On Tuesday of the last week of Jesus’ earthly life, He’s focused on faith – and the future.
You can see it on the video blog here: https://vimeo.com/123657717
Passing by the fig tree He had cursed the day before, Jesus hears the comments from His disciples who seem surprised that the tree has withered – and He challenges their faith. It’s as though He’s wondering aloud – “do you even know Who I am?” Do WE? Do we realize the power of Jesus Christ and His very words that heaven and earth respond to? Do we grasp His greatness, and the privilege of knowing and following Him?
Tuesday is the day Jesus speaks on the future – and you find His “Olivet Discourse” in Matthew 24. It’s the most extensive prophecy of the end times we ever hear from Jesus. He foretells the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and simultaneously teaches of His return at the end of time. As Jesus moves quickly towards His death, He’s focusing on the end of the world. He’s revealing that we’re ALL heading toward the end of this earthly life – and ultimately the end of this earth!
He moves towards death on Tuesday, and we’re a day closer every day to our own. Are we ready? Have we lived life with purpose? Do we know the God we will one day meet?
Have you ever contemplated the unfolding of the events of Holy Week? What was Jesus doing in days leading up to the Cross? What was happening around Him that impacted the incredible significance of this event of the crucifixion?
See the video here: Monday of Holy Week
Jesus seemed concerned about three things on Monday: 1) The failure of religion to bring men near to God. Calling the Pharisees “white-washed tombs” on the week leading up to Jesus being placed in a tomb is key. He’s reminding us that man can take any religion – even one established by God Himself – and turn it into a self-serving, prideful exercise that is more characterized by deadness than life. Is YOUR worship dead, or is it alive? Is it Christ-focused, or man-focused?
2) Jesus is also concerned about FRUIT in the lives of His followers. This is the day that Jesus curses the fig tree because it has no fruit on it. The disciples who saw this were perplexed by why Jesus did it – but His purpose is to point out distaste for fruitlessness. It’s an indictment on Israel and her rejection of Jesus Himself. Today, it stands as an indictment upon unfruitful believers in Christ. Look on the tree of your own life? Is there spiritual fruit? Should Jesus expect to see fruit in your life as He examines under the leaves – or are there “nothing but leaves”?
3) Jesus cleanses the temple on this day – a strong testimony of His heart for PURE WORSHIP and His authority to purify worship. It’s clear Jesus had a passion for pure worship and a passion for prayer. “My house shall be called a house of prayer.” Reconsider your worship this week in light of Jesus’ actions on Monday. Is it pure, or selfish? Is it about God, or about you?
On Monday, Jesus breaks down what is not worth keeping, and sets straight the path to the ultimate sacrifice – death on the Cross for mankind.
Thoughts from John Meador and insights from God's Word.