- Matthew 23:24-25
On the third day of Holy Week Jesus again traveled from Bethany to Jerusalem and entered the Temple. After his turning over of the tables of the money-changers on Monday, He knew that the leaders of the Temple would challenge him directly and attempt to force Him to say something for which they could accuse Him of blasphemy against the Law. But Jesus took a different approach, He spoke of the wisdom and love of God and instead pointed out the hypocrisy of the leaders who used ceremony and outer appearances to hide what they really were doing. And the leaders, realizing that many of their people agreed with Jesus, and knowing within themselves that He was telling the truth, decided that this discourse would not lead to their desired result and they again backed off. But they had identified a weakness in one of His followers, Judas Iscariot, who was disillusioned with Jesus because he wanted Jesus to change the world right now by banishing Rome. Judas really didn't grasp the message of the future which Jesus was preaching.
That afternoon Jesus and His Disciples left Jerusalem and went to the Mount of Olives directly east of the Temple. There the Savior delivered what has come to be called the Olivet Discourse, a prophecy about the coming destruction of the Temple in the future and the end of the age. The entire discourse can be found in Matthew 21:23 - 24:51. It is also covered in other Gospels and parallels portions of the The Revelation by Saint John the Divine.
After a busy day, Jesus and His followers grew weary and returned to Bethany for a meal and the night. While this was happening, Judas finally met with the High Priest and negotiated a plan to identify Jesus to the Temple guards in the near future. He would pinpoint a time and place for the guards to come where Jesus would be with all of the Disciples, including Judas, and point Him out for them. The script is right on schedule and Jesus knows what is coming, yet He is committed to finishing the task that The Father has given Him to do. The Greatest Story Ever Told will continue tomorrow. Praise His Holy Name!