It was interval Tuesday. I just got back from my workout at Magness Fitness, (thanks Alida and Skye.)
I got on the treadmill and set the incline at 3 then immediately rose it to 6. Back and forth I toggled the incline from 0 to 3 to 6. Recovery, intermediate, and max was the game plan to allow my blood cells to oxygenate. My max heart rate climbed to 173.
As I plodded along waiting to hear the words, “And done,” I thought about Jesus and the disciples during His final days before His resurrection. Every day they would climb the hill over the Mount of Olives and crisscross from Bethany to Jerusalem and back to Bethany. How steep was that incline? I go to breathless and can’t talk as I’m climbing. The scenery stays the same for me.
Back and forth they would go though. Jesus ever talking and ever teaching as they climbed the descended the hill. Olive and fig trees lined the path, and the fragrance of olive oil permeated the atmosphere.
“When the chief priests and religious scholars heard this, they began to hatch a plot as to how they could eliminate Jesus. But they feared him and his influence, because the entire crowd was carried away with astonishment by his teaching. So he and his disciples spent the nights outside the city.”
Mark 11:18-19 TPT
“In the morning, they passed by the fig tree that Jesus spoke to and it was completely withered from the roots up.”
Mark 11:20 TPT
I call it Taxing Tuesday.
For Jesus this day, so long ago, came as a day of great confrontation with the religious leaders assembled in Jerusalem. Tuesday was filled with tales of teaching. We call them parables, and Jesus uses them to point out the religious leaders rejection of God’s messengers. These tales only add fuel to the smoldering anger in the Pharisees.
“They came again into Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the Jewish rulers—the chief priest, certain religious scholars, and the elders—approached him. They came up to him and asked, “What right do you have to say and do these things? Who gave you the authority to do all this?” Jesus replied, “I too have a question to ask you. If you can answer this question, then I will tell you by what power I do all these things. Where did John’s authority to immerse come from? Was it from heaven or from people? Answer me now.” They stepped away and debated among themselves, saying, “How should we answer this? If we say, ‘from heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why didn’t you respond to John and believe what he said?’ But if we say, ‘from the people,’ we fear the crowds, for they’re convinced that John was God’s prophet.” So they finally answered, “We don’t know.” “Then neither will I tell you where my power comes from to do these things,” Jesus replied.”
Mark 11:27-33 TPT
Stressful situations, yes Jesus had them also, but in the midst of the stress, the chaos, and the confrontations, Jesus took a moment to observe His surroundings.
“Then he sat down near the offering box, watching all the people dropping in their coins. Many of the rich would put in very large sums, but a destitute widow walked up and dropped in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. Jesus called his disciples to gather around and then said to them, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given a larger offering than any of the wealthy. For the rich only gave out of their surplus, but she sacrificed out of her poverty and gave to God all that she had to live on, which was everything she had.””
Mark 12:41-44 TPT
Another teaching moment. In the midst of Taxing Tuesday Jesus pauses a moment to memorialize a poor widow and her meager offering. We read this kodak moment from our side of His Story. We will never know her name but she is a giant among the Bible heroes. One day we will meet this precious widow. She will be wearing a robe of righteousness, a crown of beauty, and adorned with grace.
Taxing Tuesday comes to an end, but Jesus had a few more tales to conclude the day.
“After Jesus had completed his teachings, he said to his disciples, “You know that the Feast of the Passover begins in two more days. That’s when the Son of Man is to be betrayed and handed over to be crucified.””
Matthew 26:1-2 TPT
At the moment Jesus talks of His crucifixion, the priest and elders begin to conspire.
“Meanwhile, the prominent priests and religious leaders of the nation were gathered in the palace of the high priest Caiaphas. That’s when they made their decision to secretly have Jesus captured and killed. But they all agreed, “We can’t do this during the Passover celebrations or we could have a riot on our hands.””
Matthew 26:3-5 TPT
“Two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the leading priests and religious scholars were committed to finding a way to secretly arrest Jesus and have him executed. But they all agreed that their plot could not succeed if they carried it out during the days of the feast, for they said, “There could be a riot among the people.””
Mark 14:1-2 TPT
Also at the end of that same day, one of the twelve begins the betrayal.
“One of the twelve apostles, Judas the locksmith, went to the leading priests and said, “How much are you willing to pay me to betray Jesus into your hands?” They agreed to pay him thirty silver coins. Immediately Judas began to scheme and look for an opportunity to betray him.”
Matthew 26:14-16 TPT
“At that time Satan himself entered into Judas the locksmith, who was one of the twelve apostles. He secretly went to the religious hierarchy and the captains of the temple guards to discuss with them how he could betray Jesus and turn him over to their hands. The religious hierarchy was elated over Judas’ treachery, and they agreed to give him a sum of money in exchange for Jesus’ betrayal. Judas vowed that he would find them a suitable opportunity to betray Jesus when he was away from the crowds.”
Luke 22:3-6 TPT
Taxing Tuesdays. We all have them, but I propose to you that Jesus’ Tuesday was the granddaddy of all Taxing Tuesday’s. Yet, He still paused to celebrate the unsung heroes of the day.