Day 41

Holy Week in Real Time: Monday

from the Lent 2016 reading plan

Matthew 21:12-22, Isaiah 56:1-8

On the Monday of Holy Week, Jesus asserted His authority in the temple.

If Jerusalem was a beehive, with His triumphal entry the day before, Jesus hit it with a stick. You could hear the buzz grow as the anger within the religious leadership got organized. With that kingly arrival on Sunday, Jesus had made a strong declaration about His authority over all the conventions of man.

On Monday He returned for more, this time to declare the failure of His own people to live up to the covenantal mandate God had given them to be a blessing to the world (Matthew 21:12-13).

Much of what the Gospels tell us about Monday centers on the theme of Jesus’ authority—both over the created world and in His right to pass judgment upon it. Everything Jesus did He did with authority.

So when He woke His disciples Monday saying He wanted go back into Jerusalem to teach in the temple, as risky as it sounded, it wasn’t surprising. But everyone sensed something stirring, as if Jesus had rounded a corner and His end was coming fast. He was a marked man.

When Jesus saw the commotion, commerce, and chaos going on in the temple, He was indignant. The way the Sanhedrin led Israel was not how God’s people were supposed to be led. The temple was a sacred space, and worship was a holy matter. The propriety and dignity of approaching the presence of God had found an advocate in this visiting rabbi. And so, on the Monday before His crucifixion, Jesus went into the temple and overturned the money changers’ tables (Mark 11:15-19).

This was not the first time Jesus had done this. He had cleared the temple like this once earlier, back before anyone knew His name. Then He had warned the merchants to remove the money-changers’ tables and stop making His Father’s house into a den of thieves (John 2:13-17).

If the first time Jesus cleared the temple served as a warning; this time it served as a judgment. This was not an eruption of sudden anger. Jesus saw nothing on that Monday He hadn’t seen many other times. He had even stood in this very place as recently as the day before, so nothing He saw came as a surprise. Jesus simply did what He planned to do.

Jesus’ provocative actions in overturning the money changers’ tables spoke to His deep concern for the way God’s people had traded the work of loving God for a religion of economy. And ever since, He remains involved in the provocative work of overturning idolatrous hearts, calling them back to the dignity and sanctity for which they were intended.

written by Russ Ramsey
adapted from Behold the King of Glory

Post Comments (6)

6 thoughts on "Holy Week in Real Time: Monday"

  1. Mark Dill says:

    Lord, help me to seek you as a seeker of the outcast of Israel, also a seeker of the outcast o the world. Help me to return to you in peace and holiness. To live in communion with you. In your “house of prayer”.

  2. Isaac Jones says:

    Man is wicked; the leaders of the people acting as representatives of the people hate Him and are indignant at the glory He receives and the dishonor they receive. Men do not mind if God is glorified if they can be self-justified, but they hate the truth that God is glorified and everyone else if found lacking apart from His long-suffering patience of mercy.

  3. Isaac Jones says:

    All tribes and nations will have an opportunity to worship God. He is extending an invitation that reaches far and wide to any who will lay themselves down and pick Him up as the Holy one to glorify in worship.

  4. Isaac Jones says:

    God brings people from all nations into His covenant promise of redemption. God is the conquering King over sin. Our Father cares deeply about how He is worshipped and the hearts of those who claim to worship Him; He sees and knows the hearts of man.

  5. Isaac Jones says:

    I will respond by not fretting about not being a Jew. Sometimes I wish I was Jewish or went and did things like marry a Jew or get Jewish citizenship; why do I want this? I want validation of my part in the kingdom; I want to do something or pay my way into assurance as “Gods people”. This is common in Christians which is why televangelists are able to extort people who desire to be faithful and righteous.

    Instead I will believe this gospel of validation by faith, not by works so that I do not boast in “heritage” or “citizenship”, so I may boast in Christ and Him crucified as my certification of citizenship with the “people of God”.

  6. Isaac Jones says:

    Heavenly Father,
    Thank you for the Cross Lord; thank you for the mail pierced hands. You are my proof of citizenship in the Kingdom. Your gospel is my gospel and hope. I trust you; please squash down any doubts or fears that lead me to want to “earn” my way into your family. Thank you for already bringing me into your family by faith through the Holy Spirits proclamation in me of the person of Christ as Lord. Thank you for all own me to be baptized in faith, and now share the gospels with other Gentiles. I love you Lord; you are my Father and King; I am your servant, and son, and citizen with my brothers of faith by Jesus your firstborn Son the true Son of God by which we are also called “sons” through faith by the redemption of Jesus blood. May your name be glorified on my lips, the lips of this nation, and of the world forever; amen.

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