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Thursday, September 30, 2010

9/30/10- Matthew 21:14-17 Worship for all

14 The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he cured them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the amazing things that he did, and heard the children crying out in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they became angry 16 and said to him, "Do you hear what these are saying?" Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never read, 'Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise for yourself'?" 17 He left them, went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.

(Christ Healing in the Temple- Benjamin West 1811 designed for and placed in the first hospital in America in Pennsylvania)

Thoughts: According to Leviticus 21:18-21 the physically impaired could not offer sacrifices at the temple.  So in effect, Jesus was opening up the worship of God to these who were impaired.  He was building a spiritual handicap ramp so they could come. 
Why would the priests be mad that he healed these and that the little children were calling him the "Son of David?"  The status quo was changing, and "that's just the way it is" wouldn't work anymore. 
All people are welcome to come and worship.  Christ, however, seeks to change us, heal us so that we will be whole physically, mentally, and spiritually.  In heaven, we will be made whole in every way- and our sin (which we too easily embrace- Prostitution was made legal in Canada yesterday) will be washed away and we will not desire it anymore.  To be made whole and pure in the presence of God is a wonderful hope!

Prayer: Lord, as you healed people in the temple, so heal my heart to worship you. 

John Calvin abridged: Christ showed he had authority to cleanse the temple with his miracles. The lame and the blind were witnesses to his power. We see how ungodly and malicious were the scribes and priests who opposed him.  For they not only opposed him for the childrens' songs, but also because of his miracles. Christ was showing his kingship, and those in tyranny did not like their power diminished.  Christ acknowledges it is unnatural that children should praise him instead of the priests who were called to do so. But even if the children were to be quiet, the very rocks would praise him.

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