Prince of Peace: From the Cradle to the Crown and Beyond
Holy Week: Holy Monday
In Palm Sunday’s post we discussed how individuals’ perspectives and purpose seem to change, and regrets surface, as they prepare for their death. We concluded that Jesus did not reveal any end-of-life regrets nor did He waver from His goal: to be the Paschal Lamb. We also covered Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and realized the vast difference between the crowds that received Him and the Pharisees who rejected Him.
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, which concludes with Easter. But what happened between these two well-known days? We may be more familiar with the events of the latter part of the week, but not so clear about the earlier portion of it. Therefore, we will take a closer look at Jesus’ final days’ itinerary, beginning with Monday.
What Did Jesus Do On The Monday After Palm Sunday?
After the Kingly parade and welcome, Jesus stopped in at the Temple but it was late and He returned to Bethany, where He stayed in the evenings--until His arrest, (Mk. 11:11). On His return to Jerusalem, Monday morning, Jesus saw a fig tree with leaves on it. Hungry, He went to inspect the tree. Because figs take a long time to ripen, the fruit appears on the bare tree branches and continue to ripen after the leaves appear. Even though figs were apparently not in season (Mk. 11:12), some varieties of fig trees produce crops several times a year. This means that it may not have been unreasonable for Jesus to expect to find figs. So, He cursed the fig tree; the next day (Tuesday), while returning to Jerusalem, Peter noticed that the tree had withered, and Jesus took opportunity to teach a valuable lesson about praying in faith (Mk. 11: 20-26).
Purifying the Temple:
At the beginning of His public three-year ministry, Jesus cleansed or purified the Temple in Jerusalem near the time of Passover. In the courtyard of the Gentiles, a place that was meant for prayer and worship for non-Jews, He discovered the large outer court had been transformed into a market place for selling livestock for sacrifices and for bankers to over-charge visitors for exchanging their foreign monies. In response, Jesus made a whip out of cords, overturned the tables of merchants and bankers, and chased them out of the court of the Gentiles. While He was doing this, He declared, “How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market? (Jn. 2: 12-16). Now, nearing the end of His ministry, Jesus returned to the Temple, where He found that things had ‘returned to business as usual.” Again, He cleared the court of the Gentiles of all those who were buying and selling and proclaimed, “It is written, He said to them, “My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it into a den of robbers,” (Mt. 21: 12-13; Mk. 11: 15-17). Jesus also healed the blind and the lame (Mt. 21:14).
The religious leaders, indignant and fearful of Jesus’ widespread influence, began to actively look for a way to kill Him. Jesus and His disciples left the city in the evening. (Mk. 11:18-19).
Blessings & Peace
Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor)