Holy Week: Monday
Read: Matthew 21:12-16
Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”
The blind and the lame came to Him in the Temple, and He healed them. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David!” But the leaders were indignant. They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?”
“Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.” Then He returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight.
Re-read the passage, what sticks out to you? Why?
After Jesus’ triumphant entry we see He makes it all the way to the temple. Knowing very well that He’s about to run into authorities that have been wanting to kill Him …He doesn’t hold back from letting the public know that what they are doing is not okay.
Since it was Passover that area of the temple would be extremely crowded, imagine main street at Disneyland… that kind of crowded.
So Jesus is amongst the crowd at the temple, He sees what’s going on and He then quotes part of Isaiah 56:7 in which Isaiah says that God’s house was a house of prayer for all people. However, Jesus is standing in the “Court of the Gentiles” which was the only part of the Temple into which the Gentiles could go. This was not God’s intent for people to be segregated in different sections of the temple, this place was for anyone who wanted to encounter God’s presence.
He then quotes Jeremiah 7:11, which says, “you have turned the temple into a den of thieves.” There were those in the temple who were exploiting other people for profit. Money laundering, selling doves, they were taking advantage of people, in the name of God, for profit.
Jesus makes it clear that this is not okay.
But even in Jesus judgment of those who are doing wrong, the blind and the lame come to Him and He heals them. Jesus is our judge but He’s also our healer and comforter.
Pray that God will show you any areas in which you are tempted to look at Jesus or Christianity as a means to serve your own selfish desires. Ask God to give you the Christ-like heart of a servant.