After the exuberant praise of the day before and time to ponder and pray about what he carefully observed in the temple, Jesus returns to his Father's House. He knows what it is like to experience physical and spiritual hunger. He knows the desperation of finding food which will satisfy and the deception and obstacles in finding it.
Jesus still longs for us to find free access to God in our prayer, our worship, our praise.
Mark 11:12-19 NIV
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.
15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
19 When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.
For Reflection and Prayer:
What did you notice as you listened? A word, a phrase, a feeling? Continue to listen or pay attention to that with Jesus. What else is He showing you?
What, if anything, surprises you about Jesus in this passage? Does anything about Him in that resonate with your own story? Have a fun discussion with Jesus about it. Does He show you something new about Himself or about you?
This passage points out that those who wanted to kill Jesus feared Him. Do you have points of contact in your life with this? -with people who hurt you that might actually fear you? (Or vice versa). How does this affect your perspective of people you encounter or live with? Where might Jesus be with you in these encounters?
What "tables" in your own heart keep you distracted from your prayer, worship, and praise? Ask Jesus to give you new perspective on them. What does he show you?
Pause. Be still. And remember again that your heart is a house of prayer. Join the prayer which Jesus is already interceding on your behalf and the world's.