The Christmas season is upon us with the many traditions, events, and emotions of the season. In all of it, I hope we take some time to ponder the reason for the season, which is to celebrate the birth of a small baby in Bethlehem.
In Matthew's gospel, Jesus gave his final public teachings in chapters 21 through 23, shortly after arriving in Jerusalem just ahead of the Passover celebration. Matthew structured these teachings as three parables of judgment followed by four interactions. These seven pericopes represent a perfect final public engagement before turning his time solely to his disciples.