In today’s reading, the chapter of Matthew contains many events, beginning with the triumphal entry. The two chapters of Leviticus deal with blood and sexual immorality.
February 16: Matthew 21, Leviticus 17, Leviticus 18 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Matthew 21 starts with the triumphal entry, and that event begins what is called the “holy week” Jesus rode in to Jerusalem on an unbroken colt. In Jerusalem Jesus cleansed the temple and threw out the money changers. The spiritual leaders were offended that people sang “Hosanna in the highest” at the triumphal entry, even that little children sang it. As an object lesson Jesus cursed a fig tree, the symbol of Israel, and it withered. The spiritual leaders also questioned Jesus authority. Instead of giving an answer Jesus gave two parables, the one about the two sons and the parable about the wicked tenants. Moving on, Jesus quoted scripture by saying :The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” meaning that the kingdom of God will be inherited by another people.
Leviticus 17 deals with the sanctity of blood and why eating of blood is forbidden in the Mosaic Law.
Leviticus 18 defines the laws of sexual morality, and especially to stay away from Molech, a Pagan god who enticed the people through sexual orgies, made them pass through the fire and offer child sacrifices (the result of those sexual orgies.)