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June 7, 2018

JEREMIAH 6-8, MATTHEW 21

This chapter in Matthew's gospel seems to be the beginning of the end for the life and ministry of Jesus. This is the week before His crucifixion and resurrection and as we can see, the people in Jerusalem are excited for "Hosanna!" My how so much can change within a week... As we will see over the next few days, the people change their tune from celebration to destruction. The so called "religious leaders" of the day would lead them away from true religion. They would lead them away from the only one that could actually save them from their sins. But just as David Phelps sings, instead of this being the beginning of the end, it's actually the end of the beginning.


JEREMIAH 6

THREATENED SIEGE OF JERUSALEM

1 “Run for cover out of Jerusalem, Benjaminites. 

Sound the ram’s horn in Tekoa; 

raise a smoke signal over Beth-haccherem, 

for disaster threatens from the north, 

even a crushing blow. 

2 Though she is beautiful and delicate, 

I will destroy Daughter Zion. 

3 Shepherds and their flocks will come against her; 

they will pitch their tents all around her. 

Each will pasture his own portion. 

4 Set them apart for war against her; 

rise up, let’s attack at noon. 

Woe to us, for the day is passing; 

the evening shadows grow long. 

5 Rise up, let’s attack by night. 

Let us destroy her fortresses.” 

6 For this is what the Lord of Armies says: 

Cut down the trees; 

raise a siege ramp against Jerusalem. 

This city must be punished. 

There is nothing but oppression within her. 

7 As a well gushes out its water, 

so she pours out her evil. 

Violence and destruction resound in her. 

Sickness and wounds keep coming to my attention. 

8 Be warned, Jerusalem, 

or I will turn away from you; 

I will make you a desolation, 

a land without inhabitants. 

WRATH ON ISRAEL

9 This is what the Lord of Armies says: 

Glean the remnant of Israel 

as thoroughly as a vine. 

Pass your hand once more like a grape gatherer 

over the branches. 

10 Who can I speak to and give such a warning 

that they will listen? 

Look, their ear is uncircumcised,,ab 

so they cannot pay attention. 

See, the word of the Lord has become contemptible to them— 

they find no pleasure in it. 

11 But I am full of the Lord’s wrath; 

I am tired of holding it back. 

Pour it out on the children in the street, 

on the gathering of young men as well. 

For both husband and wife will be captured, 

the old with the very old. 

12 Their houses will be turned over to others, 

their fields and wives as well, 

for I will stretch out my hand 

against the inhabitants of the land. 

This is the Lord’s declaration. 

13 For from the least to the greatest of them, 

everyone is making profit dishonestly. 

From prophet to priest, 

everyone deals falsely. 

14 They have treated my people’s brokenness superficially, 

claiming, “Peace, peace,” 

when there is no peace. 

15 Were they ashamed when they acted so detestably? 

They weren’t at all ashamed. 

They can no longer feel humiliation. 

Therefore, they will fall among the fallen. 

When I punish them, they will collapse, 

says the Lord. 

DISASTER BECAUSE OF DISOBEDIENCE

16 This is what the Lord says: 

Stand by the roadways and look. 

Ask about the ancient paths, 

“Which is the way to what is good?” 

Then take it 

and find rest for yourselves. 

But they protested, “We won’t!” 

17 I appointed watchmen over you 

and said, “Listen for the sound of the ram’s horn.” 

But they protested, “We won’t listen!” 

18 Therefore listen, you nations 

and you witnesses, 

learn what the charge is against them. 

19 Listen, earth! 

I am about to bring disaster on these people, 

the fruit of their own plotting, 

for they have paid no attention to my words. 

They have rejected my instruction. 

20 What use to me is frankincense from Sheba 

or sweet cane from a distant land? 

Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; 

your sacrifices do not please me. 

21 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: 

I am going to place stumbling blocks before these people; 

fathers and sons together will stumble over them; 

friends and neighbors will also perish. 

A CRUEL NATION FROM THE NORTH

22 This is what the Lord says: 

Look, an army is coming from a northern land; 

a great nation will be stirred up 

from the remote regions of the earth. 

23 They grasp bow and javelin. 

They are cruel and show no mercy. 

Their voice roars like the sea, 

and they ride on horses, 

lined up like men in battle formation 

against you, Daughter Zion. 

24 We have heard about it, 

and our hands have become weak. 

Distress has seized us— 

pain, like a woman in labor. 

25 Don’t go out to the fields; 

don’t walk on the road. 

For the enemy has a sword; 

terror is on every side. 

26 My dear people, dress yourselves in sackcloth 

and roll in the dust. 

Mourn as you would for an only son, 

a bitter lament, 

for suddenly the destroyer will come on us. 

JEREMIAH APPOINTED AS AN EXAMINER

27 I have appointed you to be an assayer among my people— 

a refiner— 

so you may know and assay their way of life. 

28 All are stubborn rebels 

spreading slander. 

They are bronze and iron; 

all of them are corrupt. 

29 The bellows blow, 

blasting the lead with fire. 

The refining is completely in vain; 

the evil ones are not separated out. 

30 They are called rejected silver, 

for the Lord has rejected them. 

JEREMIAH 7

FALSE TRUST IN THE TEMPLE

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Stand in the gate of the house of the Lord and there call out this word: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who enter through these gates to worship the Lord. 

3 “ ‘This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Correct your ways and your actions, and I will allow you to live in this place. 4 Do not trust deceitful words, chanting, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.” 5 Instead, if you really correct your ways and your actions, if you act justly toward one another,,g 6 if you no longer oppress the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow and no longer shed innocent blood in this place or follow other gods, bringing harm on yourselves, 7 I will allow you to live in this place, the land I gave to your ancestors long ago and forever. 8 But look, you keep trusting in deceitful words that cannot help. 

9 “ ‘Do you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and follow other gods that you have not known? 10 Then do you come and stand before me in this house that bears my name and say, “We are rescued, so we can continue doing all these detestable acts”? 11 Has this house, which bears my name, become a den of robbers in your view? Yes, I too have seen it. 

This is the Lord’s declaration. 

SHILOH AS A WARNING

12 “ ‘But return to my place that was at Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first. See what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. 13 Now, because you have done all these things—this is the Lord’s declaration—and because I have spoken to you time and time again but you wouldn’t listen, and I have called to you, but you wouldn’t answer, 14 what I did to Shiloh I will do to the house that bears my name—the house in which you trust—the place that I gave you and your ancestors. 15 I will banish you from my presence, just as I banished all of your brothers, all the descendants of Ephraim.’ 

DO NOT PRAY FOR JUDAH

16 “As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not offer a cry or a prayer on their behalf, and do not beg me, for I will not listen to you. 17 Don’t you see how they behave in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The sons gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven,,v and they pour out drink offerings to other gods so that they provoke me to anger. 19 But are they really provoking me?” This is the Lord’s declaration. “Isn’t it they themselves being provoked to disgrace?” 

20 Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: “Look, my anger—my burning wrath—is about to be poured out on this place, on people and animals, on the tree of the field, and on the produce of the land. My wrath will burn and not be quenched.” 

OBEDIENCE OVER SACRIFICE

21 This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices, and eat the meat yourselves, 22 for when I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak with them or command them concerning burnt offering and sacrifice. 23 However, I did give them this command: ‘Obey me, and then I will be your God, and you will be my people. Follow every way I command you so that it may go well with you.’ 24 Yet they didn’t listen or pay attention but followed their own advice and their own stubborn, evil heart. They went backward and not forward. 25 Since the day your ancestors came out of the land of Egypt until today, I have sent all my servants the prophets to you time and time again.,af 26 However, my people wouldn’t listen to me or pay attention but became obstinate;,ag they did more evil than their ancestors. 

A LAMENT FOR DISOBEDIENT JUDAH

27 “When you speak all these things to them, they will not listen to you. When you call to them, they will not answer you. 28 Therefore, declare to them, ‘This is the nation that would not listen to the Lord their God and would not accept discipline. Truth has perished—it has disappeared from their mouths. 29 Cut off the hair of your sacred vow,a and throw it away. Raise up a dirge on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned the generation under his wrath.’ 

30 “For the Judeans have done what is evil in my sight.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “They have set up their abhorrent things in the house that bears my name in order to defile it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth,f in Ben Hinnom Valley,g in order to burn their sons and daughters in the fire, a thing I did not command; I never entertained the thought. 

32 “Therefore, look, the days are coming”—the Lord’s declaration—“when this place will no longer be called Topheth and Ben Hinnom Valley, but the Valley of Slaughter. Topheth will become a cemetery, because there will be no other burial place. 33 The corpses of these people will become food for the birds of the sky and for the wild animals of the land, with no one to scare them away. 34 I will remove from the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem the sound of joy and gladness and the voices of the groom and the bride, for the land will become a desolate waste. 

JEREMIAH 8

DEATH OVER LIFE

1 “At that time”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of her officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the residents of Jerusalem will be brought out of their graves. 2 They will be exposed to the sun, the moon, and all the stars in the sky, which they have loved, served, followed, consulted, and worshiped. Their bones will not be collected and buried but will become like manure on the soil’s surface. 3 Death will be chosen over life by all the survivors of this evil family, those who remain wherever I have banished them.” This is the declaration of the Lord of Armies. 

4 “You are to say to them: This is what the Lord says: 

Do people fall and not get up again? 

If they turn away, do they not return? 

5 Why have these people turned away? 

Why is Jerusalem always turning away? 

They take hold of deceit; 

they refuse to return. 

6 I have paid careful attention. 

They do not speak what is right. 

No one regrets his evil, 

asking, ‘What have I done?’ 

Everyone has stayed his course 

like a horse rushing into battle. 

7 Even storks in the sky 

know their seasons. 

Turtledoves, swallows, and cranes 

are aware of their migration, 

but my people do not know 

the requirements of the Lord. 

PUNISHMENT FOR JUDAH’S LEADERS

8 “How can you claim, ‘We are wise; 

the law of the Lord is with us’? 

In fact, the lying pen of scribes 

has produced falsehood. 

9 The wise will be put to shame; 

they will be dismayed and snared. 

They have rejected the word of the Lord, 

so what wisdom do they really have? 

10 Therefore, I will give their wives to other men, 

their fields to new occupants, 

for from the least to the greatest, 

everyone is making profit dishonestly. 

From prophet to priest, 

everyone deals falsely. 

11 They have treated the brokenness 

of my dear people superficially, 

claiming, ‘Peace, peace,’ 

when there is no peace. 

12 Were they ashamed when they acted so detestably? 

They weren’t at all ashamed. 

They can no longer feel humiliation. 

Therefore, they will fall among the fallen. 

When I punish them, they will collapse,” 

says the Lord. 

13 I will gather them and bring them to an end.,a 

This is the Lord’s declaration. 

There will be no grapes on the vine, 

no figs on the fig tree, 

and even the leaf will wither. 

Whatever I have given them will be lost to them. 

GOD’S PEOPLE UNREPENTANT

14 Why are we just sitting here? 

Gather together; let us enter the fortified cities 

and perish there, 

for the Lord our God has destroyed us. 

He has given us poisoned water to drink, 

because we have sinned against the Lord. 

15 We hoped for peace, but there was nothing good; 

for a time of healing, but there was only terror. 

16 From Dan, the snorting of horses is heard. 

At the sound of the neighing of mighty steeds, 

the whole land quakes. 

They come to devour the land and everything in it, 

the city and all its residents. 

17 Indeed, I am about to send snakes among you, 

poisonous vipers that cannot be charmed. 

They will bite you. 

This is the Lord’s declaration. 

LAMENT OVER JUDAH

18 My joy has flown away; 

grief has settled on me. 

My heart is sick. 

19 Listen—the cry of my dear people 

from a faraway land, 

“Is the Lord no longer in Zion, 

her King not within her?” 

Why have they angered me 

with their carved images, 

with their worthless foreign idols? 

20 Harvest has passed, summer has ended, 

but we have not been saved. 

21 I am broken by the brokenness 

of my dear people. 

I mourn; horror has taken hold of me. 

22 Is there no balm in Gilead? 

Is there no physician there? 

So why has the healing of my dear people 

not come about? 


MATTHEW 21

THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY

1 When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, Jesus then sent two disciples, 2 telling them, “Go into the village ahead of you. At once you will find a donkey tied there with her foal. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them at once.” 

4 This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled: 

5 Tell Daughter Zion, 

“See, your King is coming to you, 

gentle, and mounted on a donkey, 

and on a colt, 

the foal of a donkey.”

6 The disciples went and did just as Jesus directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and its foal; then they laid their clothes on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their clothes on the road; others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them on the road. 9 Then the crowds who went ahead of him and those who followed shouted: 

Hosanna to the Son of David! 

Blessed is he who comes in the name 

of the Lord! 

Hosanna in the highest heaven! 

10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in an uproar, saying, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.” 

CLEANSING THE TEMPLE

12 Jesus went into the temple,c and threw out all those buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 He said to them, “It is written, my house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of thieves!”,e 

CHILDREN PRAISE JESUS

14 The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 When the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonders that he did and the children shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant 16 and said to him, “Do you hear what these children are saying?” 

Jesus replied, “Yes, have you never read: 

You have prepared praise 

from the mouths of infants and nursing babies?” 

17 Then he left them, went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there. 

THE BARREN FIG TREE

18 Early in the morning, as he was returning to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, he went up to it and found nothing on it except leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” At once the fig tree withered. 

20 When the disciples saw it, they were amazed and said, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” 

21 Jesus answered them, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you tell this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” 

THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHALLENGED

23 When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority?” 

24 Jesus answered them, “I will also ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 Did John’s baptism come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” 

They discussed it among themselves, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we’re afraid of the crowd, because everyone considers John to be a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” 

And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. 

THE PARABLE OF THE TWO SONS

28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘My son, go work in the vineyard today.’ 

29 “He answered, ‘I don’t want to,’ but later he changed his mind and went. 30 Then the man went to the other and said the same thing. ‘I will, sir,’ he answered, but he didn’t go. 31 Which of the two did his father’s will?” 

They said, “The first.” 

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn’t believe him. Tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; but you, when you saw it, didn’t even change your minds then and believe him. 

THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD OWNER

33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner, who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a watchtower. He leased it to tenant farmers and went away. 34 When the time came to harvest fruit, he sent his servants to the farmers to collect his fruit. 35 The farmers took his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Again, he sent other servants, more than the first group, and they did the same to them. 37 Finally, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. 

38 “But when the tenant farmers saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?” 

41 “He will completely destroy those terrible men,” they told him, “and lease his vineyard to other farmers who will give him his fruit at the harvest.” 

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: 

The stone that the builders rejected 

has become the cornerstone. 

This is what the Lord has done 

and it is wonderful in our eyes?,b 

43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruit. 44 Whoever falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will shatter him.” 

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew he was speaking about them. 46 Although they were looking for a way to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because the people regarded him as a prophet.


 Christian Standard Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017).