March 27th, 2018–IGNITE

Remember the day that you thought would never end? It went on and on and just about the time you finished whatever it was you were doing, you realized you had one more chore to do before you could call it a day. That’s what the life of Jesus must have felt like on the Tuesday of His last week. There is more recorded about this day than any other day, with the possible exception of Friday and the crucifixion.

Tuesday started out with Jesus and the disciples returning to Jerusalem from Bethany, just like Monday. As they are all walking into Jerusalem they once again walk past the fig tree that Jesus cursed and see that it truly is all withered and dead. Jesus once again talks about the fig tree and what it signifies.

When they finally get to the temple, Jesus is bombarded by the religious leaders about the cleansing Jesus did yesterday and who gave Him the right to do that? The reason they were questioning Him was not because they were so spiritual or really cared, but because they lost a lot of money yesterday in selling sacrifices. Jesus brings up John the Baptist, but not because He is trying to dodge the issue at hand, but since they didn’t listen to John why would they question Jesus’ authority.

Jesus then uses the opportunity to confront His critics with a question about Christ, which totally baffles them. What follows is three parables, the parable of which son did their father’s will… one about a vineyard and then another about a wedding banquet… showing them that God was going to destroy the temple because of their wickedness. He ended it all with a stinging criticism of the religious leaders. That pretty much ended His public ministry, so to speak. After this the focus turns from the public ministry, to Jesus focusing His attention on His disciples.

An interesting thing happens as Jesus is leaving the temple. Before He actually steps out one last time, He sits down for a moment, like He wants to take it all in. He then sees the widow throwing her last mite into the collection plate. That’s how He leaves the temple.

He then takes the disciples to the Mount of Olives and talks about the days of Noah… tells a parable about ten virgins… tells another about a man traveling into a far away country… and ends it with a parable about sheep and goats. This whole discussion was to warn the disciples about the events which would come down on Jerusalem.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: That might seem like a lot of information about a day in the life of Jesus that wasn’t so nice. But remember, this is His last week. If you had only one week to live would you spend it like this? He did. He did it for you and for me. He did it to open our eyes to see Him as the Passover Lamb slain for the world and to open our ears to hear the truth. He invested in you all He had. That’s what mattered to Him. You’re the reason He did it.

Keep my heart, mind, soul and spirit focused today, not on myself, but on my Savior. Jesus in Your name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen