Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” Isaiah 53:1
“Do not be deceived!”
During His last week, Jesus not only taught and healed. He also admonished. His admonitions were for all, including us today.
He admonished the scribes and Pharisees repeatedly about woes to come upon them for their selfish hypocrisy, deceit, and spiritual blindness (Mt 23:13-16,23-28).
He admonished the multitude to beware the scribes, Pharisees, and other hypocrites and false teachers and leaders (Mar 12:38-40). He admonished them to look to God as their teacher, master, and source of truth, rather than men (Mt 23:8-10).
He admonished His disciples about many things, particularly for the moment at hand to “pray, so that you don’t fall into temptation” (Lk 22:46 NIV).
And He admonished a select few of those disciples about terrible times coming very soon, and what to do when certain specifics happened (Mar 13:14-15; Lk 21:20-21).
Who Has Believed?
Where does prophecy, fulfilled in His Passion Week, come in (since that’s the theme in this month’s posts)?
In giving that last specific warning to some of His disciples, He Himself referred to a prophecy of Daniel (Dan 11:31). And amid His other admonitions He quoted the prophet Isaiah’s words above, “Who has believed our report?…” and applied them to his warnings. (Check out the context by reading Isaiah 53:1-5.)
John 12:37-38 and Romans 10:16 both later applied that same Isaiah verse to people’s failure to believe in Christ as Lord and Savior–“that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled.”
The value of “taking heed”—believing and obeying—made itself evident when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD. Those who received and acted on Jesus’ prophetic warning (passed on by the disciples) fled the city in time and escaped its horrific bloodbath and destruction (Schaff’s History of the Christian Church, vol 1, p. 402).
Heeding Christ’s warnings can do us similar good. Let’s realize the word “watch” that Jesus repeated in prophecies (as in Mk 13:33,35,37) means “keep awake, alert, vigilant, on guard.” Let us get well acquainted with His words in all the gospels and take them seriously. Then let us…
And not be deceived!