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It is Getting Real

Monday came and went for us but did you know what transpired THAT week? Did it even cross your mind? We are so familiar with Sunday's triumphant entry into Jerusalem and the events that occur later in the week. Yet we skip over things that transpire in-between.

Let's pause for a moment to reflect on Monday. Most of us aren't particularly excited about Mondays. If you aren't excited about Mondays, how do you think Jesus felt? Keep in mind, although He did not know every single detail, He knew what was going to happen this particular week. Do you think, just maybe, if ever in the history of time, anyone could justifiably have a "case of the Mondays" He of all people would be entitled? Yet, He wasn't.

We can find Monday's events recorded in Matthew 21:12–22, Mark 11:15–19, Luke 19:45-48, and John 2:13-17. Two significant events transpired:

  • Jesus cursed a fig tree because it wasn't bearing fruit. This is significant (as you will see) for a specific reason. He did not do it because He was angry. This was basically a way to "show" His point. Just like He told parables to relay His message, in this instance, He chose to actually give a visual. From a distance, the fig tree "looked" perfect. It looked like a fig tree should. It looked so much so, He actually walked up to it to get a fig. But once there, there were no figs; only leaves. Much like what Jesus says in Matthew 21:43, "What I mean is that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce proper fruit" Jesus was telling them if you only look like you have faith but put in no work, you are like this fig tree.

  • Jesus cleared out the temple for the second time. Mark 11:17 tells us, "He taught them, 'The Scriptures declare, 'My Temple will be called a place of prayer for all nations but you have turned it into a den of thieves." He had found they were using the temple for profit - big business - during Passover. Those who had come from foreign countries had to have their money changed to Temple currency because this was the only money accepted for Temple tax and sacrificial animals. The prices were outrageous, worship was impeded and the House of God was literally being defiled.

Jesus had been teaching. There were some who were still enthusiastic and excited as well as curious about Him. Not once but twice He cleared the Temple. Guess who no longer wanted Him alive? The leading priests and religious leaders.

Now it is Tuesday. We learn that Jesus and His disciples had left the city Monday night and spent the night in Bethany.

Tuesday is the day it all starts to get real. I encourage you to read scripture on Tuesday's events which can be found in Matthew 21:23–24:51, Mark 11:20–13:37, Luke 20:1–21:36, and John 12:20–38.

Tuesday finds Jesus and the disciples starting the day by going back into Jerusalem.

Key events that happened on Tuesday:

  • Religious leaders had tried to ambush Jesus upon His return but they failed. Jesus then did something that challenged society's norms - He warned against the religious leaders, condemned the religious leaders and grieved over Jerusalem. Can you imagine witnessing this? How dare He? First, He evaded their capture then He called them out in front of everyone. If this were to happen today, it would openly be called hate speech and a whole bunch of other things. But why? Because it was the Truth.

  • Jesus then took His disciples to the Mount of Olives. The recounting of this is so important, you can find it in Matthew 24 and 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21. Some scholars refer to it as "The Olivet Discourse or Olivet prophecy." In this particular set of passages, Jesus is very clear when He speaks on things that will happen, His return, the importance of being watchful and final judgement. While there is not time or space to discuss this in this particular blog (maybe a future one) I strongly encourage you to read it, in its entirety in all three Gospels.

But the events of that Tuesday, as charged as they were did not stop there. Scripture indicates that this Tuesday was also the day Judas Iscariot negotiated with the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16).

How quickly the tides have changed. It was only two days ago - 48 hours - that Jesus rode into and was hailed as a king, welcomed by all. Now, there are plots to kill Him even whispers of plots to betray Him by those closest to Him. Those who cheered Him are starting to doubt and wonder. Jesus knows and yet He still continues. He does not waver; He does not bend. He does not run.

It is Tuesday. It is getting real. Is it real enough for you yet?

What does tomorrow hold?

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