Bible scholars attribute many happenings to the Tuesday of Holy Week. Jesus was questioned by the religious leaders as to by what authority was He speaking and performing miracles. Jesus cleverly trapped them with their own questions, and they left him alone. (Matthew 21:23-27) After that confrontation, Jesus proceeded to teach in parables about the tenants who killed the messengers sent by the master, then about the wedding banquet where those invited refused to come and then strangers were welcomed in their place. Both of these pointed to the treatment of Jesus, God’s Son, by the religious leaders and Jews of His day. Jesus also taught about taxes and where we owe our allegiance. He spoke about marriage in heaven and who He really was. (Matthew 21:28-23:39) Later in the evening, Jesus ate at the home of Lazarus, Mary and Martha. There Mary anointed Jesus with pure nard, a very expensive perfume, and the disciples were upset at her for using this costly perfume on Jesus. (Matthew 26:6-12) From morning until night, Jesus used every minute to instruct and build up the faith of His followers as He knew His time was short.
During this day, one of Jesus’ most important teachings was revealed when the Jewish leaders asked Jesus what was the most important commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39 (ESV)
This statement about the right priorities for our lives is so simply stated, and yet is so difficult to live out on a daily basis. Putting God first in our lives will keep everything else in balance and then loving others with as much love as we love ourselves comes next. Do you love yourself? Do you take care with what you put into your body, soul and mind? Jesus tells us that He expects us to love and respect ourselves. Out of that love for God will flow and be poured into those around us. Think about your priorities today and the fact that Jesus spent time His last week on earth telling us how to align our lives in the most productive way for ourselves and others.
Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can have His Holy Spirit’s indwelling power that enables me to keep my priorities in line with Him. Putting God first then yourself and others is God’s way. Thankfully, He is able to see this work to completion as promised in Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” He also promised help in Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Praise God! He wants us to show His love to others and will enable us to do so in His time and His way.