Tuesday Meditation
It's Tuesday. We entered Jerusalem with Jesus day before yesterday. Much has happened in such a short time. It was so strange to see Him weeping as He entered the city in the midst of the frenzied crowd who were shouting praises to Him. He went straight to the temple and caused a near riot, overthrowing the tables of the money changers and driving out the animals on sale there. The authorities wanted to kill Him.
Last night on the way out of the city He literally spoke to a fig tree and cursed it for pretending to have fruit when it did not. Well, this morning on the way back into Jerusalem, the fig tree was dead! He said, "That's the power of your faith filled words!" I'll never speak without thinking again. And I won't be someone who pretends to love God like the Pharisees. 
Arriving at the temple the religious authorities challenged Jesus, attempting to find a cause to arrest Him. He didn't back down. Instead, He spoke a list of things that they were doing that were an abomination to God. Since we have decided to follow Him, if need be, to our own death, let's examine our own lives in light of what Jesus spoke to them.
Matthew 23...
24 "You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!"
* You focus on unimportant things and ignore what the Father says is important.
25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence."
* You only care how you look to people, but ignore the selfish-sinfulness in your heart before God.
26 "You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. 27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."
* Deal with your heart before anything else!
29 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, 'If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?"
* They were always willing to do what could no longer be done, give what they didn't have, etc.In other words, they were living by "IF's...". "IF I had money I would give it, IF I had lived then I wouldn't have acted that way, etc.." It's easy to SAY what you would do if you don't have to do it. That's who they were. All talk. No action. Consequently, Jesus said they were snakes who were going to Hell.
Later Tuesday afternoon, we went to the Mount of Olives. Jesus taught about the end times and His coming again. We learned that even if we don't see Him, He is with us, and we should always be expecting His return.
While this was happening, Judas was bargaining to sell Jesus to the authorities. Life is full of betrayals, but we must forgive every one of them.
What I learned today...
Jesus is only interested in what the Father says is important. And If I am going to live for Him, it must be real, authentic, and from my heart, or else I'm wasting my time. 

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