Tuesday: fig tree day
As Jesus and his followers traveled the same ground as the morning before, they ran across the same fig tree. But this time the tree was not green and inviting, but withered because of Jesus’ curse. Jesus connects the fig tree to the temple. From a distance both seemed to offer nourishment (physical nourishment from the tree, spiritual nourishment from the temple), but upon closer inspection neither had anything to offer. The fig tree was green but had no figs; the temple was impressive but had nothing to offer. Just as the fig tree was destroyed the temple would be destroyed. And it was destroyed about 40 years later.
Jesus spends the rest of Tuesday teaching both in the newly cleansed temple and on Mt. Olivet. As the crowds gather, the religious powers that be bark a series of challenges at Jesus—he responds and then goes on the offensive by teaching a series of parables to them. The whole scene makes for some high drama. The crowds watch as Jesus unmasks the Pharisees for what they are—an unspiritual clan of hypocrites. No wonder these same Pharisees want to kill Jesus.
As night falls on Tuesday his disciples once again misunderstand what Jesus is doing (we are just the same) and blather on about how impressive the temple was. Jesus tells them it will be destroyed and then gives them a glimpse of the future.
Scriptures to Reference:
- Matthew 21:20-23, 39
- Mark 11:20-12:44
- Luke 20:1-21:4
- 50 Reasons Jesus Came to Die by John Piper (Free download)
For the Kids:
- The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones (available to purchase via Amazon using the link above; also available in the church bookstore; audio book also available via Amazon HERE)
- The Easter Story for Children by Max Lucado