The Lord returns to Jerusalem today and teaches in the temple for the last time. Because of His actions yesterday – cleansing of the temple and the rebuke of Israel’s faith – the leaders of the temple interrupt Him and confront Jesus by questioning His authority.
The day begins where it began yesterday, the fig tree. As His disciples pass by the tree on their way to Jerusalem, they see the fig tree that Jesus cursed. It is completely dead and withered (Matthew 21:19-22, Mark 11:20-26 and Luke 21:37-38). Connected to this is the last teaching our Lord gives in the temple, which is linked to the fig tree: the prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 24).
Teaching in the Temple
The Lord teaches extensively today in the temple and entertains three confrontations with the temple leaders. Many of the parables and sayings are very familiar. His teaching starts off with three parables:
- Parable of the two sons (Matthew 21:23-27)
- Parable of the vinedressers (Matthew 21:33-46)
- Parable of the wedding feast (Matthew 22:1)
Then it seems the Pharisees and a Scribe attempt to trap him by confronting Him on three issues including:
- Pharisees question about paying taxes (Matthew 22:15)
- Pharisees question about the resurrection (Matthew 22:23)
- Scribes questions about the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:34-40)
Jesus responds by asking a question as well concerning how the Messiah is related to King David (Matthew 22:41-46). Since none of the Scribes, Sadducees or Pharisees, that is to say all the teachers of the law were able to answer, Sacred Scripture states,
And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did any one dare to ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:46)
Because of this Jesus then denounces and rebukes the Scribes and the Pharisees in His “Brood of Vipers” preaching.
Our Lord then turns His attention back to the People of God and completes His teaching with the story of the widow’s mite and a fearful prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem if they do not turn and have faith in Him. From here the Lord leaves Jerusalem and returns to the Mount of Olives.
When our Lord reaches the Mount of Olives, He completes His day of teaching the same way He began with three parables:
- Parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13)
- Parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30)
- Parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46)
Holy Tuesday Takeaway
Let us take today to continue to pray and listen carefully to what the Lord is trying to teach and say to us so we may not miss His visitation.