Wednesday

Between Palm Sunday and Passover

Matthew 21


Jesus at the Temple

Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple, London version, by El Greco
12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”
14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.
“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,
“‘From the lips of children and infants
    you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”
17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

Jesus Curses a Fig Tree


Byzantine icon of the cursing of the fig tree.

18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.

20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

There are several chapters in Matthew between the Triumphal Entry and Judas' agreement to betray Jesus. Read Matthew 22 -26 for some great parables and some repeats of issues that Luke covered in yesterday's readings.


Luke 22

Judas agrees to betray Jesus

Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

Judas making a bargain with the priests, depicted by Duccio, early 14th century.
Bargain of Judas, fresco by Lippo Memmi, 14th century.