Tuesday of Passion Week
Tuesday: Mark 11:20 - 13:37
Once again, Jesus and the disciples head towards Jerusalem from Bethany. The cursed fig tree from yesterday is now dead and withered away. Peter reminds Christ about yesterday’s ‘altercation’ with this tree and Christ’s response is simply, “Have faith in God.” He continues on towards Jerusalem as He explains the power of undoubting, mountain-moving faith. It’s important to notice that at the end of this mini-lesson on faith He warns his disciples about the importance of forgiveness to those that have wronged them. It seems as Jesus is telling us that His strength is all-powerful through our faith, yet our ability to draw on that power is incredibly limited when we won’t forgive wrongs against us. What’s the point? Don’t Hold a Grudge! God’s power through you is at a minimum when you hold on to past hurts. It isn’t a coincidence that Jesus is teaching the disciples about forgiveness knowing what is coming toward the end of the week.
Jesus enters the temple again but this time, instead of chaos and wickedness, multitudes gather immediately to hear Jesus teach. This adoration for the man that claims to be God’s own Son maddens the chief priest, scribes, and elders to a new level. They waste no time in the attempts to ensnare Jesus in false teaching. They begin to ask a series of questions to trap Jesus in a wrong answer.
It doesn't work.
First Question: 11:28 - “...who gave thee this authority to do these things?”
Second Question: 12:14 - “Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?”
Third Question: 12:18-23 - Whose wife in the Resurrection?
Fourth Question: 12:28 - “Which is the first commandment of all?”
Through all these questions Jesus shows heavenly wisdom. Take time to read His responses to each question. The grace shown through each answer as well as the unashamed truth put forth could teach Christians today an excellent understanding of how to correspond with those that don’t have their best interest. On the way back to Bethany from Jerusalem Jesus sits on the mount of Olives with Peter, James, John, and Andrew to discuss the coming wickedness of the nations as well as the persecution of believers. He doesn’t speak of doomsday with His disciples without giving them one of the most encouraging phrases in all scripture….”Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.” (vs. 31) The disciples had grown to love and trust Jesus with their lives. They had every reason to believe Jesus’ every word, so what an encouragement it must have been to hear Jesus say that He is coming back so they better, and we better, “...watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” (vs.33)