Tuesday, April 3, 2012

His Final Week

 When I was in Bible college years ago, a required class for everyone was The Life of Christ. A couple of options were offered. I chose to study the final week of Christ’s life. One full semester of the final week of Christ’s life.

There is so much information in the Bible about that week. Much of the teachings of Christ that are available to us were spoken during His final week.

Halley’s Bible Handbook[i] has a great chart about the last week and Jesus’ movements. I want to share this with you.

The Last Week of Jesus’ Life on Earth
Jesus arrives in Bethany (John 12:1)
The Triumphal Entry. Jesus weeks over Jerusalem
The fig tree cursed. Merchants thrown out of the temple
Jesus’ last day in the temple. Judas’s bargain with the priests (or the next day?)
Day of quiet at Bethany
Evening: the Last Supper Night: the agony in Gethsemane
Trial and crucifixion
Jesus rises from the dead

Jesus spent much of this week in the temple with great crowds, which included Jewish leaders. Jesus spoke with the crowds and Jesus also used the time in the temple to heal those in need of healing. So what are some of the issues Jesus talked about and shared with this group?

Jesus cleared the temple…again. He reminds the merchants that the temple is a house of prayer, not for buying and selling. (Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:12-19; Luke 19:45-48)

Jesus cursed a fig tree…for not having figs. The lesson He taught was that of faith. He stressed to the disciples that faith in God leads to great blessings. Faith leads to answered prayer. (Matthew 21:18-22; Mark 11:20-25; Luke 21:37-38)

Trying to trap Jesus, the Pharisees sent some of their students to ask Jesus a question on paying taxes. Jesus, of course sees right through this. I can almost see Him ask for a coin with disgust. Giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s was His answer. And that answer astonished them…it also quieted them! (Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17; Luke 20:20-26)

Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment given. “Love the Lord your God with all your heat and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Just another reminder of how we are to live our lives. (Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34)

Jesus was a people watcher! It thrills me because I enjoy watching people too! As the crowd came into the temple to place their offerings in the treasury, Jesus watched. He noticed how the rich would throw in large amounts of money. He also noticed a poor widow, giving all that she had. “Two very small copper coins.” The lesson Jesus shared with the disciples was that giving from poverty was far better than giving from wealth. It means giving all there is…sacrificial giving. (Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4)

This is just a short list of what Jesus had to say to those in the temple and along the road. It was the last time He would be able to teach to some in this crowd. He was intentional in His teachings. He felt a sense of urgency. He knew His life was coming to an end and Jesus wanted to share as much as possible with those willing to listen.

Jesus’ final week. There is much to be learned from His behavior during this time. What have you learned? What are you willing to learn? Why not take the time this week to read through His final week. You’ll be amazed at all Jesus wants you to learn.

Tomorrow…be ready to run through the last six parables that Jesus shared before His crucifixion. Jesus was certainly busy!

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


[i] Henry Halley, Halley’s Bible Handbook (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000), 539

No comments:

Post a Comment