Easter is getting ever nearer.! Christ’s entry into Jerusalem was a popular event. The choice of an ass’ colt may have been deliberate to show that Jesus was not trying to be a warrior-king. His entry was in humble dignity. The picture changed when he went into the temple. He was more than a little upset when He saw what was going on in the temple. He drove out the money lenders and traders. The fourth Gospel tells us that he used a whip. The traders were greatly annoyed at Jesus’ action, no wonder, they stood to lose a lot of money.. In clearing them all out, Jesus was attacking the system and all that it stood for. Jesus attacked the system at its very heart. no wonder those whose responsibility it was to preserve the whole Jewish religious way of life were angry..
”Who does he make himself out to be ‘ ?’ they were asking. ”This is God’s temple, the sacrifices are to God, the offerings are to God ” They claimed that the system had the sanction and authority of God. To challenge what was going on was to defy God’s authority. That was precisely the point. In the name of God, Jesus said they had driven out genuine prayer and devotion and let in greedy trade. If the Pharisees and the Sadducees wanted to force the issue, Jesus was more than willing to force the issue with them. A crisis was bound to come. As they saw it, the whole system would crumble if attacked at its heart. As Jesus saw it, the whole system would crumble unless it was purified at its heart.
The truth of this story is not a thing of the past. Paul tells us that we are the temple of the living God. What happened once in Jerusalem goes on happening in our experience today.. We are looking forward to Easter.
The Fifth Sunday in Lent, is also known as Passion Sunday
The story of the man who was suffering from palsy who was brought to Jesus, carried on a couch is told in St Luke’s Gospel. The faith of those who brought him is clearly demonstrated when, to avoid the large crowd that surrounded the house where Jesus was staying, broke through the roof. They brought their friend and laid him right in front of Jesus. This large crowd included Pharisees and doctors of the law who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. to hear Jesus preach the Good News of Salvation…Many in the crowd were known to be critical, asking the question, ”Who is this man”. That is the same question that many are asking today and have asked all down through the ages. In this story, not only is the faith of the palsied man’s friends demonstrated, so also is the power of Jesus shown. when He told the palsied man that his sins were forgiven. It seems that Jesus said this to reveal His authority to forgive and not just the power to heal. Both came from God for both belong to God.. The compassion of Jesus led Him to heal and forgive.
No wonder the crowd was filled with awe and said, ” We have seen remarkable things today ”