Its Monday morning.  Jesus and his followers are walking from Bethany, where they are staying, back into the city of Jerusalem.  Jesus was hungry and spotting a fig tree, he moves closer in hopes of plucking a piece of fruit.

He finds only leaves and subsequently curses the tree proclaiming that it should “never bear fruit again.”  This outburst from Jesus is uncharacteristic and the disciples take note later asking Jesus to explain it to them.  

As they approach the city, things are changing.  People are everywhere clamoring for Jesus attention.  His every movement is noticed not just by the crowds, but the onlooking Pharisees who are trying to trap Jesus and turn public opinion against him. The smart thing would be for Jesus to lay low and avoid controversy, but this is not what He does.

Entering into the temple, Jesus overturns the tables of the moneychangers and releases the caged animals from their pens.  As he does this, he exclaims, “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it into a done of thieves.”  This too is a reference to prophecy.  The people are pleased because they know they are being taken advantage of, but the religious leaders are not as this hits them where it hurts, the pocketbook.  They ask Jesus, “By what authority do you do these things?”  But, he refuses to answer them.  Jesus has picked a fight with the leading religious authorities.  A fight they intend to win.  But, for now Jesus walks away free and adored by the crowds of pilgrims who are flooding into the city.

Today, let us ponder the fact that Jesus came into Jerusalem not shying away from confrontation, but actually inviting it. Why?  Because this was HIs purpose.  He came to die.  Likewise, as the Son of God, He had the authority to do what He did.  The system was abusing the poorest and least.  Jesus was standing up for the right, the truth, and the least of these.  We should do likewise.

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2 Chronicles 20:25 - "And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much."

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