Last night Jesus was back in Bethany. The turmoil of the overturned tables of yesterday brought intense attention upon him as he reentered the Temple this morning. The Pharisees and religious protectors of temple tradition hated him for his actions. To them he was a trouble maker and perhaps worst. To others, he was a breath of fresh hope and a new found hero. He carried for them the possibility change was coming and their hope for a better place in the social order was placed on his shoulders.
This morning, the minute he entered the Temple, all eyes were on him. Some with stares of hate and others with adoration. Today what he would do or say would confirm his future.
Today, Jesus does not throw around furniture. He teaches. Today, he puts his message and truth out for all to see. As you can imagine, his teachings serve the same purpose as the overturning of tables. Some are incensed because they find themselves accused and revealed. Others take great joy in the possibility that Jesus is telling them they may be more important to God and have a better place in the Kingdom of God than they had in the world now.
As soon as Jesus entered the Temple…..”the chief priests and the scribes came with the elders 2 and said to him, “Tell us, by what authority are you doing these things? Who is it who gave you this authority?” His answer and the adoration of the crowd around him frustrated his questioners and prevented them from doing anything to him today.
He watches the widow place her humble gift before God and in offering out of her poverty gives a sweeter gift than the wealthy who give only from their abundance and for their own glory. (Luke 21: 1-4)
He calls out the hypocrisy of those who have become religiously unfaithful. From Matthew 23, these words illustrate his biting inditement is hard to hear. “Blind guides! … For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness…Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?”
Later in the afternoon, he leaves the temple and goes to the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives is a mountain ridge east of and adjacent to Jerusalem. There he speaks judgement on the false religion of his day and even dares to predict the destruction of the Temple. (Which did occur 37 years later!)
One other thing happens today. Judas completes his deal with the chief priests and officers of the temple police about how he might betray Jesus. Today is a hard day as the drama of the battle between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the World collide to set up an inevitable battle.
Take time to hear the teachings of Jesus today. I encourage you to read Luke 20 -21: 36.
If you want to read more about today, read the following scripture. The the events of Tuesday and the Olivet Discourse are recorded in Matthew 21:23–24:51, Mark 11:20–13:37, Luke 20:1–21:36, and John 12:20–38.
What strikes you the most of what happens on this Holy Tuesday as Jesus continues deeper into this week?