It’s Monday, what do we see?
By Sparta Live | April 1, 2019 7:38 am
By Steve Qualls – Christpoint Church
The final week has begun. Sunday has come and gone. The dawn breaks, and Monday begins. The days are speeding up, and Thursday will be here very soon. It’s Monday, what do we see? The night before, we saw Jesus enter the temple. We watch him survey the people, their activity, and their motives. We become witness to his anger. We see his blood pressure rise and his temper controlled. We notice his calm as it mixes with the fury. He stands quietly, contemplating, calculating, and then he leaves. It’s late, and the son of man is on a mission. He leaves to fight another day. Monday’s here and what do we see?
It’s Monday, and we see the temple bustling with people. We see individuals helping the incomers with their temple needs. We see a busy Passover week. We see moneychangers helping foreigners with their temple exchange so they can pay their taxes in local currency. What Jesus saw was people franchising faith. He saw the holy becoming distorted by greed and selfishness. He saw people being robbed at the moneychangers’ tables. He saw a whip in his hand and zeal in his heart.
It’s Monday, and what do we see? We see acceptable sacrifices made available for a price. We see doves available to those who don’t have one or for those whose sacrifices have been rejected. We see cages of sacrifices, pure and without blemish. We see people wanting to help the outsiders with temple requirements. What Jesus saw was crooked schemers making a marketplace out of sacrifice. What he saw was people being lied to about their doves’ acceptance only to be sold the same thing from their cages. He saw unfair sacrificial exchanges. He saw people making Passover into a commerce rather than a celebration. He saw a whip in his hand and zeal in his heart.
It’s Monday, and what do you see? Just another sacrifice? Just an animal? Do we see sacrifice as a ritual? What Jesus saw was a sacrifice raised and bottle fed by the family, only to see it rejected for the sake of a dollar. He saw a personal sacrifice substituted with a cold replacement. He saw the family’s best and first, deemed not good enough by the unqualified. He saw the intimacy that cost the family greatly reduced to the ordinary. He saw a whip in his hand and zeal in his heart.
It’s Monday, and what do we see? We see a temple bustling with people. We see people from all over. We see a town full of strangers. What Jesus saw was friends. He saw the temple transformed into a marketplace. He saw a whip in his hand a zeal in his heart.
It’s Monday, and what do you see? We see a beautiful fig tree outside the city. We see a lush green oasis of leaves. What Jesus saw was the form of godliness without the presence of the holy. He saw a tree with no fruit. He saw a representation of the religious system that produces wickedness but no fruit. He saw a whip in his hand and a zeal in his heart.
It’s Monday, and what do we see? Do we notice that the scripture says the zeal for his father’s house has consumed him? Do we notice the whip in his hand? Do we see the tables flipped over and the wicked chased away? Do we see an upset savior, or some may even see a cruel father with a whip? What Jesus saw was people traveling for miles to see God. He saw people wanting to worship. He saw folks longing for the presence of God. He saw people in the way of worshipping God.
What do we see if we look closer? We see that if you want to anger God, then get in the way of people who want to worship him. In the book of Luke 16 and verse 16 the disciples call Judas “a traitor.” In the book of Mathew 26 and verse 50 Jesus calls him “his friend” just before he’s arrested. What do we see around us today? Do we see the people God loves and died for as traitors and cheats? Do we see them as liars and sinners? Do we see them acceptable or unacceptable? Do we even see them as evil and corrupt? Who are we to call traitor and evil whom Jesus calls friend?
It’s not our job to place fruit on someone else’s tree; it’s our job to bear fruit ourselves. What do we see? I know I see you at Christpoint Church this Sunday morning, on the square in Sparta. Traditional service at 8 a.m., regular progressive services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.