[Note: This week I will be chronicling the events of Holy Week with a short devotion each day.]
It is Tuesday morning and Jesus returns to Jerusalem with his disciples. As they pass the withered fig tree, Jesus reminds them of the importance of faith. They’re going to need it in a couple of days!
When Jesus entered the temple that morning, I bet people were a somewhat leery after yesterday’s scene. But today, Jesus did not cleanse the temple again. Today he began to teach: “Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.” (Luke 19:47–48, NIV84)
Later that afternoon, Jesus went with his disciples to the Mount of Olives that sits due east of the temple and overlooks Jerusalem. As the sun hit the beautiful building, “Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”” (Luke 21:5–6, NIV84)
One of the disciples asked the same questions we might ask: When? How? Jesus responded with his longest recorded sermon regarding end time events, his second coming, and the final judgment. It is impossible to summarize this Olivet Discourse here (see Luke 21). But I will leave you with this summary statement that I pray you will take to heart:
“Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34–36, NLT)
Unfortunately, one of his listeners did not take this to heart. This very night Judas struck a deal to betray Jesus.
It was a long, tumultuous day, so Jesus and his disciples returned to Bethany for the night.