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Tuesday Morning in the Temple
Again on Tuesday morning of that great week, the last week of our Saviour's life on earth, he went with his disciples out of Bethany to go to Jerusalem. As they were walking up the Mount of Olives, they came to the fig tree to which Jesus had spoken on the morning before. It was standing upon the hillside, but withered and dead, its dry leaves turned yellow, rustling in the wind.
Three Parables of Warning
Immediately after answering the question of the priests and the rulers, Jesus gave three parables, one directly after another; and all aimed at his enemies. The first was The Parable of the Two Sons.
The Head On the Coin
The enemies of Jesus thought that, perhaps, they might lead him to say some words against the Roman rulers over the land. If he would do this, then they could complain to the Roman governor and cause Jesus to be seized and put in prison, or even slain, as an enemy of the Roman state.
The Woman with Seven Husbands
We have heard much in the story, of the Pharisees, who were looked upon as leaders of the people in religion, because they regularly went to church, paid the church dues and obeyed all the rules, foolish as some of those rules seemed. These Pharisees, as you know, were bitter enemies of Jesus, and every-where stirred up the people against him.
The Greatest of All Commandments
While Jesus was talking in the Temple and answering all these questions, a teacher of the law was standing near and listening. He saw how well Jesus answered all the questions put to him, and coming up to him, said: Teacher, what commandment stands first of all?
The Greatest Gift
The room in the Temple where Jesus spoke on that Tuesday, the last day of his teaching in public, was called The Treasury, because beside its walls were chests or boxes in which people who came to worship placed their money for gifts to pay for the offerings of poor people. As Jesus rose up to leave the room, he noticed the people dropping their money into these boxes.
Jesus Telling of Dark Days to Come
Jesus walked across the Court of the Gentiles or Strangers, the large outer court of the Temple, toward the Mount of Olives. On that side of the court stood Solomon's Porch, a double row of pillars, having a roof above to shield it from the sun. Under this porch they stepped down a marble staircase to pass out of the Temple grounds through a gate called The Golden Gate.
The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids
At the close of a long talk with the disciples, on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave three parables. The first parable was to show that his followers must watch and be ready for his sudden coming. It is The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids.
The Parable of the Talents
The second of the three parables with which Jesus closed his long talk to his disciples on the Mount of Olives was The Parable of the Talents. In some parts it was like The Parable of the Pounds, given to the crowd at Jericho only a week before, but in other parts it was different. In that parable, there was a king, going to a distant city to have a kingdom given to him.
Washing the Disciples Feet
On Thursday evening was to be held by all the Jews the great Feast of the Passover. This kept in mind the day, more than a thousand years before, when the Israelites went out of Egypt and became a free people. At that time each Israelite family in Egypt killed a lamb, roasted it, and ate it, their last meal in Egypt.
The Lord's Supper
While they were eating the passover meal, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and holding it in his hand, with his eyes lifted to heaven, spoke a blessing upon it. Then he broke it and gave a piece of it to each of the disciples.
The Vine and its Branches
Jesus saw that his disciples were greatly disturbed at his words, as he spoke of going away to some place where they could not go with him, and leaving them alone among people who were his enemies; especially as he told Peter that he would soon disown his Master, and that all the rest of the disciples should leave him to suffer alone. Jesus tried to comfort them in their fears and their sorrows.
The Last Words of Jesus to His Disciples
Jesus went on giving his last talk with his disciples, in the room after the supper. Among other things, he said : This is my last command to you. Love one another as I have loved you. No one can give greater proof of love than by laying down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.
In the Garden of Gethsemane
During the week of the Passover, while the city of Jerusalem held three or four times as many people as usual, the gates in its walls were kept open day and night, although during most of the year they were closed at sunset. It was near midnight on Thursday when Jesus and his disciples, coming from the supper room, passed through a gate in the eastern wall just north of the Temple.
Jesus Before Annas
The men who took Jesus as their prisoner were the policemen of the Temple, led by their chief. With them were some of the priests and officers, and a crowd of the lowest people, who had been gathered from the streets by the rulers. All these formed together a noisy and disorderly mob, dragging Jesus out of the Garden of Gethsemane and into the city on Mount Zion.
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