The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 135

Passion Week ~ Tuesday

In our last post, we examined the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. In this post, we walk with Yeshua as He returns to Yerushalayim for the final time.


Tuesday is a long day of great confrontation with the religious leaders assembled in Yerushalayim. By way of parables, Yeshua points out that the leaders’ predecessors have always rejected God’s messengers and that now they are rejecting even the Son of God. The P’rushim are angry and attempt to trap Yeshua into making statements by which they can arrest Him. The Tz’dukim (Saducees) join with the P’rushim as they adamantly reject any resurrection of the dead. Yeshua once again responds with superior spiritual insight.   [1]  

Lesson from the Fig Tree

20 In the morning, as the talmidim passed by, they saw the fig tree withered all the way to its roots. 21 Kefa remembered and said to Yeshua, “Rabbi! Look! The fig tree that you cursed has dried up!” [2]  20 The talmidim saw this and were amazed. “How did the fig tree dry up so quickly?” they asked. 21 Yeshua answered them, “Yes! I tell you, if you have trust and don’t doubt, you will not only do what was done to this fig tree but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Go and throw yourself into the sea!’ it will be done. 22 In other words, you will receive everything you ask for in prayer, no matter what it is, provided you have trust.”  [3] 25 And when you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him; so that your Father in Heaven may also forgive your offenses.” [4]

Yeshua’s Authority Questioned

27 They went back into Yerushalayim; and as He was walking in the Temple courts, there came to Him the Head Cohanim, the Torah-teachers, and the elders; 28 and they said to Him, “What s’mikhah (ordination) do you have that authorizes you to do these things? Who gave you this s’mikhah authorizing you to do them?” 29 Yeshua said to them, I will ask you just one question: answer me, and I will tell you by what s’mikhah I do these things. 30 The immersion of Yochanan—was it from Heaven or from a human source? Answer me.” 31 They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From Heaven,’ He will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘From a human source, … ‘ – they were afraid of the people, for they all regarded Yochanan as a genuine prophet. 33 So they answered Yeshua, “We don’t know.” “Then,” He replied, “I won’t tell you by what s’mikhah I do these things.” [5]

Hebrew s’mikhah, rendering Greek exousia (“authority”), means “leaning” or “laying” on of hands in the ordination ceremony for a judge, elder or rabbi. Laying on of hands is, in the Tanakh, a symbolic act that confers or transfers an office and its duties and privileges by dramatizing God’s bestowal of the blessings and giftings needed for the work. The practice in Judaism is traced back to Moshe’s ordination of Y’hoshua and the seventy elders.

The cohanim and elders, who are also P’rushim (v. 45, 3:7N), are asking: “What kind of ordination did you receive that entitles you to teach as authoritatively as you do to decide points of halakhah  [6]  as you do and to disturb the peace in the Temple courts? And who dared give you such an ordination?” Yeshua does not answer their question but instead puts them on the defensive.

In our next, we continue to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the end of the week.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] F. LaGard Smith, The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order
[2] Mark 11:20–21.
[3] Mattityahu 21:20–22.
[4] Mark 11:25.
[5] Mark 11:27–33.
[6] Refers to non-Biblical Jewish Law.

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