“Here He comes.” Thadeus nudged the fellow scribe next to him when he saw Jesus enter the gate of Jerusalem.
They and the priests with them studied His every move.
They followed Jesus as He led His followers to the temple.
They all froze when Jesus stopped in the outer area reserved for Gentiles.
“What’s He up to now?”
“Just wait and see. He’s bound to cross the line again any time now.”
Jesus stared at the men exchanging money for traveling worshipers. “The Father’s house is not a place to conduct business.”
Jesus grabbed a table and sent it tumbling. Coins rolled across the pavement. “Take this outside.” A second table fell by His actions.
He marched to some men selling doves for sacrifice and pulled a chair out from under one of them. The chair broke against the wall behind them.
“Take this out of here.”
Another chair flew against the wall.
“It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations.’ But, you have made it a ‘den of thieves.'”
Crowds scattered as the men selling doves picked up their tables with cages on them and carried them out of the temple area. They forced their way past the people picking up coins.
A priest grabbed Thadeus’s sleeve. “Who does He think He is with these actions?”
Thadeus shook his head. “I don’t know, but for a simple Galilean He sure knows His scripture. Those were quotes from Isaiah and Jeremiah.”
After the chaos subsided a blind man was led to Jesus.
Jesus smiled. “What do you want Me to do?”
The blind man grasped his cane with both hands. “I can’t see. I want to see.”
Jesus stroked the man’s cheek. “Go your way. Your faith has made you well.”
The man blinked a few times, then looked at Jesus’s smiling eyes. “Thank You. I can see.”
“Go. Your faith has made you well.”
A woman was carried to Jesus on a cot. Jesus touched the blanket covering her crooked legs. Her legs straightened. He took her hand and helped her to her feet. He patted her back as they hugged.
“Your family needs you. Go to them, mighty woman of faith.”
An echo came from a group of children. “Hosanna, Hosanna to the Son of David.”
Jesus smiled, dropped to one knee and hugged a toddling girl.
A priest stepped forward. “Why aren’t You correcting these kids? Don’t You know what they’re saying?”
Jesus looked up at the priest. “Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of children and nursing infants You have perfected praise.'”
Thadeus tipped his head to the left. “A Psalm of David, this man knows His Word.”
Another scribe pulled the group together in a huddle. “We must stop Him before everybody follows Him.”
A priest looked at the crowded temple area. “We can’t now. With this many people around we’ll just start a riot. Then the Romans will put a stop to everything we hold dear.”
A chief priest stood. “Just be patient. We know He’s here. Our time will come by God’s timing.”
The cleansing of the temple was a dramatic move by Jesus. His passion for God’s house of worship could not be contained.
He didn’t let the opinions of the religious establishment of His day stop Him from doing what was over-due to be done.
Have you ever searched for the reason behind Jesus’s rage that day?
It wasn’t the business these men were conducting. Worshipers needed someone to exchange their foreign currency into something they could give to the temple treasury. Few doves would survive the journey of several days in a cage as they came to Jerusalem for the annual sacrifice. Doves and lambs would have to be sold for them.
No, it wasn’t the business that was the problem, it was the place of business that got Jesus’s temper stirred up.
The temple was divided onto sections for various worshipers. The inner-most place was the Holy of Holies. Only a selected priest could enter there.
Outside of there Jewish men could come, but not women. Women could come to the area walled off for them.
Between the outer wall of the temple Herod constructed in Jesus’s day and the area where women were allowed was the section devoted to Gentiles who wished to worship God at the temple. This is where the business had crept into.
The religious leaders apparently felt it was appropriate to let doves and coin exchange conducted in the place non-Jews came to.
Jesus’s heart was for all people. Gentiles could not worship well while money was changing hands and haggling was going on. That distraction needed to be taken beyond the outer wall.
[Tweet “Erosion is a silent stealer of priorities.”]
Is there an area of your life where something has crept in to distract your worship of God?
Do you need to make amends to someone for your prayer life to flourish again?
Can you make improvements toward your spouse and/or family members to bring your mind into full communion with God the Father?
You may have to step back to see the distractions in your life. Erosion is a silent stealer of priorities. Its gradual efforts are difficult to detect without direct observation and confrontation.
Pray for wisdom and discernment as you attempt to uncover what you’ve been burying all this time.
Enlist the help of godly people who use the Bible as a guidebook.
Read the Bible to find examples and instruction for the best ways to worship unobstructed.
This week of Passover was a time many people would finally have an audience with this miracle worker/healer. Jesus took the time to give them His attention and focus. Their lives would forever be changed.
Give Jesus your attention by focusing on your priorities to others.
He’s waiting for you to get right with them so He can have your undivided attention.
That’s an intimacy everyone should strive for.
Take drastic measures if you need to.
Jesus wants your all.
I’ll see you later. Wade