By Dave Snyder
Scripture: Matthew 21:12-22 CSB
Jesus went into the temple and threw out all those buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. He said to them, “It is written, my house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of thieves!”
The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. When the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonders that he did and the children shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant 16 and said to him, “Do you hear what these children are saying?”
Jesus replied, “Yes, have you never read:
You have prepared praise
from the mouths of infants and nursing babies?”
Then he left them, went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.
Early in the morning, as he was returning to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, he went up to it and found nothing on it except leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” At once the fig tree withered.
When the disciples saw it, they were amazed and said, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?”
Jesus answered them, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you tell this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done. And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Devotion: Jesus is zealous for holiness.
Shortly after entering Jerusalem, Jesus entered into the temple. Seeing His Father’s house of prayer turned into a sinful marketplace, Jesus cleaned up. Tables overturned and money-changers thrown out showed a different side of our Savior.
This story offers a glimpse into the heart of the Son of God. Jesus was and is passionate about His Father’s will. Upon entering a scene that was supposed to be a worship gathering, He discovered sin.
As we follow our Savior in this world, do we have that same passion? Do we combat against any sin that may hinder our worship?
Lately, I have been praying this in my devotional time, “Father, please increase my love for you while increasing my hatred toward sin.” What is in your life that must be removed so that you can freely worship? What steps must you take in order to come without distractions to the altar of His amazing grace?
In the church, may our aim be centered on Jesus. May we delight in the Father while trusting in the Holy Spirit. May we not center on ourselves, but instead steer our affections toward the glory of the only One worthy to be praised. As a church and as individuals, we can learn much from this scene.
Take a few minutes today and confess any sin that doesn’t belong in your life. Trust in the glory of Jesus to eliminate that darkness so that you can live without any unnecessary burdens. See the passion of Jesus in the temple today. See how He is zealous for you and for His Father in glory.
Dave is the pastor at First Baptist Church of Pensacola. He holds an M.Div. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from Southeastern Seminary. Dave has served churches in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.