On the Monday after Jesus arrived in Jerusalem to a parade of people waving palm branches and shouting “Hosanna” he returns to town. This time he visits the Temple and does a little house cleaning. He cases out those who were filling the temple with greed, and the corrupt.
12 Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “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.'”
Matthew 21:12-13 (NIV)
As i read these words and recall these events in the life of Christ I often find myself focusing on what Jesus chased out of the Temple. We even like to cheer for Jesus as he breaks up the little Mafia like activity that was present there. We hear the “common” man shouting, that “finally someone has stood up to them.” But there is a danger about dwelling on this part of the account. It can lead us to judgement, of those who we think should be chased out of the Church today. At least that is a road I find it easy for me to go down.
Instead, lets focus on the next verse. Lets see that it is what comes next that matters.
14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.
Matthew 21:14 (NIV)
We need to spend more time seeing not what Jesus chased out, but on what Jesus welcomed in to the temple. Jesus brought hope back to a temple that seemed to often remind people only of how far they were from what God wanted, and never reminded them about the Love and compassion of God. We need to make sure that our churches are places that welcome the spiritually blind, and lame and by God’s powerful Spirit share with them the Christ who heals!
Lets face it – in most of life it’s what comes next that matters:
- After you have in true repentance come to see forgiveness
- After you have been filled with Joy and Peace at a Sunday Morning Worship service
- After you have said words that you wish you could take back
- After you have seen the Lord at work in your life
- After you have reach rock bottom and realized you can’t make it one your own
It’s what comes next that matters…. As long as what comes next is Christ you are equipped:
- To Share the forgiveness you have received with others
- To tell others about the joy you have found in Worship
- To seek forgiveness from those you have hurt
- To offer praise and thanks to God for his work in your life
- To hold on to the one thing that will never change, or let go of you – Jesus
So now that you have just read this blog, what comes next? What to share you next step – leave us a comment below.