“And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make my Father’s house a house of merchandise.” John 2:14-16
I have told many men in various groups, including TJC if you don’t know how to tell your own story how will you ever tell His story? Well this is our introduction to Holy week and I will tell you now, this week we will be telling His story!
The day before on Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem upon a colt and the people waved palm branches in order to praise Him. Most of us are familiar with that story but what happened the next day? Our story for Great and Holy Monday begins in Bethany where Jesus and his disciples spent the night. (This is where Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus lived.) It’s about 2 miles from Jerusalem so not too far to walk. On their way into Jerusalem, Jesus noticed a fig tree with many leaves on it – the hope that maybe He’d find a fig to munch on even though they were out of season. Finding no fruit, Jesus cursed the tree saying, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.
Next, He went to the temple and as the scripture above details, Jesus made a whip and drove out all of those doing business in the temple along with their livestock and doves. (I learned about a year and a half ago this was the outer chamber of the tabernacle, where those non-Jews would come to worship and the market was a distraction to their worshipping God)
After that, Matthew tells us that the blind and the lame came to Jesus in the temple, and He healed them. After this, Jesus and His disciples went back to Bethany where they spent the night.
Great and Holy Monday is about faith or more accurately lack of faith. The Jewish people there were fruitless in practicing their faith. All show. And the fig tree, lots of leaves, no fruit. Fruitless, and Jesus curses it and the tree withers and dies.
And the temple being turned into a marketplace, a stockyard where the Greeks and other non-Jews are trying to worship!
Three great things to ponder and it’s only Monday of Holy week!
Daily Battle Order: Kingdom Man, as you prepare for Resurrection Sunday ( Easter Sunday), take the time to reflect on Great and Holy Monday. Are you producing fruit in your life or is it just a show? Are you placing distractions in the way of those trying to worship God? It’s a good week to reflect, confess, repent and then…take action!
Tomorrow, we’ll hear the story of Jesus and His disciples as they make their way to the Mount of Olives!