THE LAST VISITS OF JESUS TO THE TEMPLE
Matthew xxi: 18, to xxiii: 39; Mark xi: 12, to xii: 44; Luke xix: 45, to xxi: 4.
N Monday morning, the second day of the week, Jesus rose
very early in the morning and, without waiting to take
his breakfast, went with his disciples from Bethany
over the Mount of Olives toward Jerusalem. On the
mountain he saw at a distance a fig-tree covered with
leaves, and although it was early for figs to be ripe,
he hoped that he might find upon it some figs fit to be
eaten. Among the Jews, and by their law, any one
passing a tree could eat of its fruit, even though he
were not the owner; but he would not be allowed to
carry any away.
But when Jesus came near to this tree he saw that there
was no fruit upon it, neither ripe nor green, but
leaves only. Then a thought came into the mind of
Jesus; and he spoke to the tree, while his disciples
heard his words, "No fruit shall grow on thee from this
time forever." And then he walked on his way to
Jerusalem. We shall see later why Jesus spoke those
words, and what came from them.
 You remember that when Jesus came to Jerusalem the
first time after he began to preach, he found the
courts of the Temple filled with people buying, and
selling, and changing money, and he drove them all out.
This we read in Story 116. But that had
been three years before; and now when Jesus came into
the Temple on the Monday morning before the Passover he
found all the traders there once more, selling the
oxen, and sheep, and doves for sacrifices and changing
money at the tables.
And again Jesus rose up against these people who would
make his Father's house a shop and a place of gain. He
drove them all out; he turned over the tables of the
money-changers, scattering their money on the floor; he
cleared away the seats of those that were selling
doves; and whenever he saw any one even carrying a jar,
or a basket, or any load through the Temple, he stopped
him, and made him go back. He said to all the people,
"It is written in the prophets, 'My house shall be
called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have
made it a den of robbers!' "
JESUS DRIVES OUT THE TRADERS
The Jews had made it a rule that no blind man, nor any
lame man, could go into the Temple; for they thought
only those perfect in body should come before the Lord.
But they forgot that God looks at hearts and not at
bodies. And when Jesus found that many blind and lame
people were at the doors of the Temple he allowed them
to come in, and made them all well.
And the little children, who always loved Jesus, saw
him in the Temple, and they cried out, as they heard
others crying, "Hosanna to the Son of David!"
The chief priests and scribes were greatly displeased
as they heard the voices of these children, and they
said to Jesus, "Do you hear what these are saying?"
And Jesus said, "Yes; and have you never read what is
written in the Psalms, 'Out of the mouth of babes and
little ones, thou hast made thy praise perfect?' "
And all the common people came to hear Jesus as he
taught in the Temple, and they listened to him gladly,
for he gave them plain and simple teachings, with many
parables or stories. But the rulers and chief priests
grew more and more angry as they saw the courts of the
Temple filled with people eager to hear Jesus. They
tried to find some way to lay hands on Jesus, and to
kill him; but they dared not while all the crowds were
 All that day Jesus taught the people, and when night
came he went out of the city, over the Mount of Olives,
to Bethany, where he was safe among his friends.
And on the next morning, which was Tuesday of the week
before the Passover, Jesus again went over the Mount of
Olives with his disciples. They passed the fig-tree to
which Jesus had spoken such strange words on the day
before. And now the disciples saw that the tree was
standing, withered and dried, with its leaves dry and
rustling in the wind.
"Look, Master!" said Peter.
"The fig-tree to which you spoke yesterday is
And Jesus said to them all, "Have faith in God, for in
truth I say to you, that if you have faith, you shall
not only do this which has been done to the fig-tree;
but also, if you shall say to this mountain, 'Be moved
away and thrown into the sea!' it shall be done. And
all things, whatever they may be, that you ask in
 you have faith, shall be given to you." Again Jesus
went into the Temple and taught the people.
And Jesus gave another parable or story, that of "The
Wedding Feast." He said:
"There was a certain king who made a great feast at the
wedding of his son; and he sent out his servant to call
those whom he had invited to the feast. But they would
not come. Then he sent forth other servants, and said,
'Tell those who were invited that my dinner is all
ready; my oxen are killed, and the dishes are on the
table. Say to them, "All things are ready; come to the
"But the men who had been sent for would not come. One
went to his farm, another to his shop, and some of them
seized the servants whom he sent, and beat them, and
treated them roughly; and some of them they killed.
This made the king very angry. He sent his armies, and
killed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then
he said to his servants, 'The wedding-feast is ready,
but those that were invited were not worthy of such
honor. Go out into the streets, and call in everybody
that you can find, high and low, rich and poor, good
and bad, and tell them that they are welcome.'
 "The servants went out and invited all the people of
every kind, and brought them to the feast, so that all
the places were filled. And to all who came they gave a
wedding garment, so that every one might be dressed as
was fitting before the king.
"But when the king came in to meet his guests, he saw
there a man who had not on a wedding garment. He said
to him, 'Friend, why have you come to the feast
without a wedding garment?'
"The man had nothing to say; he stood as one dumb. Then
the king said to his officers, 'Bind him hand and foot,
and throw him out into the darkness, where there shall
be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For in the kingdom of
God many are called, but few are chosen.' "
The enemies of Jesus thought that they had found a way
to bring him into trouble, either with the people, or
with the Romans, who were the rulers over the land. So
they sent to him some men, who acted as though they
were honest and true, but were in their hearts seeking
to destroy Jesus. These men came, and they said,
"Master, we know that you teach the truth, and that you
are not afraid of any man. Now tell what is right, and
what we should do. Ought our people, the Jews, to pay
taxes to the Roman Emperor Caesar, or not? Shall we
pay, or shall we not pay?"
And they watched for his answer. If he should say, "It
is right to pay the tax," then these men could tell the
people, "Jesus is the friend of the Romans, and the
enemy of the Jews," and then they would turn away from
him. But if he should say, "It is not right to pay the
tax; refuse to pay it," then they might say to the
Roman governor that Jesus would not obey the laws, and
the governor might put him in prison or kill him. So
whatever answer Jesus might give, they hoped he might
make trouble for himself.
But Jesus knew their hate and the thoughts of their
hearts, and he said, "Let me see a piece of the money
that is given for the tax."
They brought him a silver piece, and he looked at it,
and said, "Whose head is this on the coin? Whose name
is written over it?"
They answered him, "That is Caesar, the Roman emperor."
"Well, then," said Jesus, "give to Caesar the things
that are Caesar's, and give to God the things that are
JESUS AND THE PIECE OF MONEY
They wondered at his answer, for it was so wise that
they could speak nothing against it. They tried him
with other questions, but he answered them all, and
left his enemies with nothing to say.
 Then Jesus turned upon his enemies, and spoke to them
his last words. He told them of their wickedness, and
warned them that they would bring down the wrath of God
Jesus was in the part of the Temple called "The
Treasury," because around the wall were boxes in which
the people dropped their gifts when they came to
worship. Some that were rich gave much money; but a
poor widow came by and dropped in two little coins, the
very smallest, the two together worth only a quarter of
a cent. Jesus said, "I tell you in truth that this poor
widow has dropped into the treasury more than all the
rest. For the others gave out of their plenty, but she,
in her need, has given all that she had."
And with these words Jesus rose up, and went out of the
Temple for the last time. Never again was the voice of
Jesus heard within those walls.
THE POOR WIDOW DROPS IN TWO LITTLE COINS