AshThroughout this week I’ll provide the rough harmony/chronology of the words and actions of Jesus in the final week of his pre-resurrection life. Enjoy Ash Wednesday’s look.


Jesus continues his daily teaching in the Temple

Luke 21:37-38

And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet.

And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.


With Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread approaching, the chief priests, elders, and scribes plot to kill Jesus

Matthew 26:3-5

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said,

“Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”

Mark 14:1-2

It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him, for they said,

“Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”

Luke 22:1-2

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover.

And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people.


Satan enters Judas, who seeks out the Jewish authorities in order to betray Jesus for a price

Matthew 26:14-16

Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said,

“What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?”

And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.

And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.

Mark 14:10-11

Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them.

And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money.

And he sought an opportunity to betray him.

Luke 22:3-6

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve.

He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them.

And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.

So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.

TuesdayToday is Tuesday of the Holy week. How can you take what happened on Tuesday of the Holy week and apply it to your life?


Jesus’ disciples see the withered fig tree on their return to Jerusalem from BethanyMatthew 21:20-22

When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying,

“How did the fig tree wither at once?”

And Jesus answered them,

“Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Mark 11:20-21

As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him,

“Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”


Jesus engages in conflict with the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem
Matthew 21:23-23:39


And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said,

“By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?”

Jesus answered them,

“I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?”

And they discussed it among themselves, saying,

“If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’

But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”

So they answered Jesus,

“We do not know.”

And he said to them,

“Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said,

‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’

And he answered,

‘I will not,’

but afterward he changed his mind and went.

And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered,

‘I go, sir,’

but did not go.

Which of the two did the will of his father?”

They said,

“The first.”

Jesus said to them,

“Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

“Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. Finally he sent his son to them, saying,

‘They will respect my son.’

But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves,

‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’

And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”

They said to him,

“He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”

Jesus said to them,

“Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.

And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying,

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying,

‘Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’

But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants,

‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’

And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.

“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him,

‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’

And he was speechless.

Then the king said to the attendants,

‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying,

“Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”

But Jesus, aware of their malice, said,

“Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.”

And they brought him a denarius.

And Jesus said to them,

“Whose likeness and inscription is this?”

They said,

“Caesar’s.”

Then he said to them,

“Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.

The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying,

“Teacher, Moses said,

‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.’

Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”

But Jesus answered them,

“You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God:

‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?

He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”

And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

And he said to him,

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying,

“What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”

They said to him,

“The son of David.”

He said to them,

“How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet’?

If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?”

And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,

“The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say,

‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’

You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?

And you say,

‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’

You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying,

‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’

Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

Mark 11:27-12:44

And they came again to Jerusalem.

And as he was walking in 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?”

Jesus said to them,

“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.”

And they discussed it with one another, saying,

“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.”

And he began to speak to them in parables.

“A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying,

‘They will respect my son.’

But those tenants said to one another,

‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’

And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.

And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. And they came and said to him,

“Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?”

But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them,

“Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.”

And they brought one.

And he said to them,

“Whose likeness and inscription is this?”

They said to him,

“Caesar’s.”

Jesus said to them,

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

And they marveled at him.

And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying,

“Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring. And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.”

Jesus said to them,

“Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying,

‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?

He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him,

“Which commandment is the most important of all?”

Jesus answered,

“The most important is,

‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

The second is this:

‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

There is no other commandment greater than these.”

And the scribe said to him,

“You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him,

“You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said,

“How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet.’

David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?”

And the great throng heard him gladly.

And in his teaching he said,

“Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them,

“Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Luke 20:1—21:4

One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to him,

“Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.”

He answered them,

“I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?”

And they discussed it with one another, saying,

“If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.”

So they answered that they did not know where it came from.

And Jesus said to them,

“Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

And he began to tell the people this parable:

“A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. Then the owner of the vineyard said,

‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’

But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves,

‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’

And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”

When they heard this, they said,

“Surely not!”

But he looked directly at them and said,

“What then is this that is written:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone’?

Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor.

So they asked him,

“Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?”

But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?”

They said,

“Caesar’s.”

He said to them,

“Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.

There came to him some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying,

“Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. And the second and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. Afterward the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.”

And Jesus said to them,

“The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.”

Then some of the scribes answered,

“Teacher, you have spoken well.”

For they no longer dared to ask him any question.

But he said to them,

“How can they say that the Christ is David’s son? For David himself says in the Book of Psalms,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.’

David thus calls him Lord, so how is he his son?”

And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples,

“Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said,

“Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”


The Disciples marvel at the Temple; Jesus delivers the Olivet Discourse on their return to Bethany from JerusalemMatthew 24:1-25:46

Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them,

“You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying,

“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?”

And Jesus answered them,

“See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying,

‘I am the Christ,’

and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you,

‘Look, here is the Christ!’

or

‘There he is!’

do not believe it.

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you,

‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’

do not go out.

If they say,

‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’

do not believe it.

For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself,

‘My master is delayed,’

and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry,

‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’

Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.

And the foolish said to the wise,

‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’

But the wise answered, saying,

‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’

And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying,

‘Lord, lord, open to us.’

But he answered,

‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying,

‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’

His master said to him,

‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying,

‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’

His master said to him,

‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying,

‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’

But his master answered him,

‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right,

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, saying,

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will answer them,

‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left,

‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

Then they also will answer, saying,

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’

Then he will answer them, saying,

‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Mark 13:1-37

And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him,

“Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”

And Jesus said to him,

“Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,

“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?”

And Jesus began to say to them,

“See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying,

‘I am he!’

and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

“But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that it may not happen in winter. For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. And then if anyone says to you,

‘Look, here is the Christ!’

or

‘Look, there he is!’

do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.

“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”

Luke 21:5-36

And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said,

“As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

And they asked him,

“Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?”

And he said,

“See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying,

‘I am he!’

and,

‘The time is at hand!’

Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”

Then he said to them,

“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

And he told them a parable:

“Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

MondayThroughout this week I’ll provide the rough harmony/chronology of the words and actions of Jesus in the final week of his pre-resurrection life. There wont be any commentary, just a simple journey as given by the Bible. Take some time to read it and see how it applies to your life.


On Monday morning Jesus and the Twelve leave Bethany to return to Jerusalem, and along the way Jesus curses the fig tree

Matthew 21:18-19

In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it,

“May no fruit ever come from you again!”

And the fig tree withered at once.

Mark 11:12-14

On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it,

“May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”

And his disciples heard it.

 


Jesus enters Jerusalem and clears the temple

Matthew 21:12-13

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them,

“It is written,

‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’

but you make it a den of robbers.”

Mark 11:15-17

And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them,

“Is it not written,

‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’?

But you have made it a den of robbers.”

Luke 19:45-46

And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them,

“It is written,

‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’

but you have made it a den of robbers.”


In the evening Jesus and the Twelve leave Jerusalem (returning to Bethany)

Mark 11:19

And when evening came they went out of the city.

palmPalm Sunday is one of the most important days in the Christian calendar after Christmas and Easter. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter, and marks the beginning of Holy Week, the week of events leading up to Jesus’ death.

The History of Palm Sunday
The celebration of Palm Sunday originated in the Jerusalem Church, around the late fourth century. The early Palm Sunday ceremony consisted of prayers, hymns, and sermons recited by the clergy while the people walked to various holy sites throughout the city. At the final site, the place where Christ ascended into heaven, the clergy would read from the gospels concerning the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. In the early evening they would return to the city reciting: “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord.” The children would carry palm and olive branches as the people returned through the city back to the church, where they would hold evening services.

By the fifth century, the Palm Sunday celebration had spread as far as Constantinople. Changes made in the sixth and seventh centuries resulted in two new Palm Sunday traditions – the ritual blessing of the palms, and a morning procession instead of an evening one. Adopted by the Western Church in the eighth century, the celebration received the name “Dominica in Palmis,” or “Palm Sunday”.

The Meaning of Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. The gospels record the arrival of Jesus riding into the city on a donkey, while the crowds spread their cloaks and palm branches on the street and shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” to honor him as their long-awaited Messiah and King.

The significance of Jesus riding a donkey and having his way paved with palm branches is a fulfillment of a prophecy spoken by the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 9:9). In biblical times, the regional custom called for kings and nobles arriving in procession to ride on the back of a donkey. The donkey was a symbol of peace; those who rode upon them proclaimed peaceful intentions. The laying of palm branches indicated that the king or dignitary was arriving in victory or triumph.

Palm Sunday in Modern Times
Today, Palm Sunday traditions are much the same as they have been since the tenth century. The ceremony begins with the blessing of the palms. The procession follows, then Mass is celebrated, wherein the Passion and the Benediction are sung. Afterwards, many people take the palms home and place them in houses, barns, and fields.

In some countries, palms are placed on the graves of the departed. In colder northern climates, where palm trees are not found, branches of yew, willow, and sallow trees are used. The palms blessed in the ceremony are burned at the end of the day. The ashes are then preserved for next year’s Ash Wednesday celebration.

In the simplest of terms, Palm Sunday is an occasion for reflecting on the final week of Jesus’ life. It is a time for Christians to prepare their hearts for the agony of His Passion and the joy of His Resurrection. In order to improve your effectiveness this Palm Sunday

If you walked down the street of the a busy city and asked random people about Christians what do you think they would say? I would love to say that those people would have nothing but good things to say, but sadly that is not true. Unfortunately, the word that would be most commonly used probably wouldn’t be loving, nice, compassionate or forgiving. Unfortunately, the word probably most often used to describe a Christian is hypocrite. That’s not to say that I agree with that, but that’s what a lot of people would say. So naturally I thought we should check out what the Bible has to say about hypocrites and hypocrisy.

Sometimes when looking up a certain topic in the Bible you can’t find a place where the Bible specifically talks about it and you have just have to put two and two together. Hypocrisy or hypocrites is not one of those topics. The Bible talks about hypocrites a lot and nobody talks about hypocrites in the Bible more often than Jesus himself.

Jesus obviously frowned upon hypocrisy but what exactly is hypocrisy? There are a few different ways of being a hypocrite and each is shown in the Bible. The first type of hypocrisy can be found in Matthew chapter 6.

In verse 2 Jesus says, “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” Jesus goes on to say, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their rewards in full.”

This is probably not the most common type of hypocrisy although you may know someone like the people described in these verses. This type of a hypocrite is somebody that actually does something good, but does them for the wrong reasons. It’s not good enough to just pray to God or give to the needy, you must also have a good reason for it. A good Christian will pray because he wants to have a closer relationship with God or give to the needy out of compassion but a hypocrite will do these things for their own glory. A hypocrite will make sure that other Christians see them so they can brag about how good a Christian they are.

Another type of hypocrite can be found in Matthew chapter 7. Verse 5 says, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

This example of a hypocrite is probably the most common example of a hypocrite. Mainly because this type of hypocrisy isn’t really about being a Christian. This type of hypocrisy can be seen in anybody. Basically what this verse is talking about is that person A is telling person B about a flaw in them when person A is a hypocrite because they also have the same flaw. It basically would be like Lex Luthor walking up to Superman and telling him he should be nicer to people.

Like I said, this type of hypocrisy can be found in anybody, not just Christians, but how should a Christian act? A good Christian would first take a look at themselves and see if they have this flaw before calling somebody else out on it. If they also have that flaw then they should take care of it before they tell anybody else what to do. That is what Jesus is talking about when he says to remove the plank from your own eye.

If you’re not being a hypocrite there is nothing wrong with confronting somebody with a problem they have but just like the hypocrites in the first example, you shouldn’t do this in public. Talk to the person in private.

Both of these are examples of hypocrites and you probably know people like them but when people call Christians hypocrites they are usually referring to the third example. 1 John 2:4 tells us about this type of Christian. “Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

It’s pretty simple. This type of hypocrite is the type of person that claims they are a Christian but then doesn’t act like it. They might attend church on Sundays even though the night before they were out doing sinful things. The Bible is very straightforward, these people are liars. You probably don’t need the Bible to tell you that, it’s pretty clear. In God’s eyes people that claim to be Christians but don’t act like it aren’t “Christian hypocrites”, they’re just non-Christians. They were never Christians to begin with.

Of course God isn’t saying, “if you ever break one single rule then that’s it, you’re a liar.” It just means if you really are a Christian then you will make a genuine attempt to follow all of his commandments. We aren’t perfect. Sometimes we’ll make a mistake and unfortunately when we make that mistake a non-Christian will probably be there to call us a hypocrite because they love pointing them out. But as long as you keep on trying to follow God’s commandments then you aren’t a hypocrite, you’re just human.

medium_churchdividedfor there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. (1 Corinthians 11:19 ESV)

The church in Corinth was dealing with a lot of problems: sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 5), idolatry (1 Corinthians 10), and taking the Lord’s supper in an unworthy manner (1 Corinthians 11). Paul explained that God actually allows these to occur in order to help us discern genuine believers from the frauds. When factions do arise, our actions represent who is really the Lord of our heart and help in revealing its motives. For example, those defending a sexually immoral lifestyle are ultimately working from the selfish motive of self-gratification, many times exalting their own lusts above God’s law.

When controversy comes to your church or ministry (as it inevitably will if you preach the Gospel) use it as a learning experience and examine your own motives. Are you experiencing division over essential beliefs (the Bible, Jesus, Salvation), or peripheral beliefs (Worship Music, Church Name, Color of Carpet)? Essential beliefs are those hills upon which we are willing to die and should continually fight for. Peripheral beliefs are those that we need to address in love, remembering always that the world will know we belong to Jesus by the love we show for one another (John 13:35); especially amidst conflict and controversy.

Determine a right response to division by determining the underlying motives of those involved, including your own. You may not always be right!

imagesBeing alone and being lonely are two different things. One can be alone without being lonely, and one can be lonely in a crowded room. Loneliness is, therefore, a state of mind, an emotion brought on by feelings of separation from other human beings. The sense of isolation is very deeply felt by those who are lonely. The Hebrew word translated “desolate” or “lonely” in the Old Testament means “one alone, only; one who is solitary, forsaken, wretched.” There is no deeper sadness that ever comes over the mind than the idea that we are alone in the world, that we do not have a friend, that no one cares for us, that no one is concerned about anything that might happen to us, that no one would care if we were to die or shed a tear over our grave.

No one felt loneliness more keenly than David. In a series of earnest, heartfelt appeals to God, David cried out in his loneliness and despair. His own son was risen up against him, the men of Israel went after him, and he was forced to flee from the city, and leave his house and family. Lonely and afflicted (Psalm 25:16), his only recourse was to turn to God and plead for mercy and God’s intervention (Psalm 25:21) because his only hope was in God. It is interesting to note that the word “lonely” is never used in the New Testament to describe people. In the New Testament, the word “lonely” only occurs twice and both times refers to desolate places (Mark 1:45; Luke 5:16), where Jesus moved off into the wilderness to be alone.

Whatever the cause of loneliness, for the Christian the cure is always the same—the comforting fellowship of Christ. That loving relationship with our Master has reassured and encouraged countless thousands who languished in prisons and even went to their deaths for His sake. He is the friend who “sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24), who lays down His life for His friends (John 15:13-15), and who has promised never to leave us or forsake us but to be with us until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). We can take comfort in the words of the old hymn that says it best: “Friends may fail me, foes assail me, He is with me to the end. Hallelujah, what a Savior!”