Devotion by Pastor Audrey
April 6, 2020
Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:22; Luke 19:45
The order of events for the day after Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem is recorded differently in each of the listed gospels. However, they are in agreement in what he did:
Jesus leaves Bethany; curses the fig tree on the way to Jerusalem, cleanses the temple for the second time; looks into the Temple before he leaves Jerusalem and spends the night again in Bethany.
I am neither a theologian nor a historian so I’m going to take a “drone’s view” of the day’s occurrences. When I do this, I see Jesus’ great love for his people. Jerusalem represents the Jews, they have put their faith in a mighty Messiah to deliverer them from Roman occupation rather than putting their faith in God. That’s why in each of today’s gospels Jesus’ speaks about the importance of faith. Because the Jews lack faith they have not produced Godly fruit in their lives (you can read about this in John and Galatians) like the fig tree. Jesus weeps for them, possibly knowing what the future holds for them or knowing what they are missing by pulling away from God. In cleansing the temple for the second time, Jesus emphasizes the importance for the Jews to do a spiritual cleansing and restoration of their faith as well. We’re not told why Jesus doesn’t spend the evening in Jerusalem, but returns to Bethany.
Given what is happening in our world today, I believe God is calling us to honestly consider the depth of our faith and trust in Him. Rather than looking at all the negative aspects of social distancing, what if we used it as an opportunity to read our Bible more, study scripture, pray daily, teach our children about the love of Jesus and God, explore new ways to pray, journal and so much more. It’s my hope that from this time of isolation we will produce Godly fruit that will not only be life-changing for us, but those around us as well.