It is now Tuesday in the Passion Week of Christ. Jesus goes back into Jerusalem (Mark 11:27) and is immediately challenged by the religious leaders of the day: By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority? (see Matt. 21:23). These two questions set off a theological explosion, since these two inquiries focus on the epicenter of the conflict between Jesus and the religious leaders: the true identity of Jesus Christ. It is easy to expose what the religious leaders of the day thought of Christ, since they viewed Jesus’ authority as fake. To the religious leaders Jesus was a simple poser that needed to be exposed as a heretic. It is now clear that the religious leaders will refuse to see that Jesus is the Messiah sent from God (see Matthew 9:1-8; John 9). Although Jesus performed miracles that were supposed to be the calling-card of the Messiah, the religious leaders were more consumed with losing power than they were looking for Messiah. Therefore, Jesus begins to dismantle the life and practice of the Pharisees and religious leaders in an effort to clearly expose them for what they are – spiritual counterfeits.
Jesus silences the Sadducees by exposing their ignorance (Matt. 22:29-33).
The Pharisees seek to do to Jesus what He had done to the Sadducees – confuse and expose Him as a fraud by asking questions regarding their specialty, the Law of Moses (Matt. 22:34-40). When their objective fails, Jesus takes advantage of the opportunity and begins to ask them questions regarding the identity of the Messiah (Matt. 22:41-45). Because the Pharisees had rejected Christ, they could not see the shocking reality that the Messiah that Jesus was speaking about was standing right in front of them posing the question! The principle is abundantly clear: The Pharisees are silenced physically because they are spiritually blind (Matt. 22:46).
Jesus rails against the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees and sets out to expose the “religious” leaders (Matt. 23:1-39) of their hypocrisy.
As Jesus is leaving Jerusalem, the disciples call attention to the Temple building. Jesus begins to address the coming judgment. In order to prepare his disciples regarding the signs of the end by wrapping information around the two questions posed by his Apostles: When will this happen and what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age? (Matt. 24-25)
Jesus then leaves Jerusalem and travels to Bethany (approx. 2.2 miles away) to spend time in the home of Simon the Leper (see Mark 14:3) in his home.
As I meditate on these truths, I am amazed at the focus and intensity of Jesus. He refused to be discouraged or dissuaded from following the road to the cross. Take time to voice your adoration to Jesus. Ask Him to lead you into the lives of people who desperately need Him today.