Trouble in the Temple
12The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. 15On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” 18The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. 19When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. 20In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
It’s Monday of Holy Week
What happened in Jerusalem on this day:
- Jesus curses the fig tree.
- Jesus drives out those buying and selling in the temple.
- The religious leaders begin looking for way to kill Jesus.
- The crowds are amazed at Jesus' teaching.
Amos 5:21-24: “I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
What does Jesus see when we worship:
- Are we seeking people who are being excluded?
- Are we waiting for opportunities to celebrate those who others degrade?
- Is our worship for our own edification or to prepare us to go out and serve others?
Debbie Reese is Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC