Showing posts from August, 2022

Tuesday, Trap of Words

Jesus and His disciples returned to Jerusalem and to the temple courts. And Jesus was walking and teaching and proclaiming the gospel. There He was confronted by the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people (the elders being the Sanhedrin; the Jewish council). These were the people who wanted to kill Jesus, and they had not been successful to this point. While it is not certain, it seems that they had decided on a strategy to catch Jesus by using His own words against Him. And so, they asked Him a very sensitive question: “Tell us. By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You the authority to do them?” Jesus replied by throwing the same sensitive question back at them. He said, “I will also ask you one question. And if you answer Me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” Then Jesus asked, “What was the source of John’s baptism? Was it from heaven or from people? Answer Me!” All the Jewish leaders deliberated among themselves on wh

Tuesday, Withered Fig Tree

The next morning, as Jesus and His disciples were traveling back to Jerusalem, they passed the fig tree that Jesus had cursed. The disciples saw that the tree had withered from its roots, and they marveled. Peter spoke up, saying, “Look, Rabbi (Teacher)! The fig tree You cursed has withered.” And the other disciples added, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” “Have faith in God,” Jesus said to them. “Truly I tell you that if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and have no doubt in your heart but believe that it will happen, it will be done for you. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand to pray, if you hold anything against another, forgive it, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your trespasses as well.” See Matthew 21:19‭b-‬22; Mark 11:20‭-‬26 Notes: 1. “Th

Monday, Routine

During the Passover Feast, Jesus made it easy for anyone in Jerusalem to find Him because Jesus kept to a specific routine. During the day, Jesus taught at the temple. When evening came, Jesus left the city and took a one-hour walk to the east—about 2.5 miles—to the Mount of Olives, where He spent the night. Early in the morning, Jesus walked back to Jerusalem and resumed teaching in the temple. And, because of this routine, everyone in Jerusalem did find and listened to Jesus.   See Luke 21:37-38

Monday, Temple Cleared

When Jesus and His disciples arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling doves. And He would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. Then Jesus began to teach the people. Recalling the words of Isaiah and Jeremiah, He declared, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” People brought the blind and the lame to Jesus at the temple, and He healed them. But the chief priests and scribes were indignant when they saw the wonders Jesus performed and when they saw and heard the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked. “Yes,” Jesus answered. Then He recalled the psalmist, saying, “Have you never read: ‘From the mouths of children and infants You have ordai

Monday, Fruitless

The next morning, as Jesus and His disciples were traveling from Bethany back to Jerusalem, Jesus was hungry. And down the road, in the distance, He saw a fig tree in leaf. Now, Jesus knew it was not yet the season for figs. But Jesus also knew that if a fig tree had leaves, it should also have figs. So, Jesus went to see if there was any fruit on the tree. When He reached the fig tree, Jesus found that there was nothing on the tree but leaves. In response, Jesus said, “May you never bear fruit again! May no one eat of your fruit again.” His disciples heard Him say this. See Matthew 21:18-19a; Mark 11:12-14 Notes: Israel as a fig tree: In the Old Testament, the fig tree often stood as a symbol for the nation of Israel (Jeremiah 8:13; Hosea 9:10). And the image of Israelites sitting under their own fig tree was a symbol of peace and prosperity (1 Kings 4:25; Micah 4:4; Zechariah 3:10). Israel’s spiritual health was represented in the metaphor of a plant bearing fruit (Isaiah 27:6). And

Sunday, Palms

Jesus and His disciples left Bethany and continued toward Jerusalem. And they came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of His disciples into Bethphage and He told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a donkey tied there, along with her colt, on which no one has ever sat. Untie the donkey and the colt and bring them to Me. If anyone asks, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs them and will return them shortly.’ ” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Zechariah: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem, and the bow of war will be broken. Then He will proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion will extend from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates to the ends of the

Sabbath, Anointing

Six days before the Passover, Jesus and His disciples came to Bethany, the hometown of Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead, and his sisters Martha and Mary. And so, a dinner was given for Jesus there in Bethany. It was held at the home of Simon the jar-maker. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with Jesus. While they were reclining at the table, Mary came to Jesus with a jar of translucent alabaster that contained a litra--about a pint--of expensive perfume, made of pure nard. Mary broke open the jar, anointed Jesus’ head and feet, and then wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.   When the disciples saw this, they were indignant, especially Judas Iscariot who was going to betray Jesus. They asked, “Why this waste? This perfume could have been sold for three hundred denarii and the money could have been given to the poor.” Now, Judas did not agree because he cared about the poor, but because he was a

Going Toward Jerusalem

After Jesus told the people the parable of the ten minas, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. Now, the Jewish Passover was approaching, and many people went up from the country to Jerusalem to purify themselves before the Passover. The people kept looking for Jesus and asking one another as they stood in the temple courts, “What do you think? Will He come to the feast at all?” But the chief priests and Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where He was must report it so that the chief priests and Pharisees could arrest Him. See Luke 19:28; John 11:55-57

Parable of the Ten Minas

Jesus and His disciples were in Jericho and Jesus had just spoken about Zacchaeus and salvation. The people were listening to this. And many thought the kingdom of God would appear imminently because Jesus was coming near Jerusalem. And so, Jesus proceeded to tell the people a parable about the kingdom of God. He said, “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to lay claim to his kingship and then return. Before leaving, the man called ten of his servants and gave each of them a mina—equal to 100 drachmas, enough wages for 100 days of labor. The man told each servant, ‘Conduct business with this money until I return.’ “But the man's citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We don’t want this man to rule over us.’ “When the man returned from obtaining his kingship, he summoned the ten servants to whom he had given the minas, to find out what each one had earned. “The first servant came forward and said, ‘Master, your mina has produced ten more minas.’ “His


Then Jesus entered new Jericho and was passing through. And in the town, there was a man named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and was very wealthy. Zacchaeus wanted to see who Jesus was, but he could not see over the crowd because he was short. So, Zacchaeus ran on ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus, since He was about to pass that way. When Jesus reached that place, He looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down, for I must stay at your house today.” So, Zacchaeus hurried down and welcomed Jesus with joy. All the people who saw this began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinful man!” But at the meal, Zacchaeus stood up and said to Jesus, “Look, Lord, I will give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will repay it fourfold.” Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man also is a child of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” See Luke 19:1-10; Numbers 5:

Bartimaeus and Another

Jesus and His disciples continued up the road to Jerusalem. They passed through old Jericho, the ruins of the city of the Old Testament. And as they were leaving, a large crowd was following them. Down the road, about two miles, was new Jericho—the palaces that were built by the Hasmonean dynasty and, later, by Herod the Great, and the city that built up around them. As they drew near to new Jericho, there were two blind men sitting beside the road, begging. One of the men was named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus. When the blind men heard the crowd going by, they asked what was happening. The people told them, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” So, they cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us!” The people that lead the way admonished the two men to be silent, but they cried out all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call them.” So, the people called the blind men. “Take courage!” they said. “Get up! He is calling for you.” Bartimaeus

Mother of James and John

Then, James and John came to Jesus along with their mother, the wife of Zebedee. The three knelt down and made a request of Jesus: “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.” “What do you want Me to do for you?” Jesus asked. They answered, “Grant that, in Your kingdom, one son may sit at Your right hand, and the other son may sit at Your left.” “You do not know what you are asking,” Jesus replied. “Can you drink the cup I will drink, or be baptized with the baptism I will be baptized?” “We can,” the brothers answered. Jesus said to them, “Indeed you will drink the cup that I drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism that I will be baptized. But to sit at My right or left is not Mine to grant. These seats belong to those for whom My Father has prepared them.” When the other ten apostles heard about this, they were indignant with James and John. So, Jesus called the Twelve aside and said, “You know that those regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their

Jesus, Again, Predicts His Death

As Jesus and His disciples were going up the road to Jerusalem, Jesus walked ahead of them. His disciples were amazed, but the people who followed them were afraid. Jesus took the Twelve aside and, as before, told them what was going to happen to Him: “Listen, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that the prophets have written about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn Him to death and will deliver Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked, insulted, and spit upon. He will be flogged and crucified. And on the third day, He will be raised to life.” But His disciples did not understand any of these things. The meaning was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend what Jesus was saying. See Matthew 20:17-19; Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-34

Jesus Withdraws, Again

Because Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, many of the Jewish leaders who had come to Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in Him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin (the Jewish ruling council) and said, “What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” But one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man dies for the people than that the whole nation perish.” Caiaphas did not say this on his own. Instead, as high priest that year, he was prophesying that Jesus would die for the nation, and not only for the nation but also for the scattered children of God, to gather them together into one. So, from that day on they plotted to kill Hi

Raising Lazarus

Jesus, once again deeply moved, came to the tomb of Lazarus. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” Jesus said. “Lord, by now he stinks,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man. “It has already been four days.” Jesus replied, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So, they took away the stone. Then Jesus lifted His eyes upward and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me, but I say this for the benefit of the people standing here, so they may believe that You sent Me.” After Jesus had said this, He called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The man who had been dead came out with his hands and feet bound in strips of linen, and his face wrapped in a cloth. “Unwrap him and let him go,” Jesus told them. See John 11:38-44

Comforting Martha and Mary

When Jesus arrived, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now, Bethany, was not far from Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia (a little less than two miles), and many of the Jewish leaders had come to Martha and Mary to console them in the loss of their brother. So, when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet Him; but Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give You whatever You ask of Him.” “Your brother will rise again,” Jesus told her. Martha replied, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though they die, yet shall they live. And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she answered, “I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” After Martha said this

Lazarus Dies

While Jesus told the parable of workers in the vineyard, a man named Lazarus was sick. Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha and he liced in the village of Bethany where Mary and Martha lived. For reference, Mary was the one who would later anoint Jesus with perfume and wipe His feet with her hair. Because Lazarus was sick, Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one You love is sick.” When Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now, Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. So, on hearing that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was for two days, and then He said to the disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” “Rabbi,” they replied, “the Jewish leaders just tried to stone You, and You are going back there?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? If anyone walks in the daytime, he will not stumble, because he sees by the light of this world. But if any

Parable of Workers in the Vineyard

After Jesus spoke with His disciples about the rich young man, He told them this parable. “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay each worker a denarius for the day and sent them all into his vineyard. “About the third hour (9 o’clock), the landowner went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. ‘You, also, go into my vineyard,’ he said, ‘and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So, they went. “The landowner went out again about the sixth hour (noon), and the ninth hour (3 o’clock), and did the same thing. “About the eleventh hour (5 o’clock), the landowner went out and found still others standing around. ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ he asked. “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “So, he told them, ‘You also go into my vineyard.’ “When evening came (about 6 o’clock), the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and

The Rich Young Man

Just then, a young man came to Jesus. The young man was a Jewish leader, and he was rich. He asked, “Good Teacher, what good thing must I do to obtain eternal life?” Jesus, replied, “Why call Me good, and why ask Me about what is good? No one is good except God alone.” Jesus then answered the man’s question. “If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man asked. Jesus answered, “You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.’” “Teacher,” the man replied, “all these I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus looked at him, loved him, and said, “You still lack one thing. If you want to be perfect, go, sell everything you own and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.” But when the young man heard this, he became very sad and walked away, because he was extremely wealthy. Seeing this, Jes

Jesus and the Children

Now, people were bringing their little children and babies to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them and pray for them. And when the disciples saw this, they rebuked the people who brought the children.   But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He called the children to Him, and He told His disciples, “Allow the little children to come to Me! Don't forbid them! For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And Jesus took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them, and blessed them. Then Jesus went on from there. See Mathew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17


Then some Pharisees came to test Jesus. They were hoping they could take something that Jesus said and use it against Him. It is possible that these Pharisees had not heard of the teaching Jesus gave on the mountainside by the Sea of Galilee. But it is also possible that the Pharisees were aware of Jesus’ teaching and wanted to test His consistency. They asked Jesus, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?” “What did Moses command you?” Jesus asked. They answered, “Moses permitted a man to write his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away.” But Jesus replied, “Moses wrote this commandment for you because of your hardness of heart, but it was not always this way. From the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ And ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” When J

Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Jesus also told this parable to some people who trusted in their own righteousness and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like the other people—swindlers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and pay tithes of all that I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance and would not even lift up his eyes to heaven. Instead, he beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man, rather than the Pharisee, went home justified. For everyone who exalts themself will be humbled, but the one who humbles themself will be exalted.” See Luke 19:9-14

Parable of the Persistent Widow

Then Jesus told the people a parable about their need to pray at all times and not lose heart: “In a certain town There was a judge who neither feared God nor respected people. And there was a widow in that town who kept appealing to the judge, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ “For a while the judge refused, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I neither fear God nor respect people, yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice. Then she will stop wearing me out with her perpetual requests.’ ” And Jesus said, “Listen to the words of the unjust judge. Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He continue to defer their help? I tell you, He will promptly carry out justice on their behalf. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” See Luke 18:1-8