes to a choice between her baby and her own life, she will run away; abandon her kids.
We should be spiritual sheep when caring for our spiritual lambs.
We should “mother” our new converts like sheep.
We should become a part of their lives, helping them to learn to “eat” the pure Word of God.
We need to teach them the dangers of “eating” the wrong things and trying the boundaries.
We should defend them from Satan to the death.
By now, a goat’s characteristics should be clear. They are not evil, but some of their traits could be deadly—spiritually—if found in a Christian. What would we call a Christian who is unpredictable? A goat! Or one who thinks he is above it all? A goat! Or one who independently does his own thing? A goat! What would we call a Christian who wants to take over, has trouble functioning in a group, and does not want to be led? A goat!
Goats in a congregation tend to divide it, leading the sheep astray.
Many of us probably have goat-like characteristics. Some good, some bad. Most of us know these things about ourselves, and we try hard not to admit them. But now that we understand the biblical metaphor about goats, and what Christ says their ultimate end will be, we can look on this side of ourselves in a more urgent light.
A Christian cannot stand still, yet not all movement is proper growth. A Christian’s life must move in the right direction, along the path that leads to the Kingdom of God. We do not want to be sidetracked, to follow a road of our own choosing, on a whim or out of stubbornness or independence.
A sheep follows its Shepherd, peacefully moving forward with the flock. He is content to be led because he has faith in Him. A sheep responds to his Shepherd’s voice and goes where He directs.
A goat follows only its own lead, creating disunity when he comes in contact with others in the flock. Because of his independent nature, he often finds himself in contention with the Shepherd for leadership of the flock, leading some astray. A goat often eats things sheep would avoid because they have no value and cause sickness.
Therefore you will know the sheep from the goats by their behavior. Sheep will do the will of the Shapherd while goats are rebellious and in it for themselves. This is the point of this whole parable, Jesus is saying the sheep will show compassion and feed, clothe, and take of others. While goats will only do it if they have something to gain out of it.
These are serious spiritual characteristics. Which are you, a sheep or a goat?
The core message of the Parable of the Sheep and Goats is that God’s people will love others. Good works will result from our relationship to the Shepherd. Followers of Christ will treat others with kindness, serving them as if they were serving Christ Himself. The unregenerate live in the opposite manner. While “goats” can indeed perform acts of kindness and charity, their hearts are not right with God, and their actions are not for the right purpose – to honor and worship God.
Luke 18:10-14 (HCSB) 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else:10 “Two men went up to the temple complex to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee took his stand and was praying like this: ‘God, I thank You that I’m not like other people —greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’
13 “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, turn Your wrath from me —a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other; because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
How can we be righteous? When it comes to righteous and righteousness, that is, in fact, an attribute of God. God, the Bible says repeatedly, is righteous. This means that he is holy, that he is good, that he is right, that he is without sin. To think of it in terms of a legal metaphor, God is one who rules rightly and justly and honorably and nobly and faithfully and truthfully.
And the Bible says that we were originally created, male and female, in the image and likeness of God. That’s why Genesis 1:31 said that God made us, quote, “very good.” It’s why Ecclesiastes 7:29 declares that God made us upright, that he made us righteous. But through sin we are all unrighteous. That’s where the Bible says no one is righteous, not one person is righteous.
And this leads to a real problem. God is righteous and we are unrighteous. How could God declare us to be righteous? How do we remedy this sin problem? And the issue of God declaring us righteous, to use theological language, is “justified.” That is when God declares a sinner who is unrighteous to be righteous. That is justified. Jesus is going to use these words in this parable. He’s going to talk about sin, he’s going to talk about righteousness, and he’s going to talk about one man being justified, though sinful, declared righteous in the sight of God.
There are two ways in which the human heart and life pursues righteousness. To long for righteousness is not a bad thing. We simply need to pursue it in the right way. And in this story, Jesus is going to introduce us to two men, one man who pursues what we will call works righteousness, another man who will receive gift righteousness. And everyone in the history of the world falls into one of these two categories: pursuing works righteousness or receiving gift righteousness. So as we unpack the story, it is incumbent upon you and us to ask, “Which person do I most identify with? Who am I most like? Am I pursuing works righteousness of my own or receiving gift righteousness from God?”
The Pharisee is operating under works righteousness. He wants to be declared righteous in the sight of God, so he is going to live his life in such a way that he anticipates and expects, though wrongly, that God will be impressed with him and that God will bless him. And there are varying ways that we pursue works righteousness. Not all of them are religious. You don’t have to be necessarily religious to be one who pursues works righteousness. Some just assume, “I don’t need to exert any additional effort. I’m a good enough person. I’m sure in the end, when I stand before God and he judges me, he’ll think, ‘Pretty good person. I’m okay with you. You’re not as good as some. You’re not as bad as most.
And this is what some of us do. “I’m better than most people because I blank.” And then we get very moral and self-righteous and judgmental. “Do you do what I do? You don’t? You should. I’m going to make you feel very ashamed and I’m better than you and I’ll show you why.” And this is why people get so addicted to their little causes. And this sometimes, as well, plays itself out with what we’ll call self-esteem. Sometimes works righteousness manifests itself in self-esteem. And you’re taught since you’re a little kid, “Have a very high self-esteem.” And so you think very highly of yourself. You think, “Well, of course God loves me. Look at me. Of course God is impressed with me. I’m pretty impressive.” We have a very high self-esteem, even though sometimes we have a very low morality.
This can be truth righteousness, where I’m better than everyone because I read all the right books, I’ve memorized the verses, I can answer the questions. This can be morality righteousness. “I’m better than everyone because I don’t do bad things and I do do good things.” This could be ministry righteousness. “Of course I’m better than everyone. Look at all the things I do for the Lord. I’ve done so much.” Maybe it’s even giving or serving. And these are not necessarily bad things, but they do not cause us to be seen by the God of the Bible as acceptably righteous in his sight.
And that is this story. This man is very devoutly religious, pursuing works righteousness. We’re told that he’s a Pharisee. That was a very strictly devoted sect in that day. Today, it would be like a preacher, a pastor, an elder, a deacon, a theologian, a noteworthy Christian speaker, leader, or author. He is very devout, very serious, very committed. Everyone looked up to him and respected him. And Jesus says, “God is not pleased with him.”
The Pharisees boast about the righteousness of the Law. They stand when they take up their position in the Temple because they want to be seen as ornaments of righteousness. Jesus often portrays them as hypocrites.
First-century Judaism was diverse in many ways, but there were some things on which virtually every Jew was agreed. For example, tax collectors were generally regarded as traitors to Israel for their willingness to take part in the funding of the occupying Roman forces in Palestine by collecting taxes. The Pharisees, on the other hand, were almost universally respected by the Jews because of their devotion to the law of God. Jewish men and women saw them as particularly holy, because they focused so intently on the minutiae of the Mosaic law that their outward manner of life was noticeably different from that of the common person. God did not look at the Pharisee—nor does He ever look at us—and say, “Wow, that’s impressive.” God sees us for who we really are: sinners in need of forgiveness. Jesus took the punishment for our sin by dying on the cross.
The Pharisee actually believed he had done more than God required. He had kept the
law perfectly and had also fasted twice a week, and he even tithed on all he purchased,
not just what he earned. His attitude was easy to see. It was one that was common
in Pharisaism. The Pharisee’s attitude was clear, and it represented the attitude
of the people. He knew nothing of God’s perfection and holiness, or of his sinfulness.
The Pharisee in Jesus’ parable was in error because He did not understand God’s standard for righteousness. The Lord does not grade on a curve. Contrary to the Pharisee’s belief, it is not that God accepts one person and not another because the one has not committed as many heinous sins as the other. Neither does the Lord justify one person and not another because the former is more scrupulous in his obedience than the latter (vv. 11–12). No, if people want to be justified—declared righteous—by keeping the law, the standard is absolute perfection. It is not enough to keep just one commandment for justification—you must keep them all (Gal. 5:3). It is a deadly proposition for sinners, for no sinner can keep God’s law perfectly.
Number one, it’s man centered, not God centered. In the story, the guy prays, “Dear God,” so he says God once, “I, I, I, I, I.” He says “I” five times in one prayer. “God, I, I, I, I, I am really fantastic. You’re welcome.” That’s basically the prayer. That’s not a prayer. That’s a boast. That’s all that it is. And we have in our day even theologies, those who would claim to teach the Bible, who say, “You don’t exist to obey and glorify God. God exists to obey and glorify you so you can be all you can be, do all you can do, have all you can have. God’s in it for you to make you a winner.” Not true. We exist for God, God does not exist for us. The center of human history is not humanity, it is the creator God of the Bible. And this man sees himself as the center of his life and God exists to be impressed with him.
Number two, works righteousness compares us to someone other than Jesus. This man in the story, he says, “God, thank you, I’m not like the unjust and the adulterers and thank you that I’m not like other men and thank you, I’m not like the tax collector.” He’s comparing himself to others. And those of us who are prone toward works righteousness, and let me say this, friends, we all are. This is not a lesson you’re going to learn today, this is a lesson to learn every day, because this is something we continually gravitate toward is works righteousness. We compare ourselves to other people. “Oh, they’re horrible, they’re terrible, they’re not as good as me, they’re not as smart as me.” Friends, we are to compare ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ. And as we do, we realize we’re not righteous. We realize that we’re not righteous.
Number three, in works righteousness, our performance establishes our worth. That’s exactly what this man says. “I fast twice a week,” which is a big deal because according to the Old Covenant, you were only required to fast once a year. So twice a week is a big deal. Many of you don’t even know what fasting is. You’re like, “I eat fast food, what’s the big deal?” No, fast food is different than fasting, it’s different. Fasting is where you don’t eat. Somebody’ll be like, “I didn’t eat.” That’s ‘cause you were working and you skipped lunch so you had two dinners, that’s not fasting, right? Fasting is where for a whole day, you don’t eat out of devotion to God to discipline yourself because to be a disciple is to be disciplined. That’s the root intent of fasting, among other things.
And number four, it focuses on the external and it also then subsequently ignores the internal. So Jesus literally says, “They trusted in themselves.” Friends, we all have faith. The difference is the object of our faith. I’m asking you to trust in Jesus, and if you don’t, you are trusting in yourself. And so they don’t trust God who is external from them, they trust themselves internally. They trust their gut, their opinion, their perspective, their view, their proclivity, their inclination. As a result, the only authority that they see is themselves. And so they put themselves in the position of God. “I know my heart, I know my life, I know my deeds, I render a verdict, I declare myself righteous.” Nothing external. “Is there a God? Will I give an account to him? What will his verdict of my life be?”
Additionally, number five, why works righteousness is unrighteousness. In that false system, God is not our judge, people are. That’s why he prays publicly. He wants everyone else to hear it. He wants everyone else to know it. “God, thank you that I don’t lie. Thank you that I don’t steal. Thank you that I don’t commit adultery. Thank you that I’m better than everyone else.” And he wants them all to hear it. And he wants the crowd to agree, “Yes, you are morally superior. Yes, you are fantastic. Yes, we are all impressed with you.”
Number six, it leads to pride. Inevitably, it leads to pride. Some of you don’t know this: Pride is a sin. You can call it self-esteem, it’s still pride. It’s the sin that got Satan kicked out of heaven. Augustine, the church father, says that pride is like a mother who is pregnant with all sin. All sin ultimately comes from pride. The first sin was to be like God.That’s pride.
And ultimately, it offends God. That’s the point of the story, that God is offended by this kind of behavior, right? The temple in that day (it was destroyed in 70 A.D.) contained the Holy of Holies, the very presence of God the Holy Spirit on the Earth. And this man in the story, he gets close to the presence of God and rather than crying out to God for forgiveness, he boasts of his own righteousness, his works righteousness and his performance.
You need to know this, that works righteousness, either in its secular form or in its religious form, is nonetheless an abomination, it is deplorable to the God of the Bible. When we come to God, we are to come empty-handed to receive a gift, not bearing all of our works righteousness as if God were to be impressed.
The Bible uses two images, metaphors that are particularly cringe-worthy. One is in the Old Testament, one is in the New. I’ve shared them with you before, and I’ll share them with you again today, not for shock value, but to give us the disposition of God when we bring to him works righteousness as a gift. The first is in Isaiah 64:6, I’ve used it before. He says that our righteousness is like filthy menstrual rags. The other one is in Philippians 3:8 where Paul says that our works righteousness is like a steaming pile of dung.
Isaiah 64:6(NET) We are all like one who is unclean, all our so-called righteous acts are like a menstrual rag in your sight. We all wither like a leaf;our sins carry us away like the wind.
Right away Luke wants us to understand the problem Jesus is addressing. There were people around Him who thought they they could be righteous in and of themselves, and these people tended to despise anyone who didn’t measure up to their self-defined standards of righteousness. They were self-righteous people who didn’t really love others, but the real problem behind this is that they didn’t really love God. That this is the problem will become even clearer as we examine the parable itself.
Paul writes to Philippians church to watch out for those who trust in their own righteousness .
Philippians 3:2-9(NET) 2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh! 3 For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, exult in Christ Jesus, and do not rely on human credentials 4 —though mine too are significant. If someone thinks he has good reasons to put confidence in human credentials, I have more: 5 I was circumcised on the eighth day, from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. I lived according to the law as a Pharisee. 6 In my zeal for God I persecuted the church. According to the righteousness stipulated in the law I was blameless. 7 But these assets I have come to regard as liabilities because of Christ. 8 More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things—indeed, I regard them as dung!—that I may gain Christ, 9 and be found in him, not because I have my own righteousness derived from the law, but because I have the righteousness that comes by way of Christ’s faithfulness—a righteousness from God that is in fact based on Christ’s faithfulness.
Romans 3:10-11(HCSB) 10 as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. 11 There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.
- Two Indicators of Genuine Spirituality
These indicators are the opposite of those pertaining to the false spirituality of the Pharisee, and they may be seen in Jesus’ description of the tax collector in Luke 18:13 13 The tax collector, however, stood far off and would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, be merciful to me, sinner that I am!’
The first indicator of genuine spirituality is an awareness of one’s own inability to live righteously.
Given that the tax collector is contrasted with the Pharisee, and that the Pharisee illustrates “some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous” (vs. 9), we may assume that the tax collector represents those who do not trust in themselves that they are righteous. We see his awareness of his own inability to live righteously both in his actions and in his confession. For example, Jesus says that the man confessed his sinfulness to God, saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” But He also says that he “beat his breast,” which is a sign of intense sorrow. Jesus wants us to see clearly, then, what a recognition of one’s own inability to live righteously entails. It entails a clear understanding of our own sinfulness in the sight of God and a corresponding sense of sorrow for our sins. As the Apostle Paul would later write to the Corinthian believers:
2 Corinthians 7:9-10(HCSB) 9 Now I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance. For you were grieved as God willed, so that you didn’t experience any loss from us. 10 For godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation, but worldly grief produces death.
Unlike the Pharisee, who should have understood such things himself, the tax collector in the parable serves for all time as an example of such a godly sorrow for sin.
Now the tax collector, friend, in this story, he’s a monster. He’s an absolute monster. The way it worked is the Roman government took over God’s people, basically nearly enslaved them. They would hire fellow members of God’s people to collect taxes. These are extortionists and crooks and thieves. They bankrupt people, threaten them. This is horrible what they do. Today, for us categorically, we would put those who deal drugs to kids. We would put those who enslave people in sex trafficking, we’d put the abortion doctors who work overtime ‘cause they love their job into the same category that they would have placed a tax collector.
That the tax collector would even walk into the temple, that was scandalous. This man is a monster. But what does he do? He stands far back; unlike the works righteousness man, he does not draw near. Rather than, with a haughty gaze, raising his head, he hangs his head low, looking at the ground in conviction and shame, right shame, good shame. And rather than talking about everybody else’s sin, he talks about his own sin. He talks about his own sin. “God, I’m a sinner. I’m not gonna try and justify the life that I’ve lived or the way I’ve behaved.”
And he asked for a gift, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Have mercy on me.” He’s asking for gift righteousness. And Jesus said, “That guy nailed it. That guy left justified, declared righteous in the sight of God.” But he didn’t fast twice a week. But he didn’t give 10 percent. But he couldn’t answer all the theological questions. But he hadn’t read the Bible cover to cover. But he hadn’t been baptized and he didn’t speak in tongues and—but he received gift righteousness. So he was justified, declared righteous in the sight of God.
How to become righteous. Pull a few things from the story. First, friends, start by comparing yourself to Jesus and the Word of God so you could see your sin. Too often we spend too much time and energy comparing ourselves to one another. And if we look at the Word of God and we look at the Son of God, we see that we’re unrighteous. What this man didn’t do, he didn’t come to God and ask, “God, what should I do to impress you? Where is the punch list for righteousness so that I can get a high score through my performance?” Instead, he came to God and said, “I need a gift. Have mercy on me.” And I would invite you to that as well, to receive the gift of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. And I’ll unpack that a bit more thoroughly in just a moment.
you can then be sanctified by the Spirit of God to do your good works. Friends, we’re not saved by our good works, we’re saved to our good works. That’s totally different. We are saved by works. The question is, whose works? Our works or Jesus’ works? Whose works save? Jesus’ works. It’s his life, not ours. His perfection, not ours. His obedience, not ours. His death in our place for all that we have failed to be and do. So yes, something was done but it’s not done by us, friends, it’s done for us by Jesus.
This is such good news. We would never understand this apart from the revelation of the Bible. We would all end up even treating the Bible as just another works righteousness document. A list of things to do and not do, we will set up a set of leaders who just sort of keep score and render verdicts and then we’ll get all smug and self-righteous and proud because we did good things, we didn’t do bad things. We’ll look down on others, have contempt, not compassion, be filled with pride, get harsh, and then start adding rules to God’s rules and enforcing them and then it goes on and on and on until you murder God because he’s not as righteous as you are.
Or you realize that you’re unrighteous. You realize that Jesus is your righteousness. And you repent not only of your sin, but also your righteousness. And you come like the tax collector. “God, I’m a sinner. Give me mercy. Don’t tell me what to do. Remind me of what Jesus has done.” And when Jesus says it is what? Finished, all the work is done. And I receive the gift.
o a couple things in closing. It’s not about you. It’s all about Jesus. Additionally, it’s not about what you do for Jesus. It’s about what Jesus does for you. That’s what justification is about. Furthermore, God is not impressed with you. God is not impressed with you, but God loves you. That’s even better. Because if God is impressed with you, you need to keep performing. But if he loves you, he loves you no matter what.
Additionally, you do not have any righteousness. Whatever you put in the box, it’s not awesome. It’s awful. You do not have any righteousness, but Jesus will gladly give you his. Right? So that when you stand before God the Father for judgment at the end, you don’t say, “Here’s my resume and all the nice, good things I did.” You look at Jesus and you say, “I’m with him. I’m with him. He has a large reservation. I’m with him.”
Additionally, regarding our motivation for change, we do not change so that God will bless us. We do not change so that God will love us. We do not change so that God would accept us. Rather, we change because in Jesus Christ, God has blessed us. In Jesus Christ, God has loved us. In Jesus Christ, God has accepted us. Christianity then is not what we have to do. It’s what we get to do. And because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, it’s ultimately what we want to do. We want to follow Jesus, we want to be like Jesus, not so that God would love us, but because he’s already loved us in Christ. The motivation is very different. It leads to joy and not duty or burden. It’s a bunch of get-tos, not a bunch of have-tos. That’s the Christian life.
Justification We are saved from the PENALTY of Sin.
Sanctification We are being saved from the Power of Sin
Glorification We will be saved from the presence of Sin
Justification begins our sanctification. We are both Justified (a one time event) and in the process of being sanctified(on going). Sanctification begins with our justification, it is a process that conforms us to Christ’s likeness. Justification is a legal declaration of a sinner being righteous before the Father, it does not make us self-righteous.
Romans 8:29(HCSB) For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Someone who is a Christian for 10 years is no more justified than when the first became a believer. It is through the process of our dying to self and being obedient to the word and the Spirit. John 17:15-19 (HCSB)15 I am not praying
that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by the truth;
Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 I sanctify Myself for them, so they also may be sanctified by the truth.
We are daily changed, in God’s eyes we are completed and accepted because of our faith in Jesus’ work on the cross.
Justification is a pronouncement to clear the guilty. When one is justified, he is declared right before the Lord; he is pardoned and cleared of any violation. Romans 8:1(HCSB) Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus,To have “no condemnation” declared means to be found innocent of the accusation, to have no sentence inflicted and no guilty verdict found. By the grace of God, believers in Jesus Christ will not face the condemnation of God.
Romans 5:1 (ESV) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:9 (ESV) Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
We are SAVED from the WRATH of GOD!!!
Our justification is by faith in the work of the Son of God on the cross, his shed blood and death for forgiveness of our sins. Justification is the work of God where the righteousness of Jesus is imparted to the sinner, so the sinner is declared by God as being righteous. This righteousness is not earned or retained by any effort of the saved. Justification is an instantaneous occurrence with the result being eternal life. It is based completely and solely upon Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and is received by faith alone. No works are necessary whatsoever to obtain justification. Otherwise, it is not a gift.
Therefore, we are justified by faith. NOT by WORKS. It is by the Grace of God that we are saved.
Matthew 13:24-30(HCSB)24 He presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while people were sleeping, his enemy came, sowed weeds among the wheat, and left. 26 When the plants sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared. 27 The landowner’s slaves came to him and said, ‘Master, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’ 28 “ ‘An enemy did this!’ he told them. “ ‘So, do you want us to go and gather them up?’ the slaves asked him. 29 “ ‘No,’ he said. ‘When you gather up the weeds, you might also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I’ll tell the reapers: Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to burn them, but store the wheat in my barn.’ ”
The New American Commentary: Matthew 13:24–30 Jesus is apparently speaking to the crowds again (cf. v. 36). Many are no doubt wondering: If the kingdom of heaven has arrived, why has it not triumphed more obviously and widespread? If Jesus is its proclaimer, why is response to him not more positive from all? In the narrative of I Maccabees, after Antiochus IV issued his decrees forbidding Jewish religious practice, a rural Jewish priest from Modiin, Mattathias the Hasmonean, sparked the revolt against the Seleucid Empire by refusing to worship the Greek gods. Mattathias killed a Hellenistic Jew who had stepped forward to take Mattathias’s place in sacrificing to an idol. Afterwards, he and his five sons fled to the wilderness of Judah. After Mattathias’s death about one year later in 166 BC, his son Judas Maccabee led an army of Jewish dissidents to victory over the Seleucid dynasty in guerrilla warfare, which at first was directed against Hellenized Jews, of whom there were many. The Maccabees destroyed pagan altars in the villages, circumcised boys and forced Hellenized Jews into outlawry. The term “Maccabees” used to describe the Jewish army is taken from the Hebrew word for “hammer”.
The revolt itself involved many battles, After the victory, the Maccabees entered Jerusalem in triumph and ritually cleansed the Temple, (because the Abomination of Desolation that happened when Antiochius IV sacrificed a pig in the temple and made the Jews eat it)of the reestablishing traditional Jewish worship there and installing Jonathan Maccabee as high priest. A large Seleucid army was sent to quash the revolt, but returned to Syria on the death of Antiochus IV. Beforehand, Judas Maccabbeus made an agreement with Rome and became allied, tying the hands of the weaker Seleucid Empire. Hannukah Celebrates this revolt.
Then another revolt happened ion 66-73 AD which led to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, then another happened in 135AD which was sparked by Simon Bar Kokhba who said he was the real messiah. He led the revolt against the Roman empire which led to the Jews being exiled out of Israel in 135 until 1948.
At the agricultural level, the story is not very realistic, although sabotage did occasionally occur. But the meaning, of course, remains at the spiritual level. The weeds (zizania) are more literally darnel, often at first indistinguishable from wheat. Just as the wheat and weeds were often superficially similar in appearance and if sown too close to each other were too intermingled in their root systems to be pulled up separately, so too God’s people are sometimes outwardly hard to distinguish from his enemies. They can be too interconnected with them in society for anyone to try to purify the world from evil without hurting those who are good. Nevertheless, in Jesus’ society many Zealots, and at times even his disciples (cf. Luke 9:54), were often eager for precisely this to happen. Jesus warns them they must wait for the final judgment.
Jesus’ principle here applies in every age to the question of why God allows evil and suffering in the world. His creation can be purged of all evil only through the judgment and re-creation of the universe at the end of the age because evil resides in every person. God’s delay in bringing the end of the world is thus entirely gracious, giving people more opportunity to repent (2 Pet 3:9).
Jesus is showing the disciples the extent of the grace and mercy the Father shows humanity. He could in His justice and righteousness send everyone to hell and not give anyone a chance. However He is a patient God.
God is Patient, Shows Grace and Mercy and is above all Righteous.
- God is Patient with us in our sins.
2 Peter 3:8-13(HCSB)8 Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. 10 But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief; u on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness 12 as you wait for and earnestly desire the coming of the day of God. The heavens will be on fire and be dissolved because of it, and the elements will melt with the heat. 13 But based on His promise, we wait for the new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell.
The patience of God toward us is absolutely mesmerizing. We can see God’s patience in dealing with Adam and Eve as they fall into sin and as He grants the initial revelation of His covenant of grace. We see the patience of God with the patriarchs and Israel, even with their grumbling in the wilderness. We see His patience throughout the Gospels as Jesus, the Son of God, is being rejected and forsaken. And we see His patience in the establishment of the church in the New Testament. We see His patience in the ups and doens of the church throughout history. He could have wiped us out in our sin but yet while we were still sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8(HCSB)God would have been just to kill us straight out the womb. But in His patience He gives us time to hear the gospel and repent.
God displays patience and forbearance with the world. But patience and forbearance ought to lead men and women to repentance. Instead, it encourages unbelievers in their sinful rebellion and mocking of God, and the patience of God is then turned into a rationing in their minds to rebel further against God. This does nothing more than store up greater judgment because of their ungodly response to His kind patience.
Romans 2:4-5(HCSB) 4 Or do you despise the riches of His kindness,restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hardness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed.
- God is full of Grace and Mercy
Mercy and grace are often confused. The difference: mercy is God not punishing us as our sins deserve, and grace is God blessing us despite the fact that we do not deserve it. Mercy is deliverance from judgment. Grace is extending kindness to the unworthy.
According to the Bible, we have all sinned Romans 3:23(HCSB) 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. As a result of that sin, we all deserve death and hell. (Romans 6:23(HCSB) 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. With that in mind, every day we live is an act of God’s mercy. If God gave us all what we deserve, we would all be, right now, condemned for eternity. David cries out in Psalm 51:1-2(ESV)”Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” A plea to God for mercy is asking Him to withhold the judgment we deserve and instead grant to us the forgiveness we in no way have earned.
We deserve nothing from God. God does not owe us anything. Anything good that we experience is a result of the grace of God (Ephesians 2:5). Grace is simply defined as unmerited favor. God gives us good things that we do not deserve and could never earn. Rescued from judgment by God’s mercy, grace is anything and everything we receive beyond that mercy (Romans 3:24(HCSB) 24 They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Common grace refers to the sovereign grace which God bestows on all of mankind regardless of their spiritual standing before Him, while saving grace is that special type of grace whereby God sovereignly bestows unmerited divine assistance through the Holy Spirit upon His elect for their regeneration and sanctification.
- God is Righteous
Some say God is just and fair, if God were completely “fair,”, we would all spend eternity in hell paying for our sin, which is exactly what we deserve. If we “fairly” received what we deserve, we would end up in the lake of fire. The righteousness of God, one of the most prominent attributes of God in the Scriptures, is also one of the most elusive. Initially, distinguishing the righteousness of God from His holiness or His goodness seems difficult. In addition, the righteousness of God is virtually synonymous with His justice:
While the most common Old Testament word for just means ‘straight,’ and the New Testament word means ‘equal,’ in a moral sense they both mean ‘right.’ When we say that God is just, we are saying that He always does what is right, what should be done, and that He does it consistently, without partiality or prejudice. The word just and the word righteous are identical in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Sometimes the translators render the original word ‘just’ and other times ‘righteous’ with no apparent reason (cf. Nehemiah 9:8 and 9:33 where the same word is used). But whichever word they use, it means essentially the same thing. It has to do with God’s actions. They are always right and just. Psalm 119:137-138(HCSB) 137 You are righteous, Lord, and Your judgments are just. 138 The decrees You issue are righteous and altogether trustworthy. God’s righteousness (or justice) is the natural expression of His holiness. If He is infinitely pure, then He must be opposed to all sin, and that opposition to sin must be demonstrated in His treatment of His creatures. When we read that God is righteous or just, we are being assured that His actions toward us are in perfect agreement with His holy nature.
Deuteronomy 32:4(HCSB) The Rock—His work is perfect; all His ways are entirely just. A faithful God, without prejudice, He is righteous and true. God always acts righteously; His every action is consistent with His character. God is always consistently “Godly.” God is not defined by the term “righteous,” as much as the term “righteous” is defined by God. God is not measured by the standard of righteousness; God sets the standard of righteousness.
Psalm 96:11-13(HCSB) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and all that fills it resound.12 Let the fields and everything in them exult. Then all the trees of the forest will shout for joy 13 before the Lord, for He is coming—for He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with His faithfulness.
Jesus reserves an interpretation of the specific details of the passage for a more private audience with his disciples. Jesus Interprets the Wheat and the Weeds.
Matthew 13:36-43(HCSB) 36 Then He dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached Him and said, “Explain the parable of the weeds in the field to us.”
37 He replied: “The One who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world; and the good seed—these are the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 Therefore, just as the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather from His kingdom everything that causes sin and those guilty of lawlessness. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Anyone who has ears should listen!
From the actions of the farmer and the fate of the wheat and weeds, we learn that God will permit the righteous and wicked to coexist in this age but that he will eventually separate the wicked, judge them, and destroy them, while gathering the righteous together to be rewarded by enjoying his presence forever. This event will happen at one time everyone will be harvested together and separated at judgement.
Revelation 20:11-15 (ESV) Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.