The Anointing of Jesus at the House of Simon the Leper
(Matt 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, John 11:55-12:8)
Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves.
They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?” For the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.
Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, to the house of Simon the leper, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at the table.
Mary took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, poured it on Jesus’ head, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant at the waste and they scolded her.
One of the Twelve, Judas Iscariot (who was about to betray Jesus), said, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.
But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you will always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial.
The Plot to Kill Lazarus
When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.
The Triumphal Entry
(Matt 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:29-44, John 12:12-19)
The next day, the large crowd that had come for the feast of the Passover, heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.
Now when Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, he called two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.'”
The disciples went away and found the colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it.
This took place to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” [Zech#9:9]
And as he rode along, many of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the palm trees and spread them on the road.
And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
The whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
The people that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness, and the crowds went to meet him because they had heard he had done this sign. So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see; we are achieving nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”
So some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” And he answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
And when Jesus drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you [Jerusalem], even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went back to Bethany with the Twelve.
Cursing the Fig Tree
(Matt 21:18-19, Mark 11:12-14)
On the following day, when they came from Bethany, Jesus was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but leaves.
The Second Cleansing of the Temple
(Matt 21:12-17, Mark 11:15-19, Luke 19:45-48)
And they came to Jerusalem. And Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.
And he said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’ [Isa#56:7], but you make it a den of robbers.'” And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.
But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, and they said to him, “Do you hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; and have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies, You have prepared praise’?” [Ps#8:2]
So the chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people sought to destroy him. But they could not find anything they could do, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.
The Withered Fig Tree
(Matt 21:20-22, Mark 11:20-26)
As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. When the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?”
And Peter remembered and said to him, “Master, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only be able to do what has been done to the fig tree; but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying; forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father also, who is in heaven, may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses.'”
The Leaders Challenge Jesus’ Authority
(Matt 21:23-27, Mark 11:27-33, Luke 20:1-8)
And they came again to Jerusalem. And as Jesus was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority to do them?”
And Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things.
The baptism of John the Baptist, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?”
And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.'”
So they answered that they did not know where it came from.
The Parable of Two Sons
Then Jesus said to them, “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went.
And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go.
Which of the two did the will of his father?'” And they said, “The first.”
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterwards change your minds and believe him.”
The Parable of the Vine Owner
(Matt 21:33-46, Mark 12:1-12, Luke 20:9-19)
Jesus then told them another parable, saying, “There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it; and dug a wine-press in it, and built a tower, and leased it to tenants, and then went into another country.
When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed.
He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’
And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard.'”
So Jesus said to them, “What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”
When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!”
But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this, that is written in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes’? [Ps#118:22,23]
Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.'”
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard this parable, they perceived that he was speaking about them. And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.
The Parable of the Man Without a Wedding Garment
Jesus told them a third parable, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding, but they would not come.
Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited: See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’
But they paid no attention and went off: one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And the man was speechless.
Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'”
And Jesus said, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Note to readers:
This parable is not easy to understand. It is talking about many things such as: God and his Son; John the Baptist; the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D.; Jews and Gentiles; the refusal of Israel to accept Christ; and Christ’s sacrifice. Research is needed to fully understand it.
The Tribute Money and Caesar
(Matt 22:15-22, Mark 12:13-17, Luke 20:20-26)
Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. So they watched him and invited Roman spies (who pretended to be sincere), that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor.
And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?”
But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me the coin for the tax and let me look at it.”
So they brought him a denarius, and he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said, “Caesar’s.”
So Jesus said to them, “Therefore, render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
The Sadducees, Marriage, and the Resurrection
(Matt 22:23-33, Mark 12:18-27, Luke 20:27-38)
The same day Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection, came to Jesus, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.’ [Deut#25:7]
Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no children, left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died.
In the resurrection therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her as their wife.'”
And Jesus answered them, “You do not understand, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, but are like angels in heaven.
But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord: the God of Abraham; and the God of Isaac; and the God of Jacob. [Ex 3:6]
So he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him. You are quite wrong.”
Which Is the Great Commandment?
(Matt 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-34)
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him, saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
And Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ [Deut#6:5]
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ [Lev#19:18]
On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.'”
And the lawyer said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that God is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbour as oneself, is much more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Jesus Questions the Pharisees About the Messiah
(Matt 22:41-46, Mark 12:35-37, Luke 20:41-44)
Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”
And they said to him, “The son of David.”
So he said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord?
For it says in Scripture, ‘The Lord [God] said to my Lord [Jesus] , sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’ [Ps#110:1]
If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?'”
And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.