Holy Week: Day 3: Tuesday
Okay you all, this one is a big one, a long one. Tuesday seems to be the day Jesus did the most preaching and teaching. Now, considering Jesus knows His time is coming to an end, I can only surmise that his last “sermons” have great significance, and,therefore, should be closely studied.
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?”
Jesus goes on to answer them very cleverly, but in a manner not to fall into their trap. This goes to show us that during his final week, he not only had to speak his most urgent messages, but he had to spend his time debating the Pharisees.
Jesus warns the Jews what will happen if they reject Him: (For space saving reasons, I have just added a link to pull up the scriptures. Just click on each scripture reference and it will automatically pull it up for you)
The Parable of the Tenants (Mark 12:1-9)
The Parable of the Two Sons ( Matthew 21:28-32):
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22:1-14):
Please be reminded that 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. It is also a preview of what is to come of the Gospel. The apostles first take the Gospel to the Jews, and when they refuse to hear it, they are instructed to take it to the Gentiles.
Questions for Jesus:
Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar (Mark 12: 13-17)
Here, the Pharisees and Herodians were trying to trap Jesus or create an opportunity for His arrest. However, Jesus surprises them by proclaiming that people are to pay their taxes as well as give money to God. Now while this was directed at the leaders, the lesson for us is that we too are to pay our taxes. This is one of the scriptures that teaches us to respect authority, even if it is not necessarily God’s authority.
Marriage at the Resurrection (Mark 12:18-23)
The Pharisees were just shot down by Jesus, now it is time for the Sadducees to take their turn.
[The Sadducees were not skeptics so to speak, but rather literalists. They were prideful about their knowledge of scriptures and did not believe in the afterlife (resurrection) because they could not find any mention of it in the scriptures. While they believed in the letter of the law, they did not believe in the traditions of Pharisees, which left them at odds with one another.]
The Sadducees’ question about what happens in heaven with a woman who has more than one husband seems innocent enough, but it was far from innocent. They were not asking to prove anything regarding marriage; they were just trying to show that life after death was ridiculous. Furthermore, it is even possible they were trying to trip up Jesus and have him condone incest and break one of God’s laws (if a woman is married to all seven brothers in heaven she is committing incest). Jesus, one again, doesn’t fall for the trap, and uses the scriptures they do accept against them (Sadducees quoted Moses in their question and Jesus answers with a quote from Moses). In Moses, God stated he was the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, as in present tense. He is their God, not he was their God. But before that, he simply lets them know that heaven is not like earth, and marriage will not be the same in heaven.
Which is The Greatest Commandment (Mark 12:28-34)
The short version is that if we love our neighbors as ourselves then we will honor the other commandments because it is hard to steal from our neighbors, lie to our neighbors, covet our neighbors’ spouses if we love them the way we love us. Furthermore, the only way we are going to be able to love our neighbors as ourselves is if we first truly love God. A strong relationship with God leads us to want to follow his commandments. Only God is able to give us the strength and abilities to love the way He demands.
On a side note, non-Christian are still using this one to trip Christians up today.
Whose Son Is the Messiah? (Matthew 22:41-46)
The Pharisees believed Christ to be the Son of David. Jesus here points out that David refers to Christ as Lord, thereby, Christ cannot be the Son of David, because no one refers to their sons as lords.
Sheesh….no wonder Jesus rested on Wednesday. We’ve only covered about half of what was taught on that final Tuesday!!!! Come back shortly, and we will discuss the rest of Jesus’ Tuesday’s teachings.
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,