Hope in Casting Out the Religious

And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
Matthew 21:8-9

We love to experience times of sweet fellowship and victorious praise. It feeds our spirit, lifts us emotionally and gives us precious memories to recall.

This must have been a glorious time for Jesus' disciples, as they saw their Master being worshiped. Jesus' praises were being sung by huge crowds of people who were introducing Him as "Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee".

Jesus had just warned them that this town would be the place of His death. They must have wondered if He could have been talking about another future visit to Jerusalem. Things were going so well on this day.

I wonder if they were, then, somewhat disappointed as Jesus walked into the temple that day and began to clear out –by force – the moneychangers and businessmen who had set up shop there.

Things were going so beautifully, but now He was stirring up anger and making enemies of the religious leaders' workers at the temple.

It is difficult for us to transition:

  • from praising to preaching;
  • from fellowship to discipleship;
  • from worship to work.

It is, however, necessary.

(There are those who are guilty of spending all their time preaching, discipling and working. They take no time to refuel their own spirit by fellowship with others around the Word, or by time on their face in worship, or they neglect to praise God out loud for His goodness and love. These people are pretty rare in most religious circles; although they do exist in abundance in others.)

Most of us, though, like to live in the comfortable place of fellowship with those who believe just like we do. We love the songs of praise and would be so pleased if people came to the Saviour simply because we worshiped Him so beautifully. It does sometimes happen that way, but not very often.

Jesus had work to do:

  • He had truth to proclaim.
  • He had men to confront.
  • He had healing to administer.

The blind and the lame were not going to come into the temple as long as it was filled with businessmen. The children were not going to be allowed to sing His praises in the midst of a marketplace full of merchandise.

Sometimes, we must go through confrontation before God's work can be done. We have to stand toe-to-toe with those whose beliefs differ from ours and proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Why would folks want to know our Saviour if we aren't willing to stand up for Him in the midst of a hostile crowd?
  • What kind of God can't face opposition?
  • How strong is our faith if it is only strong in the fellowship of those who believe the same way we do?

Jesus wants all men to be reconciled to Him. For them to be "reconciled" means that they are "in a state of disagreement or enmity" to God and then are "brought into fellowship" with God.

We are going to have to give the Word to people who don't agree with us and to those who would consider themselves our enemy. This won't be easy, but it is the cause for which Jesus came.

They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Mark 2:17

If the lost are to be saved, if those sick of soul are to be made well, we must be bold to proclaim the truth of our Saviour today.

Don't be afraid to stir up the crowd that is satisfied with their position in the temple.