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Holy Week Monday: Corruption

Updated: Apr 3

originally posted on Facebook

How striking! Jesus had just entered Jerusalem, welcomed with victory palms and shouts of "Hosanna!" which means "I beg you to save us!" "Please deliver us!"


His first act wasn't to head straight for the nearest Roman barracks with guns blazing or town hall with well-crafted political rhetoric. Instead, he went to the temple. There, He found people buying and selling livestock, the requisite Jewish sacrifices, and money changers exchanging currency. Some were selling doves, the budget sacrifice the very poor could afford.


John reports that Jesus made a whip of cords to drive everyone out, then overturned the merchants' tables.


Overturning tables with a self-made whip is an intentional, outraged act.


John's Gospel also records Jesus saying, "Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”


Jesus's next move was to immediately heal the blind and lame who came to him, children nearby shouting delighted praises at the miracles. The religious leaders looked on "indignant" and critical, plotting.


If only this scene wasn't so eerily familiar to our modern-day American churches, flush with merchandise, capital campaigns, and opulence, all funded by "requisite sacrifices" for the "Lord," instead of helping and healing the poor, lame, and blind.


Evidently, God hates this. He has since the start and He does now.


It's important for all of us to examine ourselves in light of this account and so many others that reveal God's priorities.


I think of my own experience starting a business for special needs kids. My original vision was a small cottage industry, filling orders in my basement with my family.

Against my own conscience (big red flag), I allowed myself to be wooed by investors with a grander vision. My God-given mission and the mother's zeal that fueled it was overshadowed by my obligation to them, fear, and ambition. I eventually had to abandon the business, an agonizing and costly loss. Was I deeply harmed? Yes! But I have to own my part.


As I so often say--well-documented by history--money, property, and prestige are corrosive forces to which we can all fall prey.


Are we aligned with Jesus's priorities, so clearly echoed here? If not, let's return to Him and the throne of grace with humble hearts and shout, "Hosanna!"


PRAYER:

Father, please show us if we've made our individual and stick-n-brick temples a marketplace. Please forgive us, have mercy on us, and help us to realign with your heart toward the poor and the broken who need your healing, loving care, and support. In Christ's name I ask it. Thank You. I love You. 💖

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