January 13: A Community of Prayer (Matthew 21:12-22)
Matthew 21:12-22 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you make it a den of robbers."
In our passage Jesus asserts his Messianic right to lead the people of God and to purify the temple of God. After the shouts of praise and waving of palm branches as Jesus enters Jerusalem, he immediately moves to cleanse the false worship of the temple, which had always been designed to be a house of prayer for the nations. It had become worldly, irreverent and hostile to true worship. Thus, Jesus teaches on right worship, which is that of prayer and of treasuring the Heavenly Father and his Son. Consider the purity and rightfulness of your worship. Is your worship marked by dependence, humility, zealousness, and love for Christ? or Has form, duty, and worldliness contaminated your worship?
- What in the passage reveals that Jesus claiming to be Messiah?
- What elements of your personal and/or corporate worship need to be purified, challenged or strengthened?
- What is your practice of prayer? What needs to be changed?
- What is the value of our active participation in the corporate prayer life of the church?
- What is the relationship between Jesus cursing the fig tree and his cleansing of the temple?
- What evidence is there of fruitfulness in your own life?