Sometimes I wonder how many times have I sung a worship song saying “I will go” or “send me to the world” or something else along those lines. I know it’s a lot because I pull one out every “mission Sunday”. Then I wonder if I’ve actually gone as many times as I said I would.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I have. Many times they were empty words that I didn’t really believe in my heart and that I never acted upon. It is similar to the “Parable of Two Sons” where one son said he would go to the field and never does. My, and the son’s, words have zero authority and zero weight because they mean nothing. Jesus, on the other hand, has all authority under heaven. It is by this authority that he causes a mini-riot in the temple.
The words people speak have so much weight in this passage. The people welcome Jesus into Jerusalem with shouts of “Hosanna!” affirming him as the Messiah (though they thought he would deliver them in a different way) (21:5-9); the Pharisees are caught in a “word-trap” when they challenge Jesus’ authority (21:23-27, 22:41-46); the sadducees try to use words to trick Jesus but fail (22:23-33), and it is through words Jesus “re-writes” the Shema (22:34-40). It causes me to reflect if the words I say and the things I do are pointing to God or myself.
Note, I didn’t comment on 22:1-14 not because it isn’t important, but because it just didn’t fit with what I was picking up on today.