by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buyingand selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.'” (Matthew 21:12-13, NIV)
Today is Monday of Holy Week. Scripture records that Jesus did one of his most provocative acts by turning over the tables in the temple.
It was Passover time, and the faithful made sacrifices for their sin, as well as to celebrate God’s protection. They went to the Temple grounds to procure the food needed for their celebration meal. One of the things that likely transpired was price gouging for items people needed to buy, but there was another, more nefarious practice indicated by the inclusion of the money changers. The money changers were offering different rates based on their idea of who was most acceptable to be in the Temple. This floating exchange rate was used to keep “undesirables” away, and control access to the Passover celebration at the Temple. This infuriated Jesus, because he came to show that the heart of God beats for all of humanity, and not just the wealthy, powerful, and well-connected. Just as the angels appeared to the shepherds the night Jesus was born, here is another instance of God showing up and showing out for the “least of these.”
This event, and the miracles that directly followed — Jesus healed the blind and lame, as well as spent time children — likely solidified Jesus’ fate in the minds of the religious elite. He went after their pocketbooks and their authority, but not to claim it for himself; no, he did this to show that all people have access to God! This, my friends, is GOOD NEWS!
Jesus removed all of the things that you think might disqualify you from God’s presence. You have the ability to go straight to him though you may be blind, lame, young, poor, whatever. Jesus took the fight to those who were trying to keep people away, so you can know just how welcome you are. Will you go to him? Will you?
Prayer: Dear Lord, there are times I feel so unworthy of your presence. Help me to know that the invitation for me to come has less to do with my own worthiness, and everything to with yours. I thank you for your love in Jesus, making it possible for me to come to you, just as I am. I lift this prayer in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.
Have a blessed day,