365 Prophecies: Prophecy 348
The common people knew that the Messiah was the LORD, Jehovah.
Old Testament Prediction:
Zechariah 11:11 …Thus the poor of the flock, who were watching me, knew that it was the word of the LORD.
New Testament Fulfillment:
Matthew 20:31 Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”
Matthew 21:9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
John 4:42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”
It is worth noting that some of the common people in Jerusalem perceived that Jesus was the LORD, while the religious leaders and a majority of Israel did not recognize Him. The religious leaders were filled with their own self interest and pride. The poor and common people were constantly seeking the Lord, hoping and watching for His arrival.
It is a fact of life that a person who is suffering or undergoing a deep time of trials is more receptive to Jesus than the person who is experiencing an abundance in his life. We seem to be more responsive to the Love of God when our life is severely lacking. This is the primary reason that Jesus said that the poor are “blessed,” because the kingdom of God is theirs.
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Notice that Jesus does not necessarily say that a person must be poor to obtain the kingdom of heaven. He says that a person who is “poor in spirit” can obtain the kingdom of heaven. To be poor in spirit is to be humble and broken over the reality of sin in our life, and to have an awareness that we are in great need a Savior. This kind of spirit allows a person to come to God, repent of his sins, and obtain forgiveness and the blessings of eternal life—the kingdom of heaven.
A person who has been living a life of material blessing can also have a poor spirit that cries out to God for mercy and salvation, but it is often more difficult for those who are doing well to fully appreciate or receive Jesus. Ideally, when we are prospering—this should be the time of our greatest gratitude and acknowledgement of the Lord. Each day we rise to enjoy the wonderful material blessings of life, we should be reminded that everything we have came from the Lord.
There is something about being self-sufficient and having enough money and accumulated material possessions that prevents many people from searching for God in their life.
We have all heard the stories of men and women who have reached the bottom of their life—being financially broke, homeless, having lost a spouse or child in death by an accident or a catastrophic illness—who cry out to God in their broken condition.
Why should only tragedy or brokenness bring us to God? How wonderful when we are doing well, to thank and praise the Lord for all His goodness.
All of us who have children, or perhaps a niece or nephew whom we love, want those children to have blessed lives. We hope that they will not endure a life of difficulty or struggle. We pray that they will prosper financially and be in good health. The problem is that these things, though they are certainly very desirable, do not always allow the people whom we love so dearly, to find God and obtain eternal life. Which would we prefer? A child who lives a life of struggle, poverty, difficulties and trials, who finds Jesus and makes it to heaven—or a child who lives a life of pleasure, and ease, only to deny Jesus and end up lost for eternity?
I pray for my two sons nearly every day that the Lord will draw them near to Him. I pray that above all other things in their lives, that they know Jesus intimately and serve Him with all of their hearts. I do want them to have a home of their own, a reliable car, food, and clothing; but more than any of these things, I pray that they have Jesus. I would rather they endure terrible trials in this life that brings them to the end of themselves, so that they will cry out to the Lord and be saved, rather than obtain the riches of this world and miss Jesus. I want to spend eternity with my two sons in heaven; and I am willing that the Lord would take them down a very difficult path, if necessary, to bring them to a place where they will love and serve Jesus with all of their hearts.
Jesus came to earth for the rich and the poor. He came to give every person the privilege of becoming the sons and daughters of the Living God. The only barrier to eternal life is our will. If we will only surrender to Him and look to Jesus sacrifice for our sins, then we will obtain a life that is beyond our wildest dreams.
To the proud, the self sufficient, the self seeking, and the unwilling, they will suffer the loss of all things and miss the opportunity to enjoy a life eternal—filled with joy and pleasures forevermore.
Psalms 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
The Lord of heaven loves the humble, the broken, the lost, and the outcast. He feels deep compassion for those who are struggling every day in their life. He understands what it is like to be poor, for He was amongst the poorest of the earth Himself. He feels deep sorrow for those who believe they do not need God in their life. Jesus grieves for the lost, the stubborn, and the foolish, who say that there is no God. Jesus died for every person, no matter how evil, corrupted, broken or lost a person might be. Jesus came to offer His life as a ransom for all of us.
All that He requires is humility—that we come to Him without any excuses, and admit that we have sinned and need Him to save us. If we can bring ourselves to these basic facts, He will receive us and grant us relief from the heavy burden of guilt, fear, and turmoil. He will fill us with a sense of peace and deep fulfillment the likes of which we have never known before in our life. He will love us and grant us the assurance that all is well between us and God. He will place in our hearts a confidence that when we die, the angels will carry us to heaven to be with Him forever. These are the purposes for which Jesus came to earth as God, living in the body of a man, and died to pay the penalty that was owed for all of our sins. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, God has a righteous basis to forgive our sins, by the payment Jesus made for those sins.
I pray that you will offer up to God a simple prayer that will allow Him the opportunity to save you.
“Father, I know that I am a sinner. I ask you to forgive all of my sins in the name of Jesus, Your Son, who died for me. Thank You for sending Your Son to pay my debt. I ask You for eternal life, and the assurance that when I die, I will be with You forever. Please help me follow Jesus with all of my heart for the rest of my life, and use me to bring others to Him. I pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.”
There were two other men who were being crucified with Jesus on that day of His infamous destiny. One mocked Jesus, the other cried out to Him for mercy. Both men could have obtained eternal life at the moment of their fast approaching death. Only one was willing to humble himself and cry out to Jesus: “Lord, when You come into Your kingdom, remember me…”
This simple, humble statement is all that he said to Jesus. He was not baptized into a certain church or religion. He was on the cross because he had so completely destroyed his life by sin, that he was dying for his crimes. Though his life seemed hopeless and as if there would be no second chance, Jesus heard his humble words and saved him. Today, this one time thief is walking streets of transparent gold, and dancing with the angels every time one of us here on earth humble ourselves and cry out to Jesus for mercy and salvation.
Luke 15:7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, and the only one who has fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies, proving that He alone is the Savior of the world.