April 6

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Fourth Day before Passover (Monday)

By Tresta Neil

Celebrations, Easter, פֶּסַח (Passover)

Jesus Curses the Fig Tree

Jesus and the apostles returned to Bethany Monday night and came back to Jerusalem Tuesday. On the way back into the city he preformed another miracle. Beside the road they saw the fig tree, Jesus approached it desiring a fig. When he found no fruit on the tree he cursed the tree by saying, “No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.” (Mark 11:12-14) 

The apostles saw the tree withered and dead, they marveled. Jesus answered, “Have faith in God…” (Mark 11:20-23.) Jesus used the fig tree to teach how faith in God helps you be fruitful and bring forth good fruit to bless the lives of others.

While in Jerusalem Jesus gave two different sermons. First Jesus warned the multitude about hypocrisy (Matthew 23:1-36) and he taught his disciples about the destruction of Jerusalem and the sings of His Second Coming (Matthew 24-25; JS-Matthew 1; BD, “Christ” and “Coming of Jesus Christ”) These are sermons I feel he was giving to us, warning us and guiding us today.

Jesus Teaching

Jesus shared several parables this day. Early on He told the parable of the two sons, the wicked husbandmen, and the marriage of the king’s son. (Matthew 21:28-22:14) Later he share the parable of the ten virgins, the talents, and the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25; BD “weights and measure”)

This week must have been very tiering for Jesus as he had to deal with those who were conspiring against him and plotting to take his life. The chief priests challenged His authority and he rebuked them (Matthew 21:23-46.) His enemies tried to trap him in His words. He answered their questions about Roman taxes, marriage and the Resurrection, and the great commandment (Matthew 22:15-46; BD “Caesar, “Herodians”, “Sadducees””.)

As a young woman my Young Woman’s leader asked us what we’d like to learn about. I remember telling her I’d like to learn the timeline of all the events in the scriptures. She never taught us, but it was something that stood out to me as a necessary thing. I felt I knew all the stories, but had no idea how they all went together and what came first or next. Since then I have enjoyed studying and creating timelines. It wasn’t until we were studying the New Testament last year that I thought about creating a timeline of the last week of Jesus’ life. I was surprised to learn how much he did in that short week. I was also surprised at how many things he did that week that I thought he’d done or taught weeks before during the beginning of his ministry.

This made me think about the apostles. They didn’t write about their experience until years later. Of course, they are going to remember his last week the best because it is what we ponder on the most when they are done.

Spence

My father died four years ago and I have pondered many times about his teachings and how he raised me. I could tell you some great stories both hard and fun, but without too much detail. I can, however give you specific details about the last few hours of his life. Those moments have been burned into my memory, just as the last week of Jesus’ life were etched into the apostles memory.

~ Chose one event or parable and discuss it as a family.

Reflect:

  • Have you ever pondered about how many things Jesus did the last week of his life? If so, what did you discover?
  • Search the scriptures (hint Doctrine and Covenants) for what the oil would represents today. How are you persevering your oil?
  • How are you preparing for the Second Coming?
  • While reading the parables Jesus taught and shared this day, what insight did you come to?
  • What do the parable of the two sons, the wicked husbandmen, and the marriage of the king’s son. (Matthew 21:28-22:14) have in common?
  • Why did Jesus choose “these” specific parables to teach?
  • Study the way Jesus responded to those plotting to kill him. How do you respond to your enemies?
  • What do you have etched into your memory?

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