Holy Week: Day 3: Tuesday
Okay you all, this one is a big one. Tuesday seems to be the day Jesus did the most preaching and teaching. As I said at the beginning of this series, I not only want to take a serious look at what Jesus did during Holy Week, but what he taught. I mean think about it for a minute. Jesus knows His time is coming to an end; therefore, I believe, he is going to preach on the most important topics.
Mark 11:20-26 (NIV): In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots.21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly[f] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
You may remember this fig tree from Monday’s events. Jesus was hungry and found a fig tree hoping to eat of its fruit. Unfortunately, there was no fruit, so Jesus cursed the fig tree. In Mark’s account, on Tuesday, Jesus and His followers passed by the same fig tree and found that it had withered. Peter seems surprised by this, making it a perfect time for Jesus to teach us about faith.
Jesus is making it clear that unbelief has not part in faith. He stated that if we truly believe what we claim, it will happen. I think this is where most of us fail. When we pray for something, I think most of us hope it will happen, but I am not sure we truly believe it will happen. We must remove all doubt and unbelief before we can expect these kinds of results.
The Authority of Jesus Questioned
Mark 11:27-33 (NIV): They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. 28 “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”
29 Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 30 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!”
31 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)
33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
This just goes to show you that once again Jesus had to spend time debating with the Pharisees, while they lay trap after trap for Him, reinforcing for us just who He truly is.
Jesus Speaks in Parables:
The Parable of the Tenants (Mark 12:1-9) (Story also found in other Gospels)
12 Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.
6 “He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
7 “But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
9 “What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.
Clearly this is referring to God sending His son, Jesus Christ, and also a sly reference to what is to become of the Jewish leaders who do not accept Jesus as the Messiah.
The Parable of the Two Sons ( Matthew 21:28-32):
28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.
Once again Jesus is aiming for the Pharisees, but teaches us a valuable lesson as well. Jesus is rebuking the Jews for not accepting Him as the Messiah and also teaching the importance of obedience.
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22:1-14):
22 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’
5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.
13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Once again, a harsh rebuked aimed at the Jews who have rejected Jesus. However, while these parables are aimed at the Jews, God’s chosen people, it applies to any who have heard the Good News but refuse to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Yes, there is a lot here, but we have so much more to look at. Come back tomorrow as we continue to take a close look at the teachings of Jesus during his final week on earth (prior to death and resurrection).