MONDAY 6TH APRIL, 2020 (HOLY MONDAY)
THEME: DECEIT DOES NOT PAY
PASSAGE: MARK 11: 11-19
HYMN: MHB 376 ‘THOU great mysterious God unknown’
MEMORY VERSE: Mark 11:14, ‘And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever. And His disciples heard it.’
The ceremonial last week of Jesus on earth started yesterday in retrospect and is called the “Holy Week.” So today is, in our Christian tradition, called Holy Monday. We must learn from the events of the first Holy Monday. Following Jesus’ arrival at Jerusalem (yesterday) He spent the night in Bethany (Mark 11:11). While He was returning to Jerusalem (today Monday), He noticed a fig tree that had produced leaves ahead of the season. Fig trees bear fruit twice a year; in June and September. This was April, so two months ahead of fruiting, it was not expected to have fruits. But since the fig tree bore leaves, He expected to find figs, yet it was fruitless. Ha! What a great deceit!
For this reason, Jesus cursed the tree and it withered the next day (Mark 11:12-14.). He would not permit it to deceive anyone any further. By this act, Jesus shows us how He detests hypocrisy and deceit. Jesus encouraged believers to take heed that no one deceives them (Matt. 24:4). Speaking of the judgment on Satan in the end of time, the Scripture says that he was cast into the bottomless pit, shut up, and a seal was set upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more… (Revelation 20:3).
The second event of Holy Monday was the cleansing of the Temple. He drove out those who sold and bought in the temple. He would not allow worship to be denied or contaminated. The next time you disturb a worshipper through discussion or distraction be it known to you that Jesus is not pleased with you.
God hates deceit in all forms and adulterated worship. Apart from outside influences and disturbances, we ourselves must not stand in the way of God during worship by buying and selling in our hearts.
PRAYER: O Lord, forgive my previous acts of deceit and cleanse my heart from guilt henceforth. Amen.
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