BEFORE YOU BEGIN TODAY, take a few moments to quiet your mind and prepare your heart to receive God’s Word.
12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” 14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” 17 And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.
18 In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. 20 When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?”
21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
23 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Not everyone in Jerusalem was thrilled to see Jesus the day he entered
Jerusalem and went right to the temple. He entered the temple. Matthew tells us when the Jewish religious leaders saw the wonderful things Jesus did, they were indignant. They didn’t like Jesus coming into their space and taking over. The money changers in the temple had turned a house of prayer into a den of robbers, and therefore distorting the priorities of the people.
Jesus saw this and refused to let His Father’s house be defiled any longer. The money changers, you see had taken a space that was supposed to be devoted to prayer and worship and used it for their business dealings. To be sure, people needed to be able to buy animals for sacrifices, yet this Temple space should have been kept holy.
THERE'S an APP for THAT
APP # 1
Before we shake our heads at the "buyers and the sellers", or point an accusing finger at them, perhaps we should pause and consider if the space in our life that should be devoted to prayer and worship is being crowded out by the busyness or pressures of life.
Ask the God to search your heart and show you any areas that need to be transformed into space for worship. Ask God to fill you with joy in his presence.
APP # 2
Let’s take a moment to consider how we each think about our worship gatherings. Are there any ways in which your worship with other Christ followers has been twisted into something other than worship for God?
Ask God to use our congregation gatherings to remind one another of who He is and what He has done for us and through us. Ask Him to purify us as a people, so that our gatherings will always be for worshipping and enjoying Him, as the song we sing says "It's all about You Jesus, all this (worship) is for you, .... it's not about us, as if we should have things our way... You Alone Are GOD and we surrender to your way.
APP # 3
One of the parts of our reading today that draws my attention is that the children in the temple were crying out and worshipping Jesus "Hosanna in the highest." We rae told that Jesus heals in the temple those who are in need. The Children witnessed this. They saw the great things Jesus had done.
What are some great things Jesus has done for you and your family or community?
Where has He caused you to marvel at His power and love?
Thank God for those things, and ask Him to help you through the eyes of his Spirit to percieve His wonderful works each day, because they are there, that will cause you to praise Him in gratitude.