What would you do if you knew you only had four more days to live? You are in good health, but you knew that your life was going to end soon. Would you keep on doing what you normally do or would you be doing something totally different? What is on your “bucket list”? If it were me, among other things, several bottles of Dom Perignon Champagne would be involved with only close family and close friends. Jesus, on the other hand, kept on doing what He always did. He kept on doing His Father’s will, no matter what people thought of Him. Jesus kept on butting heads with religious leaders who were hypocrites and He would not give up on getting through to His clueless disciples. One would think that after about three years of constantly ministering to people and teaching by word and example, they would know who Jesus was. But, they either refused to accept who Jesus was or they were waiting for more proof. How much more proof did they need? Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him because of those who had eyes, but could not see and ears, but could not hear. But, they did not stop Jesus from doing His Father’s will.
First, the chief priests questioned Jesus regarding where He got His authority to say and do what He said and did. Jesus, in turn, asked them what they thought about John the Baptist. They were afraid to commit to an answer, so Jesus, in turn, didn’t answer their question. Instead, Jesus told a parable about a father asking his two sons to work in the vineyard, another parable regarding a king who sends his slaves and finally his son to get what is His, and one more parable about a wedding feast. The Herodians questioned Jesus about taxes, so Jesus used a coin to answer them. The Sadducees questioned Jesus about the resurrection, which they did not believe in, and Jesus pointed out their ignorance of the Scriptures by using the Torah. The Pharisees questioned Jesus about which is the greatest commandment, and Jesus pointed out Deuteronomy 6:5. Jesus, in turn, questioned the Pharisees regarding the Scripture where David calls Him Lord (Psalm 110:1). No one could answer Him and no one had any more questions. And Jesus’ last Tuesday before His crucifixion was just getting started! (See Matthew 21:23-22:46; Mark 11:27-12:37; Luke 20:1-44.)
Jesus then condemned the Scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy, self-righteousness, in their outward show of religiosity without any sincere love for God and His people. In Matthew, Jesus called them “hypocrites” and “sons of hell” and “blind guides” “blind men” and “sons of those who murdered the prophets”. Also in Matthew, Jesus lamented over Jerusalem. (See Matthew 23:1-39; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 21:1-4.) And Jesus continues to teach in the temple.
Jesus pointed out a poor widow to His disciples. She put two copper coins in the temple treasury. Jesus said her gift was greater than those of the rich. Jesus, despite all the back-and-forth with the religious elite, noticed a poor widow, when everyone else would not even have noticed she existed. This was AMAZING LOVE! (See Mark 12:41-44 and Luke 21:1-4.) Jesus’ day is not done yet.
When Jesus left the temple, Philip and Andrew brought Greeks who wanted to see Him. Jesus then talks about the necessity of His death, using a seed as an analogy. Jesus prayed, “Father, glorify Your Name!” God’s voice from heaven was heard, saying, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” Some thought they heard thunder. Others had questions about His death and Jesus answered them: “The Son of Man must be lifted up.” Jesus talked about Himself as “Light” and told His disciples, “Put your trust in the Light while you have it, so that you may become sons of Light.” Jesus wanted His disciples to trust in Him, even while all the powers of hell were going to be unleashed in a few days and it will seem like hell is winning. (See John 12:20-36.)
The Gospel according to John points to Isaiah’s prophesy being fulfilled when the Jewish religious leaders reject Jesus as Messiah (See Isaiah 53:1 and 6:10). There were those among them who did believe in Jesus, but they kept silent because they were afraid of the Pharisees and “…they loved praise from men more than praise from God.” Jesus cried out to all who were listening, “When a man believes in Me, he does not believe in Me only, but in the One Who sent Me. When he looks at Me, he sees the One Who sent Me…For I did not speak of My own accord, but the Father Who sent Me commanded Me what to say and how to say it. I know that His command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told Me to say.” (See John 12:37-50.) This account in John makes me ask myself, “How many times do I care more about what people say about me than what God says about me?”
May We All Spread His Light!