Every day during Holy Week this year, I will post a blog that simply walks through the events of that day from 2000 years ago and each of the 4 gospel writers' perspectives. All 4 gospel accounts will be woven together to form a single storyline. Check out the intro post that explains the Bible version I'm using and the format of the posts.
Catch up with previous days:
This is the mixed account from the four gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, of the Monday of Holy Week.
The next morning, when they departed Bethany and were traveling back to the city, Jesus was hungry. Off in the distance, He saw a fig tree fully leafed out, so He headed toward it to see if it might have any ripe fruit. But when He reached it, He found only leaves because the fig season had not yet come. As the disciples listened, Jesus pronounced a curse on the tree.
Jesus: May you never bear fruit again!
Immediately the tree shriveled up.
They continued into Jerusalem and made their way up to the temple.
Upon reaching the temple that morning, Jesus dealt with those who were selling and buying animals for sacrifices and drove them out of the area. He upended the moneychangers’ tables and the dove-sellers’ benches and He physically prevented anyone from carrying anything through the temple.
Jesus: It is written, “My house will be a house of prayer for all people,” but you have turned this house of prayer into a den of robbers.
Then the blind and the lame came to the temple, and Jesus healed them. Rings of children circled round and sang, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” But the priests and scribes didn’t understand. When they saw the upturned tables, the walking paralytics, and the singing children, they were shocked, indignant, and angry, and they did not understand.
Priests and Scribes: Do you hear what these children are saying?
Jesus: Yes. Haven’t you read your own psalter? “From the mouths and souls of infants and toddlers, the most innocent, You have decreed praises for Yourself.”
He came back day after day to teach in the temple. The chief priests, the religious scholars, and the leading men of the city knew Jesus was referring to them, so they plotted His destruction. They had grown afraid of Him because He was so popular among the people—who hung upon each word He spoke—they were unable to do anything.
Among the crowds traveling to Jerusalem were Greeks seeking to follow God and worship at the great feast. Some of them came to Philip with an important request.
Greek Pilgrims (to Philip): Sir, we are hoping to meet Jesus.
Philip, a disciple from the Galilean village of Bethsaida, told Andrew that these Greeks wanted to see Jesus. Together Andrew and Philip approached Jesus to inform Him about the request.
Jesus (to Philip and Andrew): The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth: unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it remains a solitary seed. But when it is planted, it produces in death a great harvest. The one who loves this life will lose it, and the one who despises it in this world will have life forevermore. Anyone who serves Me must follow My path; anyone who serves Me will want to be where I am, and he will be honored by the Father. My spirit is low and unsettled. How can I ask the Father to save Me from this hour? This hour is the purpose for which I have come into the world. But what I can say is this: “Father, glorify Your name!”
Suddenly a voice echoed from the heavens.
The Father: I have glorified My name. And again I will bring glory in this hour that will resound throughout time.
The crowd of people surrounding Jesus were confused.
Some in the Crowd: It sounded like thunder.
Others: A heavenly messenger spoke to Him.
Jesus: The voice you hear has not spoken for My benefit, but for yours. Now judgment comes upon this world, and everything will change. The tyrant of this world, Satan, will be thrown out. When I am lifted up from the earth, then all of humanity will be drawn to Me.
These words foreshadowed the nature of His death.
Crowd: The law teaches that the Anointed is the One who will remain without end. How can You say it is essential that the Son of Man be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man You are talking about?
Jesus: Light is among you, but very soon it will flicker out. Walk as you have the light, and then the darkness will not surround you. Those who walk in darkness don’t know where they are going. While the light is with you, believe in the light; and you will be reborn as sons and daughters of the light.
After speaking these words, Jesus left the people to go to a place of seclusion. Despite all the signs He performed, they still did not believe in Him. Isaiah spoke of this reality, saying,
Lord, who could accept what we’ve been told?
And who has seen the awesome power of the Lord revealed?
This is the reason they are unable to believe. Isaiah also said,
God has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts
So that their eyes cannot see properly
and their hearts cannot understand
and be persuaded
by the truth to turn to Me
and be reconciled by My healing hand.
Isaiah could say this because he had seen the glory of the Lord with his own eyes and declared His beauty aloud. Yet many leaders secretly believed in Him but would not declare their faith because the Pharisees continued their threats to expel all His followers from the synagogue; here’s why: they loved to please men more than they desired to glorify God.
Jesus (crying out before the people): Anyone who believes in Me is not placing his faith in Me, but in the One who sent Me here. If one sees Me, he sees the One who sent Me. I am here to bring light in this world, freeing everyone who believes in Me from the darkness that blinds him. If anyone listening to My teachings chooses to ignore them, so be it: I have come to liberate the world, not to judge it. However, those who reject Me and My teachings will be judged: in the last day, My words will be their judge because I am not speaking of My own volition and from My own authority. The Father who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and speak. I know His command is eternal life, so every word I utter originates in Him.
When evening came, Jesus left Jerusalem. He went to Bethany, where He spent the night.