Monday, April 2, 2012

He Must Increase-Day 93

Yesterday (2000 years ago) Jesus entered Jerusalem to the cheers of the adoring crowds. He was the man of the hour! He was heralded by the masses! If he had been a politician he'd have been glad handing, waving, and kissing babies. But that was yesterday. On Monday the crowds had gone home, the fanfare was over and Jesus was painfully aware of what awaited him on Friday.

Moving to the temple to teach and heal he discovered people once again making a mockery of that holy place. They were trading money, selling animals for sacrifice, and making a lot of noise! The sellers were not just kindhearted merchants, but predators preying on pilgrims who came to Jerusalem for worship. Unfair exchange rates were common. Exorbitant fees the norm. Jesus had had enough. He turned over those tables, and for the second time in his ministry, chased those people out shouting, "My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’ (see Mk 11, Mt 21, Lk 19).

Mark's gospel reports that at this point "the chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him..." (Mk 11:18) Some have suggested that the Sadducees, who were the ruling party of the day, were getting kickbacks on the business transactions in the temple courts. When Jesus chased the merchants from the temple he was threatening their bottom line. Whether that's true or not, Mark says "they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching." The words of Jesus are still shaking things up today.

It's Monday, and Jesus was clearing out the temple. The temple in his day was a building, in our day it's us. We are the temple of God's Holy Spirit. I wonder if there is anything that needs clearing out today? I wonder if there is anything that the Lord Jesus would chase out should you allow him access to your temple? (see 1 Cor 6:19-20)

It's Monday. On Friday Jesus will face the cross.

Read the Bible in One Year Plan: 1 Samuel 21-24


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