Day Three Tuesday: Jesus Goes to the Temple Mount

The Last Week of Jesus’ Life

Note: The precise time line of Jesus’ last week is debated. Following is one respected timeline accepted by many final week scholars. The timing begins on Palm Sunday and ends on a Resurrection Sunday. Due to space constraints the following lacks details.

Matthew 21: 23 – 24

On Tuesday morning Jesus returned to Jerusalem. On His way He passed a withered fig tree which Jesus used as an object lesson on faith. On this eventful day Scripture indicates that this Tuesday was also the day Judas Iscariot negotiated with the Sanhedrin, the rabbinical court of ancient Israel, to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16).

Awaiting Jesus at the temple was an upset group of religious leaders. They were concerned over Jesus having postured Himself as a spiritual authority. They designed a plot to arrest Him. Jesus evaded their trap and harshly condemned them saying: “Blind guides!…For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness…Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?” (Matthew 23:24-33).

In the late afternoon Jesus returned to one of His favorite nearby retreats, the Mount of Olives which forms the eastern ridge opposite Jerusalem on the western ridge. Running through the valley formed by the ridges was the Kidron Valley in which was the Garden of Gethsemane. 

With Jerusalem as the background Jesus delivered what is known as the “Olivet Discourse,” a prophecy related to the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age. He used symbolic language and parables about His second coming, end times, and the final judgment.

Central in His discourse He declared: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!”

Pause and declare your desire for Him to be glorified by you.

Fatigued by the confrontations of the day and extensive teaching He and His disciples retreated to Bethany where they spent the night.

The events of this complex Tuesday featuring the Olivet Discourse are recorded in Matthew 21:23–24:51, Mark 11:20–13:37, Luke 20:1–21:36, and John 12:20–38.