Mark 11 gives us another look at Jesus coming to Jerusalem. He sent a couple of the disciples ahead to prepare and bring back a colt for him to ride. Jesus warns them that someone may challenge why they are taking the colt. “Why are you doing this” is the question they were told to expect. He was right on and it is what the people there asked. Because they were prepared, “they told them what Jesus had said and they let them go”. Good outcome because of the right preparation. That is true in so many aspects of life. A little preparation goes a long way to guarantee success. Jesus prepared His team well. He continually told them what to expect and they were ready for it before it happened. Are you prepared for life? Have you read the letters that God wrote for you as a Christ Follower so you can know what to do? We need to be in the Word and prepared for whatever life throws our way. We need to know God’s plan for us – the destination He wants us to achieve, and then walk in obedience to get there following His direction.
Jesus comes into the temple and finds things a bit out of whack. They are selling things and changing money. Jesus says it is not to happen and causes quite a stir. But He goes further – “He would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple”. It wasn’t just about the selling and changing money – it was also about how people treated the temple. It was a place of God – a place of worship – and not something to be used for personal gain. In fact, Jesus defines how it should be used: “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations…..but you have made it a den a robbers”. Would you call your church a house of prayer? Is that the main thing that happens there? Does prayer actually happen much at all? Far too many churches are not used for prayer. We have filled them with lots of programs and activities and prayer is more of an afterthought – something we do because we are supposed to – not the defining quality of the church. Jesus tells us how that prayer should be too. “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses”. Did you catch that? Relationships need to be made right through prayer. If we know there are any relationship issues – we need to deal with them. We need to forgive. There is no more powerful thing in life than forgiveness. It is the way we set others free and are set free ourselves. It is the core of what Jesus came to teach us. We need to forgive, we need to pray, we need to come to the Father continually!