If you were to describe Jesus in one word, what would it be? Did you choose a word like savior, lamb, kind, loving, or powerful? Did you choose the word angry? If you spent any time in church as a kid, you probably recall images that were meant to portray Jesus. I bet none of them showed Him turning over tables in the temple. They were usually pictures of Him teaching or spending time with kids—pictures that pretty much made Him look like the Pied Piper. In reality, Jesus is loving, kind,t and inviting. However, He is so much more than that.
In our passage today, Mark gives an account of Jesus giving what for to all the businessmen and women, who had turned the temple and Passover celebration into an exploited opportunity to make a buck.
Jesus had incredibly high expectations for what should and should not happen in God’s temple. If someone was going to deviate from those expectations, especially for their personal gain, He wanted to communicate that such behavior was unacceptable.
So, what about us? Do we know and lean into the standards and expectations Christ has set for our daily living as image-bearers? What about our attitude toward His church, toward the lost, toward our spouses, kids, or other brothers and sisters in Christ? What about our giving of our time, talents, and resources?
Jesus is all-loving, and He invites us all to have a seat at the table. But, He also has standards and expectations for how His followers should live. Remember, at the end of the day, we are Christ’s ambassadors if we are in Him. With that in mind, His standards are reasonable to expect. We might think, “Man, that is such a tight rope to walk and a high standard to live by.” However, the good news for us is that Jesus doesn’t expect us to work that out on our own. He has given us help through the power of the Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His glory and goodness.” Let us confidently steward our lives for His glory through His power.
“Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God. You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So, glorify God with your body.” — 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Lord, help me to live a life that is pleasing to You. Though I could never achieve Your perfect standard, thank You that your death and resurrection on my behalf allows me to be in right standing with You. May Your Holy Spirit lead and empower me to live in a way that points others to Jesus.
Items Needed: painter’s tape
Put a piece of tape on a wall at your house. Make sure it is up high so it cannot be reached by your children. As you discuss today’s devotion on God’s standards, be sure to emphasize that we are unable to reach them on our own.
Ask your children to take turns jumping to try and touch the tape. You may want to incentivize them with a treat. After they give up, connect that to the point that reaching God’s standards is impossible without Christ.
Then, pick them up so that they can touch the tape. Let them know that we can meet God’s standards when we are made righteous through Christ.
Items Needed: saltine crackers, something to drink
Instead of the tape activity, gather some saltine crackers for your family (enough for six crackers for each family member). Set a 60-second timer and see if anyone can eat all six saltines in 60 seconds or less. It seems like an easy task, but it is nearly impossible to achieve. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, wait until the activity is over to take a sip of your drink.”
Click here to watch this preparation video for the Family Passover Seder Meal.
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