Knocking Over Tables
02 May 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 21:12-17 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
12 Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” 14 The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them. 15 The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.” But the leaders were indignant. 16 They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?” “Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’” 17 Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight. (Matthew 21:12–17 NLT)
Jesus, the Humble King, entered Jerusalem and went directly to the Temple. It was Passover season and Jewish visitors from all over the world were in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast. Temple, Inc. was in full swing with sacrifice sellers and money changers dominating the entrances to fleece the peasants and pilgrims who came to worship. The money changers took the currency the faithful brought and exchanged it for “Temple Coin,” usually at exorbitant rates. The sacrifice sellers had their cages and pens filled with squawking birds, and “baa-ing” sheep. The out-of-towners obviously couldn’t bring their own animals for sacrifice, so they had no option but to purchase animals from the sellers who paid the priests for Temple space. (Ever bought a hot dog at a MLB game?) Jesus said God’s Temple was to be a house of prayer. Temple, Inc. had become a den of thieves!
Then Jesus began healing the blind and lame who came to him in the Temple that day and the little children were making up songs of praise to Jesus, the Son of David! The teachers of religious law and the leading priests couldn’t see God at work. The blind and lame and the little children rejoiced. Here’s a weird little thought: I think sometimes we get upset over changes in our buildings, our services, and our church habits and completely miss miracles Jesus is doing in our very midst!
Father, If Jesus wants to turn over a couple of tables and disrupt our carefully planned service, I hope he just goes ahead and does it! Please help my friends and me not to get upset over the changes and miss the miracles Jesus does in peoples’ lives!