Thursday, March 29
This scripture tells about Jesus and the twelve arriving in Jerusalem after an 18 mile walk from Jericho. It was late when they got there and they went to the temple, which was probably mostly empty because of the hour. Jesus wanted everyone to see his symbolic act of cleansing and restoration of the temple to its original God-given purpose, so they went to Bethany to return the next day.
When they returned, Jesus started throwing out everyone who had set up shop there. He kicked over the tables of the bankers and the stalls of the pigeon merchants. He didn’t let anyone even carry a basket through the temple. Then he taught the people saying: “My house was meant to be a house of prayer for all nations. You’ve turned it into a hangout for thieves.” The High Priests were threatened by his teachings and by the fact that the people were listening to him. They plotted as to how they might get rid of him. These acts doomed Jesus to death and he knew it.
As I read this scripture, it brought up a couple of different feelings in me. First, it made me think about Jesus in a much more human form. He showed many of the emotions that all of us feel….including anger, disappointment and pain. Pain that the people would allow the temple to become just a shortcut from the city to the Mt. of Olives and that they let it lose its distinctive religious purpose. Sometimes I feel that we do the same thing…..maybe not to our church buildings, but to our own personal temples within us. We forget the lessons that He taught us and let our temples be filled with unclean thoughts, hatred, cheating, disrespect…the list goes on.
Let us remember that Jesus gave his life to help us clean our temples and make peace among all people.
-Submitted by Wendy Camp
Apparently, the chief priests and scribes were looking for a way to kill Jesus because they were afraid of him. How has fear caused you to take an action you may later have regretted? How do you prevent fear from being a major contributor toward your decisions?