After - Day 3

Scripture: Matthew 21:23–24:51, Mark 11:20–13:37, Luke 20:1–21:36, and John 12:20–38.

On Tuesday morning, Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. They passed the withered fig tree on their way, and Jesus spoke to his companions about the importance of faith.
Back at the Temple, religious leaders were upset at Jesus for establishing himself as a spiritual authority. They organized an ambush with the intent to place him under arrest. But Jesus evaded their traps and pronounced harsh judgment on them, saying:

"Blind guides!... You are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people's bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness...Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?" (Matthew 23:24-33)

Later that afternoon, Jesus left the city and went with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, which sits due east of the Temple and overlooks Jerusalem. Here Jesus gave the Olivet Discourse, an elaborate prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age. He speaks, as usual, in parables, using symbolic language about the end times events, including His Second Coming and the final judgment.

Scripture indicates that this Tuesday was also the day Judas Iscariot negotiated with the Sanhedrin, the rabbinical court of ancient Israel, to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16).
After a tiring day of confrontation and warnings about the future, Jesus and the disciples returned to Bethany to stay the night.

The fact that Jesus just took authority over the religious leaders has always been fascinating to me. I asked you yesterday why Jesus could do that. Here is what Jesus said: Luke 20:1 One day as Jesus was teaching the people and preaching the Good News in the Temple, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. 2 They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?”3 “Let me ask you a question first,” he replied. 4 “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?” 5 They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John. 6 But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet.” 7 So they finally replied that they didn’t know. 8 And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”

  1. What do you think of Jesus’ answer to their questions? 
  2. Do you think it made the religious leaders happy? 
  3. What would you have said if they asked you by whose authority you did things? 
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