Yesterday, Jesus made his way from a small town outside Jerusalem into the city. Today, we find Jesus returning to Jerusalem and making his way to the temple. The temple was supposed to be a holy place, dedicated to people coming to worship God. Instead, it had become a marketplace where people were buying and selling goods—not to mention cheating people out of their money. Today, we no longer have a temple as the focal point of our worship, but back in that day it was considered to be a highly revered place where people would learn about God.
Vendors were taking advantage of those desiring to approach God and putting obstacles in their way. But Jesus came to remove barriers between people and God.
Matthew captured the story in Matthew 21:12–17.
Jesus entered the temple courts 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. “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.’”
After that, the blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.
“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.
“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, (and he quotes a Psalm)
“‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”
And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
Heavenly Father, it can be so easy to let our activity take precedence over our devotion to you. And when that happens over time, we miss who you are. As we approach Easter, help us not to miss seeing you. Help us to be like children, who are both undistracted and unafraid to simply praise you! Amen.