Look for a Sign of Hope Today…
What Will Bring you Joy Today?…
Pray for our Teachers and School Administrators…
Covid-19 Numbers are Actual People…
In these challenging, difficult times,
we are discovering a wisdom
that we needed all along,
and that wisdom is that we are all connected.
We are not separate.
author, pastor, speaker, activist
When he entered Jerusalem,
the whole city was in turmoil,
asking, “Who is this?”
The crowds were saying,
“This is the prophet Jesus
from Nazareth in Galilee.”
There was a commotion in the streets of Jerusalem and the people wanted to know what was going on. The pilgrims following Jesus told them, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.” But, the writer of the Gospel of Matthew wants us to understand that Jesus is so much more.
Matthew records that the welcoming crowds that lined the streets greeted Jesus by shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” This is a royal title that struck fear in the hearts of the chief priests and Temple scribes because they worried what the Roman authorities might do if Jerusalem proclaimed a king other than the emperor.
But, Matthew doesn’t stop there. You see the Temple was the place where the one true God dwelled on earth. For Matthew, Jesus, himself has become that place and the old Temple on Mount Zion has now become a signpost pointing to the new reality that, not the Temple, but Jesus has become God’s presence with God’s people.
Do you remember the old westerns when the two gunfighters faced each other in the street and one would say, “Partner, this town just ain’t big enough for the both of us.” Well, this is exactly what Matthew is saying. Jerusalem just ain’t big enough for both Jesus and the Temple and they are bound to clash. And, the clash comes immediately as Jesus “entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying…and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.”
But, Matthew is not quite done. If Jesus is the replacement for the Temple then it would be reasonable to expect that it would be in him, rather than in the Temple, that healing and forgiveness are to be found. So, Matthew immediately draws our attention to the fact that “the blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he cured them.”
In 1 Samuel 5:8 King David orders that the blind and the lame be excluded from the Temple. Now the “Son of David” keeps the Temple free of the blind and the lame by healing them. Just one more example of the difference between what Jesus is offering and what the people are expecting.
In a time of meditation consider what Jesus means to you. One of my favorite books is “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time”. Perhaps as we continue reading the Gospel of Matthew we might open our minds to meeting Jesus as if for the first time. Perhaps we might want to compare what we are expecting of Jesus with what Jesus is truly offering.
O Lord God, whose Son followed your will, both as Servant and Savior, and now rules in the hearts of those who accept him as King: Open our hearts to his rule, that we may rejoice in the blessings of his kingdom. AMEN.
Now, spend some time in worship as you listen to this song that tells us that our King is coming…
May the grace and peace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ,
be with you now and forevermore…