Snippet: 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. (Mark 12:30-31)
After a dramatic Monday, Jesus and his disciples wake up on Tuesday and head back toward the temple in Jerusalem. This time, the chief priests and scribes meet him at the gates, no doubt as a way to prevent him from going back in and disrupting the marketplace like he did the day before. This sets the stage for a long, mentally exhausting day ahead for Jesus. The chief priests are hell bent on publicly discrediting him as quickly and decisively as they can because Jesus is already a popular figure who is clearly subversive against their elite authority amongst the Jews.
And so begins a day of endless questions, debates, and attempts to make him look foolish, crazy, or both. There are theological traps, sociological traps, historical traps, and the list goes on. Surely, they didn’t know it at the time, but this was a desperate and pitiful display of powerful elites doing everything they can to tear down a threat to their authority. Jesus stays composed, articulately dismantling their questions while simultaneously teaching all those listening about the kingdom of God. Finally, they didn’t “dare ask him any more questions”, and Jesus proceeded into the temple to teach the crowds that have gathered around him before retiring back to the Mount of Olives in the evening to exhort his closest disciples to not be anxious about the future, and to be on guard against anyone or anything that threatens to pull them away from Him.
The Tuesday of Holy Week proves to be the most enlightening for all of Jesus followers. The glorious irony is that the chief priests’ attempt to dismantle Jesus’ credibility, but it turned out to be some of the most fruitful teaching of his ministry that left everyone around him amazed. Just consider some of the major teachings that came from these “debates”:
- Jesus is the divine Son of God
- The storyline of the Bible: God creates, man sins, God sends, God saves, and God will be coming back to judge.
- Jesus will reign forever in a perfect, covenant-keeping relationship with his people
- The “greatest” commandment: love God and love your neighbor
- Honor the government, but worship God alone
- Generosity is not about the amount you give, but the amount you sacrifice
Surely, Tuesday was a day where the Biblically-traced theme, of “what the enemy meant for evil, God used for good”, and 2,000 years later, the church is still so grateful for Tuesday of Holy Week.
Questions to consider:
How does your love for your neighbor (which according to Jesus, is anyone you come across) show evidence for your love for God?
Take stock of your calendar and bank account – how generous are you with your time, treasure, and talent to further the kingdom in glorifying God by making disciples?
Father, we thank you for your omniscience, and how all true wisdom ultimately flows from and through you. We are grateful for sound teaching that stirs the mind and engages the heart, and for the example you set to handle confrontation in a way that is both gracious and firm. We thank you for giving us the grace to love you and to love our neighbor, all because you loved us first. We pray that you would stir in us a spirit of generosity that you use to multiply your kingdom around the world.