Day 5– Sunday, March 1
Context: After a poignant first week of public ministry, including his baptism by John, calling of some of his disciples and the miracle at the wedding in Cana, Jesus travels to Jerusalem for the first cleansing of the Temple there (his second would occur just after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem at the close of his public ministry). This was likely his first visit to the Temple since his arrival that at age twelve with his parents, where he confounded the scribes, Pharisees and teachers of the law with his understanding and wisdom about God’s ways. Then he declared ‘I must be about my father’s business’ and now, 18 years later, he continues his ‘father’s business’ by cleansing the temple of it’s greed, extortion and idolatry and turning it from a den of robbers into a house of prayer. The Jews asked for a sign of his authority and he shrewdly referenced his future resurrection on the third day.
Observations: Why did Jesus choose to ‘cleanse the temple’ both at the beginning and the end of his public ministry? What images would have been building in him throughout those 18 years? What does this scene tell you about Jesus’ physical stamina and spiritual zeal? Why did he give the sign that he did and not answer their questions directly?
Application: What needs to be ‘cleansed’ in your own life? How can you emulate Jesus’ shrewdness in the way he talked and navigated with others? What ‘sign’ has God given you in the midst that has laid dormant and needs to be made alive now?
Prayer: Ask God for the kind of Spirit-led zeal that He wants you to truly embrace and own … and be willing for Him to change you in the process. Pray that as people connected to Evergreen encounter Jesus they will have stories to tell!