Scriptures for March 15th Exodus 20:1-7, Psalm 19, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, John 2:13-22
All of our lessons for lent, are simple lessons that we learned as children. Lessons that we already know, but we are being asked to take a closer look at. The Exodus passage includes the ten commandments. The deeper message is learning to live with one another. Commandments 1 through 3 teach fundamental things about being faithful people of God. The fourth commandment teaches the principle of rest. Commandments 5 through 10 teach us mutual respect. We are commanded to respect human life, to respect marriage relationships, personal property, and even our neighbor's reputation! Exodus 20:17 offers a more challenging principle: not only are we to respect everything belonging to our neighbor, but we are also warned against intense desire for (coveting) anything that belongs to him or to her. How might we apply these principles to life with our neighbors, both local and global?
Jesus has been planning this journey to Jerusalem, the center of his religion for some time now. Once he arrives, his focus in on the temple – where all Hebrews travel to sacrifice and worship God. Once he gets there, he gets upset with what he sees going on. He throws out the money changers and those selling animals. It is not that they are doing anything wrong. This is a needed service for those who come far distances. But neither are they doing anything right. God’s house should be a place of prayer, not commercialism.
Questions: Do you know the ten commandments by heart? What do they really mean to you? What covenants do we have in place of how we treat one another? Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple twice in his ministry – who would he attack in our modern society? Do we as the modern church get too caught up on making money and forget to be a house of prayer?