~Jesus gave us the answer on this
On Monday afternoon of Holy Week, Jesus returns to Jerusalem and to the Temple, where he will spend many hours the next couple days, teaching and debating. But first … he does something that seems absolutely contrary to the Jesus we know – well, except we hear he cursed a fig tree in the morning. Jesus ain’t messin around.
We have seen Jesus baptized by John in the Jordan River,
~touching and healing more people than we can count,
~sitting as he taught as no other rabbi has in the Temple
~teaching from the fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee,
~walking on the tops of waves in the wee hours of the night
~extending his arm to Peter to get back in the boat, when his faith wanes
~gathering little children into his arms to love them...
Now watch with me what Jesus does when he arrives near the Temple on Monday:
he enters the temple courts and drives out all who are buying and selling there. He overturns the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written," he said to them, "'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it 'a den of robbers.'"1 This is the second time Jesus cleansed the temple.2
Why such a violent display by the Lamb of God? Isn't Jesus' behavior a bit extreme? Clearly, he is trying to make a very loud statement. Remember, these are the last days of our Lord's life, so he is demonstrating the values and expressions he is passionate about, and the heart of the Father, who said in Isaiah,
"My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples."3
Prayer is intended to be a priority in our lives; not just at church, but in our individual, daily lives. Prayer is meant to be the answer to whatever we are facing in our lives. I would have to think that all of us, underscore all of us, have taken serious precautions to protect ourselves and our loved ones from Covid-19, but I believe we have to get just as serious about what Jesus was serious about that Monday afternoon: prayer.
I beseech and implore you, I challenge you to become part of #Unite7144 as
people around the world are praying at 7:14 a.m. and 7:14 pm for God to move:
Here is this week’s prayer:
Lord, we come to you in prayer today, believing the promise in 2 Chronicles 7.14: that if we humble ourselves, pray, and turn from our wicked ways, you will hear from hear our prayer and heal our lands. Our community, nation, and world are in desperate need of your help, comfort and healing power. Lord, we ask you to forgive us for turning our hearts away from you. Hear our cry today as we join with the body of Christ around the world to stand together against the Covid-19 crisis.
Lord, strengthen our minds and emotions with the truth that you are greater than Covid-19. Your righteousness protects our hearts from despair. Your Word enables us to walk through this crisis in peace.
Although this is a physical crisis, as believers, we know the enemy wants to take advantage of this moment. Together, we stand in faith against the powers of darkness in this “evil day.” We put on the ‘whole armor of God’ and stand firm on the promises of your Word!
With your armor, we stand protected from the fiery darts of panic and fear. We take up the shield of faith on behalf of our families, our churches, our cities, our nation, and the nations of the world. Salvation is our battle helmet.
We declare the promise in your Word, that no weapon formed against us will prosper. Therefore, we pray in faith that Covid-19 will be eradicated, panic will stop, and God’s peace will fill the earth.
We humbly ask all these things in the powerful name
of our Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Even as Jesus turned over the money grabbers' tables in the Temple on Holy Monday, and stood for prayer in God’s house and all of our houses, he saw you, he saw me – he knew he was standing for righteousness and power for all time. The people needed Jesus then and we sure need him now, Friends. Let’s make prayer our priority in beating Covid-19. With me?
1 - Matthew 21.12-13
2 - John 2.13-17
3 - Isaiah 56.7
4 - https://www.unite714.com