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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

March 26 2024

Tuesday March 26

Passion Week: Holy Tuesday – The Confrontations


Mark 11:27-33

Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him. And they said to Him, "By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?" But Jesus answered and said to them, "I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: The baptism of John--was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me."


This week we are looking at the events in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ in what is called “Passion Week”, and what took place each day during this week. Remember that we should not be dogmatic about the exact chronology as we look at all four of the Gospel accounts, but we at least can get an idea of what was happening concerning the suffering of our Lord throughout the entire week.


One of the events that took place on Monday was the cleansing of the Temple by Jesus. This must have infuriated the religious leaders and set up the scene for their confrontations with Jesus on Tuesday. Jesus did not attempt to avoid them and when He and His disciples “came again to Jerusalem”, He went directly to the temple for where they were waiting for Him with a plan to trip Him up in front of the crowd. Their goal is to discredit Him, shame Him or quiet Him. It’s time to show the people who's really in charge.


As Jesus walked into the Temple, “the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?”’ (Mark 11:27–28) “Tell us Jesus, who do you think you are? We are the ones with authority here in the Temple—we are the high priests.” Jesus responds: “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” In hushed tones they said to one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘From man’?”— they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Mark 11:29–33) Their question backfired on them.


The Sadducees take their turn and come up with a crazy story about a woman who marries seven brothers, one after the other as the previous one dies. They want to know which brother she would be married to in the resurrection. Jesus shamed them with His answer pointing out that they were ignorant of the Scriptures and the power of God. (Luke 20:27-33)


Jesus was confronted with the question of the “Great Commandment” (Mark 12:28-34). He then confronts the religious leaders with His question, “Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, "How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool." ' Therefore David himself calls Him 'Lord'; how is He then his Son?" And the common people heard Him gladly” (Mark 12:35-37). Matthew’s Gospel tells us at the point, “And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions” (Matthew 22:42–46).


Now in Matthew 23, with the priests and Pharisees silenced, Jesus lets them have it in front of the crowd. He spends 36 verses, which takes just under five minutes to speak out loud. He pronounces seven woes with specific accusations about their character, sin and condemnation. And He does it in the temple, in front of the crowd, to their faces. Jesus, then says to His disciples for all to hear, "Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation" (Luke 20:46-47). Then in contrast to these religious fakes, Jesus points out the widow and her meager offering of one mite (Mark 12:41-44).


It is also possible that as He and the disciples leave the Temple and Jerusalem that Jesus gives both the Mount of Olivet Discourse concerning the end of the age (Matthew 24), and the parables of the ten virgins, the talents, and the judgment of the sheep and goat nations (Matthew 25).


You can imagine the rage of the religious leaders now intent on putting Jesus to death! My friend, make sure you have a relationship with Jesus and not just a religion about Him.


God bless!

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