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Holy Monday

Holy Monday

It's Monday of Holy Week.  Two million people have crowded into Jerusalem for Passover, so Jesus and his disciples are staying with friends in Bethany, a suburb of the Holy City.  They see a fig tree on the way, carefully cultivated with beautiful leaves but no fruit.

Immediately Jesus sees in this fruitless fruit tree a symbol of Israel.  He says to it, "May no fruit come from you again!"  And it withered at once.  The tree looked healthy, but it bore no fruit.  And the tree is good only if its fruit is good.  According to Jesus, it is the same way with us.  Hold that thought as we walk through this day with our Lord.

He arrives next at the Temple, where he finds the moneychangers at work.  People coming to make sacrifices must buy their animals, at exorbitant prices, with their currency, at astronomical exchange rates.  Jesus is outraged, for one of the very few times in his ministry.  He drives these corrupt merchants out of the temple and cries, "My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers."  Then he heals the blind and the lame who come to him in this newly cleansed "house of prayer."  The authorities immediately begin plotting to kill him.

After this uproar, Jesus continues teaching in the Temple.  Some Gentiles who have come to Passover have heard of him and want to meet him.  But Gentiles aren't allowed into the Temple itself, so they find one of his disciples and say to him, "Sir, we would like to see Jesus."  Jesus sees their acceptance of his message as fruit of his global movement.

Holy Monday teaches us that fruit makes the tree, and the soul.  The book of James asks, "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save him?"  A tree can look good but have no fruit.  A man can work in the Temple, under the authority of the High Priest himself, but blaspheme God by his moneychanging corruption.  Gentiles can trust in the Christ more than his own Jewish people.

The hard news is that God cares about our attitudes, our thoughts, and our actions, more than he cares about our appearance or our status.  The good news is that God can use any person who wants to be used.

Has your life been used by the King yet today?

 

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