There are two specific actions Bible Commentaries assign to Monday of Holy Week. Jesus entered the city humbly and triumphantly on Sunday and then cleansed the temple area of money changers and withered a fig tree on Monday. Both actions seem harsh from our Lord but give a picture of the worldly opposition to God’s kingdom. From both we get a glimpse of divine justice. You can read the accounts in Matthew 21 and Mark 11.
Jerusalem at Passover was a bustling city with many pilgrims arriving to make offerings at the temple. They needed to purchase animals for sacrifice and change money so they could pay the yearly temple tax. The exchanges were all being conducted in the outer court of the Gentiles. Here is Matthew’s account from 21:12-14.
12-14 Jesus went straight to the Temple and threw out everyone who had set up shop, buying and selling. He kicked over the tables of loan sharks and the stalls of dove merchants. He quoted this text:
My house was designated a house of prayer;
You have made it a hangout for thieves.
Now there was room for the blind and crippled to get in. They came to Jesus and he healed them. (Message)
Jesus was then, is now and will be in eternity the Righteous Judge. He saw the true motives of the people desiring to make money exorbitantly and uprooted and cast them out literally. He placed priority for prayer and worship on coming to God’s house. He got right to the work of his ministry- healing and allowing access to God for everyone.
As we near the cross, take heart from this short snippet in Jesus’ last week. Know that He came to save and set right relationships and motives towards God. What attitudes do you need adjusted by Jesus today? Do you attend church to make ‘connections’ with people for business or do you come to pray and reflect on your walk with Jesus? Looking at the heart is what Jesus did then and does now in our lives through the Holy Spirit. Let Him cleanse your heart today and put you on the right pathway with right motives. May our hearts be right with God today as suggested in this quote by Charles Wesley.
Prayer: Father God, I come to you today in need of readjusted attitudes and I desire that my motives be made pure. Show me where I have wrong attitudes and motives. Fill me with your Spirit anew today and guide me in your ways. Cause me to walk with you in humility and openness. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Desiring to have a heart of prayer today,