Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

Jesus went into the Temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the stools of those who sold pigeons, and said to them, "It is written in the Scriptures that God said, 'My Temple will be called a house of prayer.' But you are making it a hideout for thieves!"  Matthew 21:12-13

This week we are recalling some of the events of the week leading up to Easter.  Jesus spent his last week here on Earth finishing up God’s plans for him as a man.  On Monday he went to the temple and exhibited a side of Himself seldom seen.

Jesus went to the temple once He got into Jerusalem, and He didn't like what He saw. This most holy of places had been turned into a marketplace.  Merchants were selling animals for temple sacrifices.  Money changers were exchanging the pilgrims' money for special coins used in the temple. Many of these people were cheating the pilgrims who came to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem.  Jesus turned over the seats of the merchants and the tables of the money changers, scattering their coins.  He told them all to leave.  He made a whip of some cords and used it to drive out the animals.  Then he said, 'My Temple will be called a house of prayer.' But you are making it a hideout for thieves!”

Have we not seen the same that Christ saw?  Holy days have been turned into holidays.  Not only are the main emphases of Christmas and Easter pushed to the background by commercialism and family gatherings, but even in the church we get caught up in promotions and programs.  Easter dresses, egg hunts and eating consume our thoughts.  Merchandisers love our holidays and the profits they ring up.  A word for us today would be that it is important for us to remember the “reason for the season” be it Christmas or Easter.

After clearing out the Temple of the profiteers of religion, the lame and blind entered the Temple and He healed those who came.  These did not know His time was short.  He could have turned all attention to Himself but continued to serve others.  As He did so, children began to shout praises which enraged the chief priests and scribes.  But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they became indignant and said to Him, "Do You hear what these children are saying?" And Jesus *said to them, "Yes; have you never read, 'OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF'?"  Matthew 21:15-16  Jesus reminds those religious leaders that the purity of children’s praise is not to be dismissed and that God has created them for His glory. 
Is it not true?  A child’s simple faith has challenged the life of many a parent.  They call us back to believe when it is hard with our compromised minds.  They display the power and beauty of simple praise.  Jesus had even called children to Him when others tried to shoo them away to keep them from disturbing Him while teaching.  His statement then was clear.  "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me;” Matthew 18:3-5   

The lesson for the day seems to be “KMTMT” or “Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing” be in worship or praise.  A childlike faith is not a weak one.

Scripture to Claim:
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name; bring an offering and come into His courts. Worship the LORD in holy attire; tremble before Him, all the earth.  Psalms 96:7-9

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