Of first importance…
Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem takes him to the Temple. In dramatic style, he sets the tone for the week. The coming days will be filled with passion and drama as Jesus takes on the Jewish establishment with his teaching about divine authority, the end of the age and coming judgement, the nature of the kingdom of God and who would and who would not be present in the coming kingdom. He silences his detractors with his adroit display of divine wisdom.
As His first order of business he cleanses the Temple. Motivated by zeal for his Father’s house, Jesus defends the designated purpose of the place of worship—prayer, spiritual connection with the Father. As he did at the beginning of his ministry, he drives out those who bought and sold animals and exchanged the profane currency of secular society for the holy coin acceptable for sacrifice.
“My Father’s house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers.”
With authority he affirms the heart of worship, prayer—communication between the Father God and his children. God’s intention to meet with his children would not be thwarted by merchandisers.
We will be well served to remember that worship defines of the Father’s House. Whenever any other purpose rises above our spiritual connection with God, we join those who Jesus drove from his Father’s house.
Of first importance we will make the Father’s House a place of worship.