This morning we covered familiar ground, the Triumphal entry of Christ in Matthew chapter 21. Have you ever stopped to consider how much of the gospels cover the final week of the 33 years Christ dwelt among us? They all vary in length. John devotes nearly half, Mark a third, in total if you add all of the chapters of the gospels together the passion week covers a third. It is a point of emphasis.
It is so important to consider the mindset of Jesus as he rode humbly into Jerusalem. In the previous chapter, he tells his disciples, what was soon to unfold. [Mat 20:17-19 NKJV] 17 Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, 18 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, 19 "and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again."
This was no ordinary passover. Jesus, following the will of His Father, was laying His life down to pay the price for your sins and mine. As He entered the city, he saw what men had turned what belonged to His Father into. Mat 21:12-13 NKJV - 12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.' "
If you're familiar with the scriptures, you may remember that this was not the first time that Jesus cleaned house at the temple. In John chapter 2, just three years prior, we read of a similar scene. Jesus made a whip of chords, and drove the money changers and thieves out of the temple. He poured out the changers' money and overturned the tables. As dramatic as this may have been at the time, in our chapter today we see that just a short time later, they had set up shop again. No matter how big of an impact Jesus had had on them one day in the past, they were no longer following His instructions as the tables had once again been set up!
It's easy for us to look upon them and judge or criticise. How could they claim for themselves what belonged to God? How could they so blatantly disregard His desire for His temple? Or so quickly forget HIs commands?
What about us? Have we forgotten the same things? Have we mistaken the building in which we worship for the Temple of God? Consider the words of Paul to the Corinthian church....1Co 3:16-17 NKJV - 16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
We are the temple. So the challenge gang is this: How would Jesus respond to an inspection of you, His temple? Have you allowed "tables" to be set up that would be displeasing to Him, or bring dishonor? Is there a table of bitterness in your heart? A table of self indulgence or a table of pride? What tables would He desire to overturn in you, His temple, for your good? Tables that are getting in the way of His best for you, His will for you?
As we continue to go through His Word together, allow His Word to go through you. Ask God to reveal the tables He would overturn and let Him cleanse you, that your life would bring Him glory!
Grace and Peace.
Have you ever thought about what it must have been like to raise the Son of God? To never to have to deal with the "terrible two's," at least with your oldest? In Luke 1:48 in the NLT, Mary describes herself as lowly. "For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed." That was Mary. Up until the point that the angel Gabriel appeared to her, she was just a young girl in the shadows, probably no more than 14 or 15 years old, by all practical purposes in this world, she was a nobody. In an instant, her life changed for all of eternity.
Reflecting on Mother's Day this year, I began to wonder about what Mary knew and when she knew it. She knew Jesus was special, that he was miraculously conceived through the Holy Spirit, but did she know he would have to die for the sins of the world, your sins, my sins, and even her own?
What did she think after she and Joseph took their eight day old son to the temple to be circumcised? Remember the old man Simeon lifted their boy up and prophesied over Him? Near the end of his declaration, he said these ominous words referring to Mary, "...a sword will pierce through your own soul....." Luke 2:35 NKJV. How many times did she ponder that? Did she ever ask her Son what the old man meant? Did those words flash back into her mind as she saw her boy and her Savior hung on the cross? There’s no greater pain than a parent having to bury one of their own children. Mary knew He was special, knew He was the Son of God, but did she know that He lived as a man, so that He could die?
In the words of Mark Lowry’s song, Mary Did You Know?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you
Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.
What did Mary know and when?
We should honor Mary as God has honored her, though we should not worship her. Likewise, we should honor our own mothers for their decision to partner with God in giving us life. Giving us the opportunity to love and to learn of our Savior Jesus, to be forgiven and have a personal relationship with our Lord. Happy Mother Day to all the Mom's out there, both physical and spiritual, for your nurture, love, and grace. God Bless.