Continuing our Easter Week series, on Day 3, we read of:
(See Matthew 21:23-26:5, Mark 11:27-14:2, Luke 20:1-22:2, John 12:37-50.)
If Monday’s arrival in the temple was marked by Jesus’ all inclusive, living parable of cleansing God’s house, Tuesday’s entrance is marked by a direct, verbal confrontation with the appointed leadership. After Jesus makes the point that He refuses to regard these leaders as having any authority over Him, He elects to spend the rest of the day right there in the temple so that He might teach the people the word of God. But Tuesday afternoon would be the last time Jesus would publicly teach in the temple as a free man. His words on this day would be His closing argument—His manifesto.
When Jesus left the temple that Tuesday, “the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him.” (Mk 14:1) But they couldn’t take His life from Him solely on the strength of the charges they meant to bring—not if He defended Himself. But He would not. Instead, by His silence, He’d offer up His life for a world of blasphemers and traitors and liars who so desperately needed to be upset. This was what He had come to do, and as He left the temple that Tuesday afternoon, He knew He would do it soon.
Encouraging our thinking about this is this suggestion for serving our families:
Go to the store and buy some figs. Then read Matthew 21:18-27. This happened days prior to Jesus’ death, and Jesus knew He was about to die.
Talk through the questions below as a family and let your kids look, smell, feel and even taste the figs.
1) What does it mean for Jesus to have authority?
2) What did Jesus say to the fig tree that did not have fruit on it?
3) What did the fig tree do when Jesus said those things?
4) What are other the things Jesus has authority over?
May you continue to fellowship with your God remembering Jesus’ final week.