Monday: Jesus Curses a Fig Tree, Clears the Temple (March 30, AD 33)
Matt 21:12-19; Mark 11:12-19; Luke 19:45-48
As Jesus returns to Jerusalem the next morning, he spots a fig tree. Promptly, he curses it due to its failure to bear fruit. In the Old Testament, Israel is often depicted as a fig tree (Jer 8:13; Hos 9:10, 16; Joel 1:7). By cursing the fig tree, Jesus seems to be suggesting that Israel had failed to produce the spiritual fruit God expected of the nation and as a result would incur God’s judgment.
Coming into the Temple, Jesus is overcome by righteous zeal. What God had intended to be a quiet place of worship had become a bustling market! Indignantly, Jesus overturns the tables of the moneychangers, chases away sacrificial animals, and casts out both merchants and customers. In keeping with the prophets’ vision, the Temple was to be a house of prayer for all the nations (Isa 56:7; Jer 7:11).
Are our churches places of worship? Or have many of today’s churches become unduly commercialized? Are we running our churches like corporations rather than the body of Christ? If Jesus were to show up on our doorstep one Sunday morning, would he gladly join in worship or stand in judgment over us? Are we bearing fruit for God? If not, what needs to change?
Note: This is an excerpt from a blog that originally appeared on Songtime.com. You can view the original post here.