Thank You, Jim for being obedient to writing "Arrows of the Almighty'.
March 25th Issue: "Cleansing"
"And Jesus...drove out all who sold and bought in the temple...he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons."
(Matthew 21: 12)
"It was an unheard-of scandal! This young rabbi, who yesterday had the whole city in a patriotic uproar; today stormed into the very temple precinct itself and created chaos! Doves flapping, men shouting, women scrabbling after the rolling coins...all because of this fellow from Galilee. He was once again stirring up trouble!
His parents had purchased a couple turtle doves and made a poor man's sacrifice for Him some thirty years before. Yet now He comes and drives them all out. It seems stirring-up is always what happens when Jesus enters.
Monday of Holy Week has its parallel in our individual journey of faith...
He comes. Traditions are changed forever and priorities are overturned..
Assumptions swept aside...
The first thing He did on entering Jerusalem is the first thing He does on entering a life. Jesus goes straight to the temple...to the place where we worship and starts cleaning out all that which is not part of God's design for His temple.
Theologians call this process "Sanctification". It is the process of getting everything in our lives right with God. The recognition that with Jesus in charge, many things we used to do...say...want...are no longer okay. This is a common pattern for Christians. Expect it. You see, Jesus loves you enough not only to go to the Cross, but to gradually change you into His own likeness...
It is through the process of loving and being loved!
The hallmark of that Monday in Jerusalem was a surprise. Jesus knew what stood between people and God in those days. "Astonished" is how Mark describes people's reactions to that original cleansing. "Astonished" is how we feel when God's housecleaning...not the one we envisage...gets underway within us: Prejudice...old hurts...a sense of inferiority...whatever blocks our relationships with Jesus must go.