Thank you for joining me through the Passion Week. If you missed the posts for Sunday or Monday you can catch up any time. We have talked about Jesus’ triumphal entry, the cursing of the fig tree, and the cleansing of the temple. Now we’re going to look at what happened to the fig tree and some of Jesus’ teaching on Tuesday.
As Jesus and His disciples were traveling back in to Jerusalem Tuesday morning, they saw the fig tree which Jesus cursed from the day before. Peter pointed out that the tree was withered. Take a look at Jesus’ response.
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” – Mark 11:22-23
God still works in the world. If He didn’t, then why would we be commanded to pray and told that if we believe, God will grant our prayers?
They traveled on to Jerusalem, and Jesus went back to the temple where He cast out the money changers the day before. This time the chief priests and scribes asked Jesus what His authority was. Jesus told the parable of the wicked vinedressers which described the owner of a vineyard sending servants and finally his son to the workers for fruit. Each of them was killed. (Mark 12:1-11) The chief priests and scribes wanted to arrest Jesus then, but they were afraid of the people. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for Jesus to tell this story. He knew all along this is exactly what would happen to Him, but He was willing to do it. For us.
In turn, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes asked Jesus questions to try to catch Him in a fault. They weren’t able to trick Him, and after that people stopped asking Him questions. One of the questions Jesus was asked was which is the first commandment. Here is His answer:
Jesus answered him, “The first of all commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:29-31
No commandment is insignificant, but everything depends on these two. If we truly love God and each other, everything else nearly falls into place.
Jesus continued His teaching with the widow and two mites, the destruction of the temple, and teaching about the second coming and end of time. He explains that no one knows when the end of time will be. “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:37) The most important thing is to always be ready for His return.
Check back tomorrow for the next in our series through the Passion Week.
May the Lord bless and keep you,