Today’s meditation is taken from Max Lucado’s book, On Calvary’s Hill (Pages 7-9)
Jesus Purges the Temple
Scripture – Matthew 21:12-17
It was Passover week. The Passover was the high- light of the Jewish calendar. People came from all regions and many countries to be present for the celebration. Upon arriving, they were obligated to meet two requirements.
First, an animal sacrifice, usually a dove. The dove had to be perfect, without blemish. If you brought a sacrifice from your own source, it would be considered insufficient by the authorities in the temple. So under the guise of keeping the sacrifice pure, the sellers sold doves—at their price.
Second, the people had to pay a yearly temple tax. During Passover, the tax had to be rendered in local currency. Knowing many foreigners would be in Jerusalem to pay the tax, money changers conveniently set up tables and offered to exchange the foreign money for local—for a modest fee, of course.
It’s not difficult to see what angered Jesus. Pilgrims journeyed days to see God, to witness the holy, to wor- ship his majesty. But before they were taken into the presence of God, they were taken to the cleaners.
Want to anger God? Get in the way of people who want to see him. Exploit people in the name of God.In Christ stormed. Doves flapped and tables flew. People scampered and traders scattered.This was not an impulsive show or temper tantrum. It was a deliberate act with an intentional message. God will never hold guiltless those who exploit the privilege of worship.
Christ’s passion on Monday is indignation. There are hucksters in God’s house. Remember why Jesus purged the temple. Those closest to it may be the far- thest from it.
Heavenly Father, work in my life in such a way that people will see you shining forth. Help me to break free from the selfishness and sin that prevent me from being conformed to your image and expressing your holiness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
– Max Lucado –