Who Do You Worship?

Luke 4:5-8 (NASB): And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” 8 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”

Luke’s gospel gives us the account of Jesus, “full of the Holy Spirit,” being led around by the Spirit in the Judean wilderness for forty days. Jesus had been in the wilderness for forty days without anything to eat and it was at the end of these forty days that the devil came and tempted him. It was at his weakest point that our Lord was tempted, and his refusal to yield to temptation, teaches us how to respond when the evil one tempts us.

The Holy Spirit led me to this text from Luke this morning and I felt the need to share it with you today. Who do you worship? What do you worship? I believe that each of us was created to worship our creator God, but sin tempts us and constantly seeks to draw us away from a close relationship with God. Satan has a unique way of tempting us with worldly things and pleasures and he knows that if he can get us hooked, we will gradually let go of God more and more each day. Satan wants us to depend on and draw strength from anything other than God and he is tirelessly at work creating other things for us to worship.

In the text from Luke, Satan tempts Jesus with “all the kingdoms of the world” if he will only bow down and worship him. And Jesus answers, “You shall worship the LORD your God and serve him only.”

Many people today are allowing themselves to be drawn away from God and from going to church because they worship other things. Their priorities are not in developing a closer relationship with God but rather they “worship” their material possessions and the things of this world. Satan will absolutely place in our path many obstacles that keep us from worshipping and developing a closer relationship with God.

Who or what do you worship? You can find the answer to that by where you spend your Sunday mornings? Are you in church worshipping God and trying to draw closer to Him, or do you have more important priorities? God created each one of us for a close and dependent relationship with Him and He is constantly calling out to us through his Holy Spirit, desiring an intimate relationship with each of us.

It breaks my heart to see people living out their lives as if God doesn’t exist. They go about their lives without even stopping to consider God’s great love for them and the purpose that He has for them. As individual believers and as the “church,” our hearts should constantly be burdened for those who do not know Christ. We must tirelessly pray and reach out to these people and help them to know God and to draw closer to Him. As followers of Christ, our mission is to evangelize and make disciples of those who do not believe. Christ gave us the example of who we are to worship and Christ alone will help us as we speak God’s truth to a world that doesn’t place God at the center of their lives.

Who or what do you worship? If the answer is not God, then I urge you to make some immediate changes in your life. God is patient with you and he doesn’t want anyone to perish, but one day your opportunity to acknowledge Christ, as Savior and Lord of your life, will draw to a close. Decide today who you will worship. God is waiting and he stands ready to forgive you of past sins and mistakes. All He asks is that you believe upon His son Jesus Christ, and ask Him to come into your life and to be the Lord of your life. If you will place your faith and trust in God, you will find a purpose and meaning for your life, and you will have a deep desire to worship and praise God.

Joshua 24:14-15 (NIV): “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Imitating the Humility of Christ

Philippians 2:1-11 (NASB): Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

In your daily walk with God, do you strive to been seen and noticed, or do you take great joy in working behind the scenes, quietly going about the tasks God has given you? Our worldly culture certainly elevates those who strive to be noticed. People are enamored with “celebrity” and really anyone who seeks to gain attention. The loudest and most boastful, tend to be given more attention.  And to be perfectly honest, that is the type of person most people aspire to be like or at least admire.

Christ set a different example for his followers to emulate. Christ, the ultimate example of humility, calls his followers to “value others” above ourselves. We are called to be loving, compassionate, and caring towards others. A follower of Christ does not think more highly of him/her self and always strives to put the needs of others first. This means not only considering the needs of others in your family or church, but also the needs of complete strangers that you happen to meet. Christ followers should consider everyone as being a child of God and a creation of God.  

Christ certainly set the ultimate example of humble obedience for us when He gave his life for our sins on the cross. And because Christ died for the sins of the entire world, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.”  

There are many in the world today that do not know the name of Jesus or have completely rejected the name of Jesus. Our duty as followers of Christ is to not be ashamed to speak the wonderful name of Jesus to those who do not believe, out of our love and compassion for our fellow man. God’s desire is that every person on the face of the earth would praise the wonderful name of Jesus and acknowledge Him as Lord. The name of “Jesus”, what a wonderful and powerful name!

 

Dry Bones Coming Alive

Ezekiel 37:1-5 (NASB): The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” 4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life.

Ezekiel chapter 37 gives us one of the prophet’s key visions. Ezekiel finds himself in a valley of dry bones and the Lord asks him if these bones can live. God tells the prophet that God can “cause breath to enter” so that these dry bones “may come to life.” The dry bones in this passage refer to the “whole house of Israel” whom God will bring forth from exile. God is speaking to the hopelessness of his chosen people, and through his prophet, He is giving the message of hope.  

Relating this passage to our present time, we all have those around us who represent these dry bones or “dead hearts” and we pray for them to come alive. During the last several weeks, I have been praying for those I know who have not accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. We must certainly do our part to live a life that serves as an example or witness to them, but it is ultimately the power of the Holy Spirit that draws people to faith in God. I am praying for the Holy Spirit to “breathe life” into the lives of those who do not know Christ.

If you are praying for someone to come to faith in Christ, keep on praying! So often when circumstances seem hopeless, that’s when God prefers to show up and change circumstances and give hope. Remember that nothing is impossible with God – even dry bones can come alive!

Seeking God and Finding Comfort

Have you come to the end of your day only to feel so tired, drained, and completely wiped out? Most of us experience at least one, two, or even more days like this in any given week. The demands of the world can be so overwhelming and stressful and it can leave you with seemingly nothing left when you finally near the end of your day.

That was my day today, and as I sat down to try and write a devotional tonight, I really struggled with the words that I wanted to write and the hope that I wanted to convey. So I began to read my Bible and listen to worship songs and I came across a song that I haven’t heard in some time and a passage of scripture that I haven’t read in a long time. As I listened to the song while reading the scripture, the stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed began to fade away. I began to think less about the world and more about my creator God.

So maybe that’s my devotional tonight, the song and the scripture passage, because both very strongly express the promise that we have through faith in God and the praise that is to be lifted up to God by the whole creation. So I invite you to read the scripture and listen to the song and hopefully you will be as blessed by both as I was.

Psalm 148New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Whole Creation Invoked to Praise the Lord.

148 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all stars of light!
Praise Him, highest heavens,
And the waters that are above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.
He has also established them forever and ever;
He has made a decree which will not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
Sea monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
Mountains and all hills;
Fruit trees and all cedars;
10 Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and winged fowl;
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
12 Both young men and virgins;
Old men and children.

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above earth and heaven.
14 And He has lifted up a horn for His people,
Praise for all His godly ones;
Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him.
Praise the Lord!

 

Easter Sunday

The Empty Tomb: John 20: 1-22

1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

 3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

 13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

  “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

   She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

On this glorious Easter morning we awake to a world that is filled with hope instead of despair. A morning that is full of light instead of the darkness of Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Christ is risen and He is victorious over evil. This Easter morning we join with believers throughout the world in proclaiming: Christ is Risen, Christ is Risen indeed!

Holy Saturday

Today is referred to as Holy Saturday or Black Saturday. It is the last day of Holy Week, in which we await the resurrection of Christ on Easter morning. On Holy Saturday we remember the day that the body of Christ lay in the tomb.

From the book of Matthew we find this event occurring on Saturday, which was the Sabbath. Matthew 27:62-66: The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

The words of Jesus from John 16:20-22: I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

On this day, I am certain that the disciples were confused and scared. Jesus had been crucified and all may have seemed hopeless and lost. We know that the disciples struggled often in their walk of faith and on this dark day they could not begin to comprehend what was about to take place the next morning. The despair they must have felt and the guilt of abandoning Jesus would have been a heavy burden to bear. They probably could not comprehend or imagine – the light and the hope that would forever change the world – come tomorrow morning. Even though it may have seemed that evil had prevailed we know that evil will never prevail against God’s Kingdom. Tomorrow we can say with complete joy and confidence that – Christ is risen – Christ is risen indeed!

Friday of Holy Week

The Jewish and Roman trials of Jesus

Jesus’ trial took place in two stages: a Jewish trial and a Roman trial, each of which had three parts. The Jewish trial consisted of: (1) the preliminary hearing before Annas, the former high priest; (2) the trial before Caiaphas, the ruling high priest, and the Sanhedrin; and (3) the final action of the council, which brought to a conclusion its all-night session.  The three episodes of the Roman trial were: (1) the trial before Pilate; (2) the trial before Herod Antipas; and (3) the trial before Pilate continued and concluded. [1]

The first trial occurred during the nighttime hours before Annas. In the second trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus is pronounced “worthy of death.”  Matthew 26:67-68: Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Christ. Who hit you?” The third trial occurred immediately at daybreak and the council condemns Jesus and leads him off to Pilate.

Matthew’s Gospel tells us that when Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, saw that Jesus had been condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself (Matthew 27:3-5).

Still early in the morning, Jesus goes before Pilate. When Pilate realizes that Jesus is a Galilean, he sends him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction. Luke tells us that when Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle. Luke writes that Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became friends – before this they had been enemies (Luke 23:11-12).

Pilate then examines Jesus and cannot find a basis for a charge against Jesus. Pilate wanted to release Jesus but the crowd kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” (Luke 23:20-21). Herod then speaks to the crowd for a third time telling them that he will have Jesus punished and then released. “But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed.” So Pilate decided to grant their demand. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

Jesus is crucified (from approximately 9 AM until Noon)

Mark’s gospel gives us the following account of Jesus’ crucifixion. A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get (Mark 15:21-24).

John 19:25-27: Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Luke 23:44-49: It was now about the sixth hour (noon) and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour (3pm), for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Jesus Burial

 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Jesus’ body would have been wrapped and placed in the tomb before sunset, when the Sabbath would begin and no work could be done.

Good Friday has ended with our Lord and Savior placed in the tomb.

[1] Zondervan NIV Study Bible, 2002, page 1559

Thursday of Holy Week

Thursday – The Last Supper and Gethsemane

Jesus prepares himself and his disciples for his death and gives the Passover meal a new meaning.

Luke 22:14-23: The Last Supper

14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet: According to John’s Gospel, “Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love” (John 13:1). John tells us that Satan had already prompted Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus. After the meal, Jesus gets up and begins to wash his disciples feet. Jesus says to his disciples, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand” (John 13:7). Jesus tells his disciples that they should also wash one another’s feet, being humble in service towards others.

The gospel of Mark tells us that when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives (Mark 14:26).

Gethsemane: Mark 14:32-42: 32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”

 35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

 37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

 39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.

 41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Jesus Arrested: Mark 14-43-50: 43 Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.

 44 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 The men seized Jesus and arrested him. 47 Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

   48 “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” 50 Then everyone deserted him and fled.

Before the Sanhedrin: Mark 14:53-56; 64b-65:  53 They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law came together. 54Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.

55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. 56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.

They all condemned him as worthy of death. 65 Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and beat him.

 This concludes the events of Thursday of Holy Week.

Wednesday of Holy Week

Wednesday – A Day of Rest and Silence

For Jesus, Wednesday was a day of rest and he most likely remained in Bethany throughout the day and also spent the night there again. The Gospel accounts are mostly silent in regards to any activity by Jesus on Wednesday – although Luke tells us that Jesus was teaching at the temple each day of the final week of his life – Luke 21:37-38.  Jesus, knowing what was ahead, probably spent time in the company of his friends only two days before he is to be crucified.

It’s difficult for us to imagine what was going through Jesus’ mind on this apparent day of rest. In two short days, the light that came into a dark and fallen world would be crucified. Jesus would take on the sin of the world and suffer a painful and agonizing death on the cross at Calvary.

As I write this today, I am reminded of how much pain and suffering Jesus endured so that my sins and your sins could be forgiven. It gives me greater strength to approach my daily life differently, to live a life that is focused on following my Lord and Savior without hesitation and with an ever increasing faith. Jesus reminds us that we are to take up our cross daily and follow him. That is a calling that we as followers of Christ should take very seriously and faithfully.

Those who were plotting to take Jesus’ life were busy at work, scheming and planning about how they could arrest him. It could have been on Wednesday that Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests with an offer to betray Jesus.

Matthew 26: 14-16: Then one of the Twelve – the one called Judas Iscariot – went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ  – only two days from the cross at Calvary.

Tuesday of Holy Week

According to the Gospel accounts, these events took place on Tuesday of Holy Week.

A day of controversy and parables: In Jerusalem, Jesus eluded the traps set by the priests. On the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem, Jesus taught in parables and warned the people against the Pharisees. He predicted the destruction of Herod’s great temple and told his disciples about future events, including his own return. (The Glorious Appearance is the Second Coming of Christ and on that day scripture tells us that He will stand on this same Mount of Olives) Zechariah 14:4.

Jesus’ disciples see the withered fig tree on their return to Jerusalem from Bethany: Mark 11:20-25: In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”  “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.

“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Jesus engages in conflict with the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem: Mark 11:27-33: They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”  Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)

So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”   Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

Jesus then began to speak to the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders and he spoke to them in parables. Jesus tells them the parable of the tenants, a parable that exposed the planned attempt on Jesus’ life, and God’s judgment on those who were planning it. After Jesus told this parable, the gospel writer Mark tells us: “Then they looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away” (Mark 12:12).

Luke 21:37-38: Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.

It appears that Jesus again spends the night in Bethany. This concludes the events of Tuesday of Holy Week

 

 

My Daily Journey With God in Athens Ga.