Holy Week: Day 2: Monday:
Mark 11:12-19 (NIV): The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.
15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’[c]? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’[d]”
18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples[e] went out of the city.
[Please note the timeline depicted throughout this series is just a rough estimation as the Gospels, while very close, some have minor differences. Matthew’s version of the fig tree seems to happen in one day, while Mark’s seems to take place on two different days. Despite the minor discrepancy, they both say virtually the same thing.]
On Monday, while presumably on His way to the Temple, Jesus became hungry and sought out a fig tree. He was not happy to find that there were no figs (fruit) on the tree. He, therefore, cursed the tree. Some theorize this was symbolic of the corrupt Jewish Leaders, others say it is directed at all believers and represents God’s feelings on the lack of spiritual fruit in all believers’ lives. I happen to believe the latter.
Jesus then went on to the Temple and found it overrun with corrupt money changers and such, which, once again, did not make him happy. He flipped some tables and ran out all the corruption. Some try to use this as proof that Jesus in fact did sin. They believe Jesus was angry and anger is a sin.
Surprisingly enough, I found a very good write-up on this topic athttp://www.gotquestions.org/anger.html
Anger is not always sin. There is a type of anger of which the Bible approves, often called “righteous indignation.” God is angry (Psalm 7:11;Mark 3:5), and believers are commanded to be angry (Ephesians 4:26). Two Greek words in the New Testament are translated as “anger.” One means “passion, energy” and the other means “agitated, boiling.” Biblically, anger is God-given energy intended to help us solve problems. Examples of biblical anger include David’s being upset over hearing Nathan the prophet sharing an injustice (2 Samuel 12) and Jesus’ anger over how some of the Jews had defiled worship at God’s temple in Jerusalem (John 2:13-18). Notice that neither of these examples of anger involved self-defense, but a defense of others or of a principle………
Anger can become sinful when it is motivated by pride (James 1:20), when it is unproductive and thus distorts God’s purposes (1 Corinthians 10:31), or when anger is allowed to linger (Ephesians 4:26-27). One obvious sign that anger has turned to sin is when, instead of attacking the problem at hand, we attack the wrongdoer.Ephesians 4:15-19 says we are to speak the truth in love and use our words to build others up, not allow rotten or destructive words to pour from our lips. Unfortunately, this poisonous speech is a common characteristic of fallen man (Romans 3:13-14). Anger becomes sin when it is allowed to boil over without restraint, resulting in a scenario in which hurt is multiplied (Proverbs 29:11), leaving devastation in its wake. Often, the consequences of out-of-control anger are irreparable. Anger also becomes sin when the angry one refuses to be pacified, holds a grudge, or keeps it all inside (Ephesians 4:26-27). This can cause depression and irritability over little things, which are often unrelated to the underlying problem.
Jesus’ righteous anger gives us a glimpse of how important it is to keep holy things holy. What have our churches become? Have we let the world invade our churches and make them corrupt and unholy? We must also remember that “church” is more than a building…..we are the church. Have we allowed sin to crepe in and call what God has deemed holy unholy?
Okay…on we go…..
Matthew’s version gives us a little more on the happenings on Monday.
Matthew 21:14-17 (NIV): The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.
16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’[g]?” 17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
After running out all the corruption, He went on with His teaching and healing. He did not let what had happened keep him from continuing on with what He came to do. May that, in itself, be a lesson to us.
Furthermore, Mark and Matthew versions show that as Jesus’ popularity grows, the Jewish leaders’ hatred of Jesus grows, which just fuels the fire and makes His death all the more necessary to those who oppose Him.
At the end of the day He returned to the city of Bethany, most likely to the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha.
Join us tomorrow to find out what Christ did on Tuesday.