Jesus and his disciples entered Jerusalem the day before in a triumphant parade surrounded by shouts of “Hosanna!”, “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
When the religious leaders told Jesus to make the people hush, the Son of God replied that even if the people stopped their praise, the rocks and stones themselves would rise up and sing. I absolutely love that image and truth.
After a night in Bethany, Christ and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. There they found money changers in the temple. These men charged exorbitant fees. In doing so, they took advantage of the poor who came to offer their sacrifice at the temple. Merchants sold inferior animals at inflated costs. The commonness of a market replaced the holiness of the temple.
And Jesus was not pleased.
At the beginning of Christ’s ministry he encountered the same thing (John 2:13-16). During that incident, Jesus took the time to braid strands into a whip before he cleared the temple. Possibly he was counting to ten?
This time, however, there doesn’t seem to be the pause between anger and action. Jesus knew his time on earth was coming to a close. He knew by the end of the week Judas would betray him and Jesus would be handed over to the religious leaders.
He would be beaten beyond recognition. Suffer unimaginable pain. Be crucified even though no fault or crime was found. He would pay the penalty for our sins. Christ would drink the cup of his Father’s wrath.
My question for each of us is this. Are we like those money changers who defiled God’s holy temple?
How do we treat the things of God? Of Jesus?
Do we revere the Holy Scriptures, read them, take them into our heart, and apply them to our lives?
Are we regularly in worship services with other believers, praising our Lord’s name? Not only during significant seasons such as Easter and Christmas, but all year long?
Or do we treat God’s house as nothing more than a social gathering? A place to network to further our careers? A common market place to buy and sell commodities?
Each of us will be held accountable for how we treat the holy things of God. The next time Jesus clears the temple, I do not think he’ll pause to braid a whip.
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When they arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus went to the Temple and began to drive out all those who were buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the stools of those who sold pigeons, and he would not let anyone carry anything through the Temple courtyards. He then taught the people: “It is written in the Scriptures that God said, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for the people of all nations.’ But you have turned it into a hideout for thieves!”
The chief priests and the teachers of the Law heard of this, so they began looking for some way to kill Jesus. They were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. Mark 11:15-18 (GNT)
You can find my April Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.
I wish you well.
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