Sunday, March 11, 2012

Daily Devotion for Sunday, March 11, 2012

Scripture for today: John 2:13-22

Key verse for today: John 2:15, "He made a whip from ropes and chased them all out of the temple, including the cattle and the sheep. He scattered the coins and overturned the tables of those who exchanged currency."
Christ Driving the Merchants from the Temple
Jacob Jordaens c. 1650

We were not a wealthy family but simple shepherds living in Sychar in Samaria.  We believed in God but our faith had always been ridiculed by our Jewish cousins.  And so we had never considered making the pilgrimage to Jerusalem.  That is until we heard the rabbi Jesus preach.  He came to town and gave dignity even to the woman that no one would have ever lifted up as an example of righteousness.

If she could receive grace, surely there was a chance for redemption for us as well.

And so we saved up and traveled to Jerusalem.  This journey to and from would take a week for our family and during this time, we would have no wages coming to us.  We took all the food we would need for the journey and money as well.  We also took lambs for offering at the Temple.

Jerusalem was much larger than Sychar.  We were overwhelmed at the size - we came to wait outside the Temple with other pilgrims, trying not to seem too out of place.

We inquired about the lines outside the Temple and discovered that some were to change in the Roman coinage for Jewish money.  The money we had brought along wouldn't be accepted in the Temple.  The exchange rate was much higher than what we would have paid in Sychar.  But what were we to do?  We couldn't travel all the way home.  We would not be able to afford to buy anything in the market to take back with us.

When we brought our finest lamb for the sacrifice, we were left dumbstruck when they told us that it had blemishes and was unacceptable.  The spots were marks of distinguish in Sychar for sheep but evidently, they were not so well thought of in Jerusalem.  We could trade in our lamb for one they had in the market but it would not be an even trade.  Even if we spent the rest of our money along with the trade, we wouldn't have enough for us to buy the food we would need for the return journey.

We were so looking forward to making an offering in the Temple.  Now we will have to go home without ever having that chance.  We wanted so much to be right with God.  Jesus told us that we could be.  This doesn't seem fair but the priests speak for God.  It is frustrating and disappointing to say the least.

Maybe our children will be able to return someday and make offerings in the Temple.

Breath prayer: Gracious Jesus, thank you for giving us faith.

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