The Invitation - Day 12

Matthew 21: 12-17

“Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”

The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.” 

But the leaders were indignant. They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?” 

“Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’” Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight.”

Ok, day three of our reflection on Jesus’ cleansing of the temple, and I hope it’s been helpful for you.

What’s different that we can take note of in Matthew’s account is really what happened after the barriers were removed.  People of all kinds, people that weren’t allowed in the temple before (blind, sick, lame), brought their ailments to Jesus.  The closest they had ever got to entering the temple was the gate, but now they have full access and enter.

Not only do they enter in, but they receive from Jesus what we all long to receive from Jesus: healing.  In a physical sense, Jesus made them whole, but this likely affected their spiritual wholeness because Jesus believed in making us complete: mind, body, soul, and heart.

You see this distinction clearly in a story found in Mark 5 of a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years.  Scholars believe her bleeding would have been comparable to being on your menstrual cycle continuously for 12 years.  Her condition, like any ailment, made her unclean from a societal and religious perspective.  This meant a few things: she couldn’t touch another person, and another person couldn’t touch her; she couldn’t make eye contact with another person, and another person couldn’t make eye contact with her…FOR TWELVE YEARS!

Imagine how lonely and isolated you would feel.

Mark tells us she spent all she had trying to improve but only grew worse.

One day, Jesus arrived in her village.  She had heard much about him, his teachings, his healings, but she knew she could never go to where he was.  She’d have to wait for him to come to her.  And today was that day.

She felt that if Jesus were who others said he was, the Messiah, she’d only have to touch the hem of his garment to be healed.  Long story short, that’s what she does, and that’s what happens.  She is cured in an instant, physically, anyway.  

She turned to leave, hopefully unnoticed, but Jesus wasn’t done with her yet.  She was physically healed, yes, but after 12 years of isolation, name-calling, and rejection, she needed more than physical healing.  In the end, Jesus touches her, looks her in the eye, and calls her daughter.  All of these are acts of restoration. 

So, what in your life needs healing?  What in your life needs the touch of the Savior?  Talk with the person you’re studying about the things in your past or present where you need the healer to come in and make you whole.

Things to talk over:
  1. Do you have any emotional scars from your past that haven’t quite healed yet?
  2. Are there any spiritual scars or baggage you’d like to let go of so you may be made whole?
  3. Do you believe that Jesus wants to, and can, make you whole?  Why or why not?
  4. PRAY TOGETHER - Sometimes healing comes in a moment; other times, it takes time.  After sharing some areas in each other’s lives where healing is needed, begin to pray over each other for that healing, and claim Paul’s promise in Romans 8: 26-27, that when we have things we can’t put into prayer but we know we need it, that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with moans and groans that our words can’t express.

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

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1 Comment

Justin - February 23rd, 2024 at 6:45am