Jesus was Hungry

Jesus_Curses_Fig_Tree_JamesMonday of Holy Week starts with Jesus in Bethany and the walk back to Jerusalem.  The problem however was Jesus was hungry (Mark 11: 12).  On the natural side of things you have to wonder why his host had not supplied breakfast?  Was Jesus being a good guest and did not wake them up or had they even stayed in anyone’s house?  They certainly had to return the donkey from the day before and the Mount of Olives and Bethany were places of seclusion and safety after the big parade into Jerusalem.

After the jokes you could make about hunger and being grumpy Jesus’ actions in the Temple and with the fig tree are significant.  (See my study on figs) and (Monday, Holy Week 2013) Hunger is a complex chemical reaction of the body that involves several of your body systems: nerves, blood, digestive, and hormonal systems.  Jesus’ body was ready to break the night’s fast and to get back into a properly functioning track.  His expectation of fruit on the tree even though it was not in season really was not out of line, as they will do that.  But the curse on the tree foreshadows the experience He is about to have in the Temple and what will happen to religious bodies that do not bear fruit.  The Temple (tree) is not bearing fruit even though it appears busy (leaves) so it is not helping the people just feeding itself.  The whole system from priest, to animal sellers, moneychangers, and worshippers were not functioning properly.

Jesus’ physical hunger and His supernatural zeal for the Temple and the things of God The_Moneychangers001are driving forces that demanded action.  So when He could not be satisfied stopping the problem was His response – curse on the tree and stopping the merchandise.

References for Monday of Holy Week: Matthew 21: 12-17, Mark 11:12-19, Luke 19:45-47, John 12: 20-50

Holy Week – Monday

Scripture References:

  •    Mark 11:12-19 Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple Courts
  •    Matthew 21:12-17, Luke 19:45-47 Jesus at the Temple
  •    John 12:20-50 Jesus Predicts His Death, Belief and Unbelief Among the Jews (NIV headings)

See Holy Week 2014 – Monday – Jesus Was Hungry

Jesus left Jerusalem Sunday after looking around the Temple and not liking what He saw (see Palm Sunday). I have heard that at Passover Jerusalem could have a million visitors (that seems high so I will have to find that reference again) and many of them could be from out of the country. So when people in the city were asking who it was that had that type of parade, it was probably visitors. The query in John from the Greeks again would be a reasonable request because they were visitors.

Bethany, according to John 11:18 was only a two-mile walk from Jerusalem and since this Map-Palestine-New-Testament-Timeswas the hometown on Martha, Mary and Lazarus He and the Twelve Disciples had a place to stay. Jesus would also have dinner at Simon the Leper’s house later in the week. I always felt that it was Lazarus’ donkey that he rode into the city; it makes a great story but you cannot prove it.

In the scriptures for Sunday and Monday, a lot is made of the “signs” Jesus had performed. Jews believed that the Messiah would do a specific set of signs to prove His leadership. He did all of them and raising Lazarus from the dead was the crowning sign which is why people kept talking about it to get the crowd “fired up.” Feeding the 4,000 and 5,000 people with fish and bread was another sign; the timing for His signs was important which is part of the reason why He kept telling people to be quiet about the miracles.

The selling of the doves and animals was a “High Priest” sanctioned business venture that made them a lot of money. Since the animals were supposedly pre-checked to meet the sacrificial requirements it “was easier” for people to just buy the animals at the Temple. (The sheep were raised in the Bethlehem area where Jesus was born, nice foreshadowing to the story.) Roman/foreign money was not good in the Temple because it was not “holy”; that is why there were moneychangers. So between the miracles and the messing up of their business, the rulers were not happy with Jesus.

The cursing of the fig tree carries a lot of symbolism about religion that started back in the Garden of Eden. Please read my blog on “figs.”

John 12 shows the increasing emotional and physical strain that was on Jesus and indicates what the Garden of Gethsemane prayer time would be like.

 Mark 11:12-19 Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple Courts (This is a COMPILING of the stories in the Gospels)

12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” 14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

47 Every day he was teaching at the temple.18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

John 12:20-50 Jesus Predicts His Death

20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.34 The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?” 35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. 36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

Belief and Unbelief Among the Jews

37 Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.” 41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him. 42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.44 Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.47 “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. 49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

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