Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Passion Week - Tuesday

There were many teachings of Jesus that are recorded as happening on Tuesday of the Holy Week. However, is acknowledged that nothing is documented as occurring on the Wednesday, so I will add some commentary for Tuesday’s events in the Wednesday portion of this passion week.

For now, we will simply read the scriptures.  All scripture is from Mark except for the passage in Matthew 23 which is also attributed to Tuesday. All headings and sections below are from the Phillips NT in Modern English.

Jesus' authority is directly challenged
Mark 11:27-28 - So they came once more to Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the Temple, the chief priests, elders and scribes approached him, and asked, "What authority have you for what you're doing? And who gave you permission to do these things?"
Mark 11:29-30 - "I am going to ask you a question," replied Jesus, "and if you answer me, I will tell you what authority I have for what I do. The baptism of John, now - did it come from Heaven or was it purely human? Tell me that."
Mark 11:31-32 - At this they argued with each other, "If we say from Heaven, he will say, 'then why didn't you believe in him?' but if we say it was purely human, well ..." For they were frightened of the people, since all of them believed that John was a real prophet.
Mark 11:33 - So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." "Then I cannot tell you by what authority I do these things," returned Jesus.
Mark 12:1a - Then he began to talk to them in parables.
Mark 12:1b-11 - "A man once planted a vineyard," he said, "fenced it round, dug out the hole for the wine-press and built a watch-tower. Then he let it out to some farm-workers and went abroad. At the end of the season he sent a servant to the tenants to receive his share of the vintage. But they got hold of him, knocked him about and sent him off empty-handed. The owner tried again. He sent another servant to them, but this one they knocked on the head and generally insulted. Once again he sent them another servant, but him they murdered. He sent many others and some they beat up and some they murdered. He had one man left - his own son who was very dear to him. He sent him last of all to the tenants, saying to himself, 'They will surely respect my own son.' But they said to each other, 'This fellow is the future owner - come on, let's kill him, and the property will be ours! So they got hold of him and murdered him, and threw his body out of the vineyard. What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard is going to do? He will come and destroy the men who were working his vineyard and will hand it over to others. Have you never read this scripture - 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?'"
Mark 12:12 - Then they tried to get their hands on him, for they knew perfectly well that he had aimed this parable at them - but they were afraid of the people. So they left him and went away.
A test question
Mark 12:13-15a - Later they sent some of the Pharisees and some of the Herod-party to trap him in an argument. They came up and said to him, "Master, we know that you are an honest man and that you are not swayed by men's opinion of you. Obviously you don't care for human approval but teach the way of God with the strictest regard for truth - is it right to pay tribute to Caesar or not: are we to pay or not to pay?"
Mark 12:15b - But Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said to them, "Why try this trick on me? Bring me a coin and let me look at it."
Mark 12:16 - So they brought one to him. "Whose face is this?" asked Jesus, "and whose name is in the inscription?"
Mark 12:17 - "Caesar's," they replied. And Jesus said, "Then give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God!" - a reply which staggered them.
Jesus reveals the ignorance of the Sadducees
Mark 12:18-23 - Then some of the Sadducees (a party which maintains that there is no resurrection) approached him, and put this question to him, "Master, Moses instructed us that if a man's brother dies leaving a widow but no child, then the man should marry the woman and raise children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers, and the first one married and died without leaving issue. Then the second one married the widow and died leaving no issue behind him. The same thing happened with the third, and indeed the whole seven died without leaving any child behind them. Finally the woman died. Now in this 'resurrection', when men will rise up again, whose wife is she going to be - for she was the wife of all seven of them?"
Mark 12:24-27 - Jesus replied, "Does not this show where you go wrong - and how you fail to understand both the scriptures and the power of God? When people rise from the dead they neither marry nor are they given in marriage; they live like the angels in Heaven. But as for this matter of the dead being raised, have you never read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him in these words, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? God is not God of the dead but of living men! That is where you make your great mistake!"
The most important commandments
Mark 12:28 - Then one of the scribes approached him. He had been listening to the discussion, and noticing how well Jesus had answered them, he put this question to him, "What are we to consider the greatest commandment of all?"
Mark 12:29-31 - "The first and most important one is this," Jesus replied - '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 mind, and with all your strength'. The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself'. No other commandment is greater than these."
Mark 12:32-33 - "I am well answered," replied the scribe. "You are absolutely right when you say that there is one God and no other God exists but him; and to love him with the whole of our hearts, the whole of our intelligence and the whole of our energy, and to love our neighbours as ourselves is infinitely more important than all these burnt-offerings and sacrifices."
Mark 12:34 - The Jesus, noting the thoughtfulness of his reply, said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God!" After this nobody felt like asking him any more questions.
Jesus criticises the scribes' teaching and behaviour
Mark 12:35-36 - Later, while Jesus was teaching in the Temple he remarked, "How can the scribes make out the Christ is David's son, for David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said, 'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool'.
Mark 12:37 - David is himself calling Christ 'Lord' - where do they get the idea that he is his son?"
Mark 12:38-40 - The vast crowd heard this with great delight and Jesus continued in his teaching, "Be on your guard against these scribes who love to walk about in long robes and to be greeted respectfully in public and to have the front seats in the synagogue and the best places at dinner-parties! These are the men who grow fat on widow's property and cover up what they are doing by making lengthy prayers. They are only adding to their own punishment!"
Mark 12:41-44 - Then Jesus sat down opposite the Temple almsbox and watched the people putting their money into it. A great many rich people put in large sums. Then a poor widow came up and dropped in two little coins, worth together about a halfpenny. Jesus called his disciples to his side and said to them, "Believe me, this poor widow has put in more than all the others. For they have all put in what they can easily afford, but she in her poverty who needs so much, has given away everything, her whole living!"
Matthew 23

He publicly warns the people against their religious leaders
Matthew 23:1-12 - Then Jesus addressed the crowds and his disciples. "The scribes and the Pharisees speak with the authority of Moses," he told them, "so you must do what they tell you and follow their instructions. But you must not imitate their lives! For they preach but do not practise. They pile up back-breaking burdens and lay them on other men's shoulders - yet they themselves will not raise a finger to move them. Their whole lives are planned with an eye to effect. They increase the size of their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their robes; they love seats of honour at dinner parties and front places in the synagogues. They love to be greeted with respect in public places and to have men call them 'rabbi!' Don't you ever be called 'rabbi' - you have only one teacher, and all of you are brothers. And don't call any human being 'father' - for you have one Father and he is in Heaven. And you must not let people call you 'leaders' - you have only one leader, Christ! The only 'superior' among you is the one who serves the others. For every man who promotes himself will be humbled, and every man who learns to be humble will find promotion.
Matthew 23:13-14 - "But alas for you, you scribes and Pharisees, play-actors that you are! You lock the door of the kingdom of Heaven in men's faces; you will not go in yourselves neither will you allow those at the door to go inside.
Matthew 23:15 - "Alas for you, you scribes and Pharisees, play-actors! You scour sea and land to make a single convert, and then you make him twice as ripe for destruction as you are yourselves.
Matthew 23:16-22 - "Alas for you, you blind leaders! You say, 'if anyone swears by the Temple it amounts to nothing, but if he swears by the gold of the Temple he is bound by his oath.' You blind fools, which is the more important, the gold or the Temple which sanctifies the gold? And you say, 'If anyone swears by the altar it doesn't matter, but if he swears by the gift placed on the altar he is bound by his oath.' Have you no eyes - which is more important, the gift, or the altar which sanctifies the gift? Any man who swears by the altar is swearing by the altar and whatever is offered upon it; and anyone who swears by the Temple is swearing by the Temple and by him who dwells in it; and anyone who swears by Heaven is swearing by the throne of God and by the one who sits upon that throne.
Matthew 23:23-24 - "Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you utter frauds! For you pay your tithe on mint and aniseed and cummin, and neglect the things which carry far more weight in the Law - justice, mercy and good faith. These are the things you should have observed - without neglecting the others. You call yourselves leaders, and yet you can't see an inch before your noses, for you filter out the mosquito and swallow the camel.
Matthew 23:25-26 - "What miserable frauds you are, you scribes and Pharisees! You clean the outside of the cup and the dish, while the inside is full of greed and self-indulgence. Can't you see, Pharisee? First wash the inside of a cup, and then you can clean the outside.
Matthew 23:27-28 - "Alas for you, you hypocritical scribes and Pharisees! You are like white-washed tombs, which look fine on the outside but inside are full of dead men's bones and all kinds of rottenness. For you appear like good men on the outside - but inside you are a mass of pretence and wickedness.
Matthew 23:29-36 - "What miserable frauds you are, you scribes and Pharisees! You build tombs for the prophets, and decorate monuments for good men of the past, and then say, 'If we had lived in the times of our ancestors we should never have joined in the killing of the prophets.' Yes, 'your ancestors' - that shows you to be sons indeed of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead then, and finish off what your ancestors tried to do! You serpents, you viper's brood, how do you think you are going to avoid being condemned to the rubbish-heap? Listen to this: I am sending you prophets and wise and learned men; and some of these you will kill and crucify, other you will flog in your synagogues and hunt from town to town. So that on your hands is all the innocent blood spilt on this earth, from the blood of Abel the good to the blood of Zachariah, Barachiah's son, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Yes, I tell you that all this will be laid at the doors of this generation.
Jesus mourns over Jerusalem, and foretells its destruction
Matthew 23:37-39 - "Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You murder the prophets and stone the messengers that are sent to you. How often have I longed to gather your children round me like a bird gathering her brood together under her wing - and you would never have it. Now all you have left is your house. I tell you that you will never see me again till the day when you cry, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'"

Jesus prophesies the ruin of the Temple

Mark 13:1 - Then as Jesus was leaving the Temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Master, what wonderful stonework, what a size these building are!"
Mark 13:2 - Jesus replied, "You see these great buildings? Not a single stone will be left standing on another; every one will be thrown down!"
Mark 13:3-4 - Then while he was sitting on the slope of the Mount of Olives facing the Temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew said to him privately, "Tell us, when will these things happen? What sign will there be that all these things are going to be accomplished?"
Mark 13:5-11 - So Jesus began to tell them: "Be very careful that no one deceives you. Many are going to come in my name and say, 'I am he', and will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, don't be alarmed. such things are bound to happen, but the end is not yet. Nation will take up arms against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in different places and terrible famines. But this is only the beginnings of 'the pains'. You yourselves must keep your wits about you, for men will hand you over to their councils, and will beat you in their synagogues. You will have to stand in front of rulers and kings for my sake to bear your witness to them - for before the end comes the Gospel must be proclaimed to all nations. But when they are taking you off to trial, do not worry beforehand about what you are going to say - simply say the words you are given when the time comes. For it not really you who will speak, but the Holy Spirit.
Jesus foretells utter misery
Mark 13:12-13 - "A brother is going to betray his own brother to death, and a father his own child. Children will stand up against their parents and condemn them to death. There will come a time when the whole world will hate you because you are known as my followers. Yet the man who holds out to the end will be saved.
Mark 13:14-20 - "But when you see 'the abomination of desolation' standing where it ought not - (let the reader take note of this) - then those who are in Judea must fly to the hills! The man on his house-top must not go down nor go into his house to fetch anything out of it, and the man in the field must not turn back to fetch his coat. Alas for the women who are pregnant at that time, and alas for those with babies at their breasts! Pray God that it may not be winter when that time comes, for there will be such utter misery in those days as had never been from the creation until now - and never will be again. Indeed, if the Lord did not shorten those days, no human beings could survive. But for the sake of the people whom he has chosen he has shortened those days.
He warns against false christs, and commands vigilance
Mark 13:21-23 - "If anyone tells you at that time, 'Look, here is Christ', or 'Look, there he is', don't believe it! For false christs and false prophets will arise and will perform signs and wonders, to deceive, if it be possible, even the men of God's choice. You must keep your eyes open! I am giving you this warning before it happens.
Mark 13:24-25 - "But when that misery is past, 'the light of the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give her light; stars will be falling from the sky and the powers of heaven will rock on their foundations'.
Mark 13:26-27 - Then men shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send out his angels to summon his chosen together from every quarter, from furthest earth to highest heaven.
Mark 13:28-33 - "Let the fig-tree illustrate this for you: when its branches grow tender and produce leaves, you know that summer is near, at your very doors! I tell you that this generation will not have passed until all these things have come true. Earth and sky will pass away, but what I have told you will never pass away! But no one knows the day or the hour of this happening, not even the angels in Heaven, no, not even the Son - only the Father. Keep your eyes open, keep on the alert, for you do not know when the time will be.
Mark 13:34-37 -"It is as if a man who is travelling abroad had left his house and handed it over to be managed by his servants. He has given each one his work to do and has ordered the doorkeeper to be on the look-out for his return. Just so must you keep a look-out, for you do not know when the master of the house will come - it might be late evening, or midnight, or cock-crow, or early morning - otherwise he might come unexpectedly and find you sound asleep. What I am saying to you I am saying to all; keep on the alert!"

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