In this verse Jesus has made His way into Jerusalem that Palm Sunday only to look upon the Temple area in disgust. It tells us in verse 15 that the next day Jesus entered the Temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling, not only quoting Isaiah 56:7, “My house will be called a house of prayer.” but also Jeremiah 7:11, “Has this house, which bears My Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the Lord.” So today, I’m going to ask you to examine your own Temple. For our body is a Temple of the living God. (I Corinthians 3:16 & 6:19, II Corinthians 6:16) and it’s very easy to allow things into our Temple that shouldn’t be there…especially during this uncertain and difficult time with the COVID19 virus. So I just want you to ask yourself – “Have I permitted negative emotions such as fear, worry, and doubt to now take up space in my Temple…Have I allowed frustration, irritation, and exasperation to take over my house of prayer?” Today’s the day to clear the Temple.
In the Bible it’s called the Triumphal Entry…today, we call it Palm Sunday, but it was anything like a great king making a grand entrance into the city of Jerusalem. The writer of this gospel, Luke, was a physician, and as one who by profession had sympathy towards the whole of humanity, he wrote in a style that showcased the compassion and kindness of Jesus. For Luke writes in Chapter 13: 34-35 of Jesus lamenting over the stubbornness and unwillingness of the Jewish people to acknowledge Him as their long-awaited Messiah. So as Jesus came into view of the city that Palm Sunday, He started to weep, grieving deeply over the self-imposed destruction of His people. (Isaiah 22:4)
Jesus stands at the entrance to your heart today. He has been patiently waiting…knocking softly but persistently every time panic has overwhelmed you this past few weeks. His voice is calm and reassuring on the other side of that door…like a light shining forth filled with truth, hope and love. But the decision must be yours and yours alone, for the door has only one latch and it’s on your side of the door. But if you do decide to open that door today, rest assured that all you’ll need to do is crack the door…for then, all of heaven will pull it open.
For many of us, we have been enduring the hardships of social distancing and mandatory self-isolation for several weeks now. We are struggling against loneliness, persevering against boredom, and attempting to quell the growing frustration inside. The verses today talk about discipline, suffering, and correction the Lord ordains for the moral and spiritual nurturing of His children, and that it is always designed for their good. So how then can we look at this unique time in our lives in a favorable light not a negative one? It can start by simply asking God, “What do You want to teach me during this time, and how can I most benefit from it?” The other thing to remember is – don’t despise the Lord’s discipline and don’t resent His correction, (Proverbs 3:11-12) and you will come out on the other side of this as a more positive, hopeful, and encouraged person.
In a matter of minutes Job lost everything…his livelihood, all his future income, and all ten of his children. And you may find yourself in the same place today as you survey your mounting losses. Although Job lost all his material and personal things, there was one thing he never lost, and that was his faith in God. For this verse tells of his acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, goodness, grace and mercy. And as James 1:17 also reminds us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above…” Job lost everything…but he never lost what really mattered…his faith.
We all have blind spots. Areas of our life we can’t see, or chose not to see. Sometimes it’s intentional, sometimes it’s due to ignorance that we can’t see what’s right in front of our faces. This Psalm of David is quite blunt…you can’t help but see the majesty of God around you. For everywhere you look is displayed His glorious work of creation. And creation doesn’t need words to proclaim God’s glory to the world…we need simply to gaze up into the starry sky, glance at the blooming flowers, and listen to the bird’s singing to understand.
We’re receiving guidance from many different entities right now…from the CDC, the Federal Government, and the State Government…not to mention all the local Health Departments. And all these parties involved are attempting to manage and direct us during this pandemic to the best of their ability. But as Believers, we need to also look to Godly guidance. God’s direction through His Word can not only guide us, but watch over us, and speak to us. (Proverbs 6:22) His Word leads and directs our course as we listen and obey…for it tell us in Isaiah 58:11, “The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden , like a spring whose waters never fail.”