Holy Monday

March 25, 2024

Holy Monday was the day after Palm Sunday. On that day the Pharisees had commanded Jesus to silence the joyful praises of the multitude

Holy Monday was the cleansing of the temple. John 2:13-17 tells us of the first cleansing of the temple by Jesus, who now presents himself as the Messiah. This first cleansing was intended as instruction and warning. The second cleansing took place during Jesus' last week prior to His crucifixion. Jesus fulfilled an ancient prophecy when He delivered a symbolic judgment on disrespect for the Father's house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7, Jeremiah 7:11).

After His arrival in Jerusalem, Jesus spent Sunday night in Bethany, the village at the foot of the Mount of Olives (Matthew 21:17). It is not known whether He spent the night in the open air or in a house in the village. When Jesus returned to Jerusalem on Monday, He saw a fig tree that already had leaves before its season. Jesus knew that fig trees bear fruit twice a year, in June and September. It was only April, but since the tree had leaves, He also expected fruit on the tree, but the tree was fruitless. Jesus cursed the tree, and the next day it was withered to the roots.

On the way from Bethany to Jerusalem, Peter sees the tree that Jesus had cursed the previous morning. “Rabbi, look!” he says in surprise. “The fig tree that you cursed has withered” (Mark 11:21).

But why did Jesus allow the tree to wither? He says, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what I did to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, 'Get up from your place and throw yourself into the sea,' then that will happen. And whatever you ask for in faith you will get” (Matthew 21:21, 22). So he repeats the lesson he gave earlier, that faith can move mountains (Matthew 17:20).