Over the course of this week, together we’ll read Matthew’s account of Jesus’ week leading up to and including His death, burial, and resurrection. As we read the Word, we will try to answer the question of Matthew 21:10, “Who is this?” Each day, we’ll read through a larger passage of Scripture and then narrow in on a smaller passage for reflection. At some point during the day, take a quiet moment to first read the larger passage. Then, go back and reread the smaller section. Use the devotional below to interact with the text.
MONDAY, APRIL 15th
Larger Portion of Scripture - Matthew 21:12-22
Focused Passage for Reflection - Matthew 21:12-17
Reflecting on the Text:
When you read this passage, do your thoughts first form a chart listing out what is, and what is not allowed in the temple? Or, do your thoughts begin to form a mental portrait of the person of Jesus? If you find yourself looking to the person of Jesus, what characteristics stand out to you?
We know of Jesus’ humility. It was on display as he rode the colt into the city. But here in the temple we find additional layers. He is strong, and compassionate. He is authoritative, and reverent. As He enters the temple, His main concern is the holiness of God, His Father. Through His actions, we see that Jesus was zealous for worship. The temple was to be a place of prayer and healing…not a place for profiteers. So he acted. This is a kingly picture, which at least for me, stirs my heart for this Jesus. This is the kind of King I want to follow.
How about the response from those on the scene? On the one hand, we see the priests and scribes. The text tells us they saw the “wonderful things he did” and yet they were indignant. Why? Well, for one thing, their hearts were hardened. They saw Jesus as a rival.
On the other hand, we see the children. They saw the same portrait of the same man, and yet they sang praise. So again, we ask why? The simple answer is that they were not concerned about rivalries in the least. They simply saw the Savior, passionate for worship, healing the blind and the lame. And then we see the bigger picture in Jesus’ response to the religious leaders. The Lord had prepared the children’s praise, by preparing their hearts to see Jesus.
Questions for personal reflection:
From this text, what do we learn about the person of Jesus and the priorities of Jesus?
Are we more inclined to side with the religious leaders, or with the children in our response to Jesus? Why?