by: David Kennedy
April 7, 2020
HOLY WEEK: Day 2
TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 33AD
Jesus has again spent the night at his friend’s home in Bethany, 4 miles outside of Jerusalem. This is going to be a tough day in many ways. Jesus knows it is a dangerous time. He knows that death awaits. Yet again, after breakfast, Jesus and His disciples begin the 4 mile walk into Jerusalem. About an hour later they arrive at the gate to enter the city. It remains packed with over 100,000 people gathering for the great Passover celebration. Again, Jesus goes to the Temple. I am sure there are people following Jesus to see if anything will happen today like it did yesterday. I am sure Jesus' Disciples are nervous. They too know it is a dangerous time for Jesus, and since they are His disciples, dangerous for them as well. According to most of the Gospel accounts, it is on this day that JESUS CALLS THE SCRIBES & PHARISEES OUT. Known as the 7 WOES TO SCRIBES & PHARISEES, Jesus points out emphatically their hypocrisy, how they make up the letter of religious laws but completely overlook the SPIRIT of those same laws. He points out their thirst for power, wealth, and privilege that separates them from God's people. He points out how they and their kind have murdered the prophets and those who speak the truth about God's power, love, and grace. By the time Jesus finishes he has a group of very angry religious leaders.
This will be a day of mostly sorrow for Jesus. This is the day he "laments" (cries) over Jerusalem, foretells the destruction of the Temple (occurs in 70AD), and talks about the end times (end of the age). According to Mark, this is also when he talks about loving God with everything and loving your neighbor as yourself. The highlight of Jesus' Tuesday comes when He is in the Temple and He sees the Widow put her 2 small coins into the Temple treasury (The Widow’s mite). From that simple act comes a powerful testimony that Jesus shares with Disciples of what it means to truly love & TRUST God. It is the best moment in Jesus' day.
In the late afternoon Jesus and his Disciples leave the crowded city and walk the hour back to the village of Bethany for supper and a time of rest. Tomorrow is Wednesday, April 1st, 33AD and things will continue to get more tense. Jesus now has only 2 & 1/2 days to live.
What does this history lessons mean for us today, April 7, 2020?
The message is simple for us today: Are we Disciples or are we hypocrites? Do we live our love for Jesus or do we just project a front? I didn't say are we perfect, but are we trying to live out our faith the best we are able? This time in the world may be the greatest test for we who call ourselves Christians. Do we hoard? Are we mean? Are we self-centered? Or are we the church "deployed" in action to a scared and hurting world? Do we have the faith of a poor widow? Do we trust God as much as she did? Only you can answer these questions family, friends, and flock. But HOW we answer those questions may determine what world we have when this pandemic comes to an end.
Dad, Papa, Uncle Rich, "Butter", Son-in-law, Rich, Rev. Rich