Tuesday, April 7th
What was Jesus doing on Tuesday of Holy Week?
It’s important that, as we move through Holy Week, we begin to see and understand the resolute focus and intentionality of Jesus that is reflected back to us by the Gospel writers…
He, with the Disciples, Passed by The Barren Fig Tree: Matthew 21:19-22
This object lesson teaching of Jesus on faith and prayer emphasizes that the power of prayer lies not in the power of the person praying but, in the power and promises of God. Our freedom from doubt begins to arise from a growing awareness that something is truly God’s will. True faith receives what it asks for. True trust is not presumptive arrogance but submission to God’s will.
The Authority of Jesus is Challenged in the Temple: Matthew 21:23-27.
When Jesus entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus was no stranger to controversy and conflict with the religious establishment. Most Jewish people (including the disciples of Jesus) held a fixed (but wrong) view of how the Messiah should come and what He would do. The demands of the chief priests and the elders emanated from a stubborn place and a desire for personal power and comfort rather than a heart that desired to know and do the will of God.
Leaving the Temple, Jesus and the Disciples walked up the Mount of Olives, probably to a place that overlooked the city. Matthew 24-25 are the last of Jesus’ five teaching discourses that make up the bulk of Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus is speaking to His disciples, giving them a prophetic overview of events to come in the near and distant future. Here’s how to outline the chapters…
- Jesus foretells the destruction of the temple (which happened in 70 A.D.). (24:1-3)
- The troubles before the destruction of Jerusalem. (24:4-28)
- Jesus foretells other signs and miseries. (24:29-41)
- Exhortations to watchfulness. (24:42-51)
- The parable of the ten virgins. (25:1-13)
- The parable of the talents. (25:14-30)
- The Second Coming and Judgement. (25:31-46)
As we can see, Tuesday was a packed day of exhortation and instruction! A concise overview of the day’s focus would be:
- A pattern for personal prayer that it is not petitioning God to do our will, but a humble inquiring of God to share His will for us.
- The natural drift of the human heart is toward selfishness, personal comfort, and control. It is essential that we engage the Christian life as humble learners.
- Jesus will not take His followers around suffering, but through suffering—and we are to be watchful, prepared, and productive along the way—because judgement is coming.
- Consider your prayer life. Ask God to draw you after Him in a new and powerful way. “Draw me after you and let us run together!” –Song of Solomon 1:4a
- Where is personal preference, stubbornness, and control hindering your relationship with God and others? Get real.
- Where are you stuck in your longing for comfort in the midst of our call to stand firm for Jesus even when it means suffering?
Tim Keller and George Hebert on Prayer
The Christian’s Call to Suffer