10 And after he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, asking, “Who is this?”
11 And the crowds replied, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
12 And Jesus entered the temple and cleared out all the sellers and buyers in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.
13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a den of robbers.”
14 And blind and the lame people came to him in the temple, and he healed them.
15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were very angry,
16 and they asked him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus replied to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘ Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have perfected praise’?”
Jesus’ little joy ride into Jerusalem had stirred up the whole city, and had gotten them asking an important question: “who is this?”
His actions are his tell. He goes back to the temple courts that he has visited several times before in his life. This time, he finds the people there profiting from other people’s devotion again, and he chases them out. The temple was a symbol of the presence of God. It should be a place where people can go to connect with God, to further their relationship with him. Jesus was disgusted with these merchants and bankers. There is a time and a place for selling and servicing financial needs, but this was not the time, and definitely not the place.
The sound of praise continued to flow from those who dared to believe that Jesus was more than just a gifted prophet. They dared to believe that Jesus was who he had said he was, and were criticized for their faith, put into song. The religious elite were actually embarrassed by this worship. They cringed to hear these ignorant folk singing about deliverance. Jesus soaked in this praise, and he does the same today. When the chief priests and the scribes registered their complaint to him, he told them that these songs were not just legitimate, they were perfected praise.
So, whenever we gather in Christ’s name, as his temple, we have a choice. We can either focus on the things of this world or its creator. We can either set up tables for doing our business or we can do his business. He is all about connecting with God through prayer, and praising God through worship.
LORD, purge our temples of selfishness and inauthentic living. Help us to reconnect with you through prayer, and to declare your praises with authentic worship.