Today our journey with Jesus through Holy Week takes us back to the Temple in Jerusalem and then to the Mount of Olives.
On Tuesday morning, Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. They passed the withered fig tree on their way, and Jesus taught them about faith.
At the Temple, the religious leaders aggressively challenged Jesus’ authority, attempting to ambush him and create an opportunity for his arrest.
But Jesus evaded their traps and pronounced harsh judgment on them: “Blind guides! … For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness…Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?” (Matthew 23:24-33)
Tuesday afternoon Jesus left the city and went with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, which overlooks Jerusalem due east of the Temple. Here Jesus gave the Olivet Discourse, an elaborate prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age. He taught in parables using symbolic language about end times events, including his Second Coming and the final judgment.
Scripture indicates that Tuesday was the day Judas Iscariot negotiated with the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16).
After a tiring day of confrontation and warnings about the future, once again, Jesus and the disciples stayed the night in Bethany.
(Note: The exact order of events during Holy Week is debated by Bible scholars. This timeline represents an approximate outline of major events.)