Jesus comes to Jerusalem as a King!
The disciples and Jesus’ followers place their cloaks on the ground before Him. Part of the large crowd place branches on the road.
9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
The temple courts were filled with people buying and selling things. Jesus visits the temple to drive out the “den of robbers” and declares “My house will be called a house of prayer.”
During his time in the temple teaching, the chief priests and elders come to question the Lord’s authority. He asks them if they believe John’s baptisms where from a heavenly authority or from human origin.
27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
Today’s Nourishment: “The Pharisees demanded to know where Jesus got his authority. If Jesus said his authority came from God, they would accuse him of blasphemy. If he said he was acting on his own authority, the crowds would be convinced that the Pharisees had the greater authority. But Jesus answered them with a seemingly unrelated question that exposed their real motives. They didn’t really want an answer to their question; they only wanted to trap him. Jesus showed that the Pharisees wanted the truth only if it supported their own views.” [NIV: Life Application Study Bible]
Although my first thought was that Jesus’ reply was witty and even kind of comical – “in your face, disbelievers!” – After reading the above excerpt in my study bible I looked at it very differently.
I started to ask myself, am I sometimes asking the wrong questions of God? Are my motives in line with the answers I am receiving from Him?
I think something we can take from this exchange between Jesus and the ones who were questioning His authority is that Jesus knew their motives and answered accordingly. Jesus knows our hearts and the “whys” behind the things we ask of Him. Even more so, He knows the “whys” behind our doubt, fear, intimidation, mistrust. He knows you so intimately. Before we can even speak the request or state the things that we think we need from Him – He knows.
Have you gotten an answer and wondered why? Or, like above, have you wondered why there has been a lack of response or vague reply from Him?
Remember God knows what’s best! Question your motives when asking from Him.
- Are you asking for selfish reasons? If God answered all your prayers would the world look differently or would just your life?
- Are you asking for something out of love or out of fear?
- Are you asking in faith – accepting that the answer is according to God’s will?
I found this quote by Mother Teresa and wanted to share with you:
“I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I’m supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I’m praying for strength. I used to believe that prayers changes things now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.”
Your reflection on your prayer motive may not look the same way as the way Mother Teresa describes, however, I like that she emphasizes the changes that can come from this reflection.
I hope you can take the time today to reflect, question, readjust, strengthen or even celebrate [if you are doing much better than I!] your prayer motives so that they can align with a loving and trusting relationship with our Lord.
Salt Lake City, UT