“It’s Passion Week! Let’s walk with Jesus during His last earthly week. Each day was significant and purposeful. Let’s see how it applies to our lives. Let the journey begin.”

No Longer Ministry As Usual

Matthew 21:12-17

Jesus’ Passion Week journey is one that is full of actions that can be characterized into two categories: 1. Setting things right 2. Preparing people for his departure. Today’s scripture falls into the first category. After Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, he heads straight to his father’s house. At the temple he is met with an enraging sight. This situation is where we hear Jesus say his infamous words: “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers.” Many people use this scripture to critic the church concerning money, but before we shake our boney finger at the temple and the church lets get better clarity of what Jesus is really enraged about. For Jews of that day, the desecration that Jesus felt concerning the temple was not a mutual feeling. They did not understand why Jesus was so upset.

During this time Jews were located throughout the area. When they traveled for annual festivals, they did not travel with sacrifice in hand. They purchased sacrifices on arrival to the temple. In the name of convenience sacrifices were sold in the temple. This convenience made way for another convenience – currency exchange. Since Jews were coming in from all over, they all had different currency. There were people who were charging people to exchange their currency so that they could purchase sacrifices for the temple. In America today, a set-up like that would be call small business economy. However, in Jesus’ sight it was considered robbery. For this set-up brought in people of bad character to deceive and exploit the people. So it was not the business that Jesus was worried about, but the people and the atmosphere it set in his father’s house. Jesus’ turning over of tables was a call of correction, a call for the temple to no longer do ministry as usual.

Today it is a pandemic that is calling churches to no longer do ministry as usual. The call is not only for churches, but for us all. This Passion Week is an opportunity for us all to become sensitive to the desecration in our lives, start turning over tables and kicking out all those things that mess up our atmosphere. What are those things that you have been allowing yourself and others to get away with that is not pleasing to God? What has polluted your ethics and morals? Who do you need to kick-out of your life? What do you need to give up in order to get closer to God? And the most important question, what is the thing that you need most to receive your healing? For the end of this scripture reminds us that after getting his house in order that he heals the blind and the lame in the temple. For this Monday of Passion week let’s not only focus on what got us here but let’s focus on Him who can save us from here.