The Final Week.....
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.
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