Wednesday of Holy Week
Israel’s religious leaders had one goal: to get rid of Jesus of Nazareth. If this meant cooperating with lifelong enemies, the means were justified. The Pharisees, the Herodians and the Sadducees joined forces to discredit Jesus. His authority was questioned. “By what authority do you do these things?” Jesus did not remain silent. He replied to their questions. As they attempted to trap him, Jesus rebuked them for their envy and deceit. In a single day, he condemned the religious authorities while confirming his own mission. When an expert in the Mosaic law was sent to question him about The Greatest Commandment, Jesus summarized the Commandments into two points: Love for God and love for others. The crowds and disciples were warned about the hypocrisy and unbelief of the nation’s religious leaders and the tension escalated.
May my life bear truthful witness to the message of Jesus.
Read the gospel narratives of Jesus’ activities on the Tuesday before his death.
Mark 11:27-33, Mark 12:1-44. Reflect on them
When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds and walked away.
They ask Jesus “By what authority are you doing these things?”. The question refers to Jesus’ prophetic act in the temple on Monday and Mark’s use of the plural “things” suggests that Sunday’s provocative entry into the city may also be included. The question is intended to lure Jesus into making a claim that might incriminate him.
Marcus Borg, The Last Week
Hope is what you get when you suddenly realize that a different worldview is possible, a worldview in which the rich, the powerful, and the unscrupulous do not after all have the last word,
Jesus says, in effect, “I’m telling you that the way of domination will not build a new world. I have come to model for you the way to be human and the way to be divine—it is the way of loving service.” Sometimes even the church does not understand this.