Holy Week - Monday
This has to be my favorite week of the entire year! This is the week we celebrate the culmination of Christís life and ministry on earth with His death, burial, and resurrection. About half of the four Gospels share accounts of Christís life and ministry leading up to this final week and about half of them cover this final week, His return for 40 days, and the commissioning of the early church.
After arriving in Jerusalem with the pomp and circumstance of a king returning from a triumphant battle yesterday, today He returns to the temple and gives us two crucial teachings on what happens when we no longer dedicate our lives to the things of God.
Jesus first curses a fig tree for its ineffectiveness. The fig tree was made to bear figs and yet it was barren. Iím sure the disciples were wondering why He was so hard on a fig tree! But then He connected the curse of the fig tree for its ineffectiveness with a curse of those in the temple for their ineffectiveness.
Jesus entered the temple and drove out those who had turned it into something other than what God had intended. It was no longer a place of worship. It was no longer a place of prayer. It was no longer a place of seeing God work in the lives of those who truly seek Him. It had become a place of commerce. It had become a place where some were taking advantage of those who wanted to offer sacrifices by making money off of their faithfulness. This corrupted everything.
Jesus changed all of that on that Monday. He drove out those who were there for the wrong reason and invited people to come for the right reason. ďMy house will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a den of robbers.Ē Then the blind and the lame came to Him at the temple and He healed them. (Matthew 21).
If our lives were that fig tree would we be cursed for our ineffectiveness or found effective? If our church were visited by Christ would He see the ministry He desires or would He drive us out so that effective ministry could be done? Are we focused on reaching lost people for Him? Are we making disciples who make disciples? Are we teaching truth? Are we dedicating ourselves to prayer and deeper study?
This Holy Week let us examine our hearts and strive for effectiveness for Christ rather than the ineffectiveness that comes from doing our own things!
James E. Bogoniewski, Jr.