Jesus never tolerated ‘church as usual.’ In fact, at times He did what some of us would call outrageous. “He kicked over the tables of loan sharks and the stalls of dove merchants. He quoted this text: ‘My house was designated a house of prayer; you have made it a hangout for thieves.'” [Matthew 21:12-13 Message]

As a pastor, I have to ask myself: What would Jesus change if He walked into our church service? What would please Him or what would displease Him? No, we aren’t setting up tables to buy and sell. But, would He consider that we were fulfilling His desires as a house of prayer? Maybe we think we are…but would He consider it so?

The next line in Matthew 21:14 reads: “Now there was room for the blind and crippled to get in. They came to Jesus and He healed them.” ‘Now’ implies that something has changed from its previous condition.

Jesus had [and still does have] a way of disturbing what man considers ‘a church service.’ At the inception of our church, just weeks into meeting together, He stunned me with this question: “May I interrupt this program to have church?” My thoughts came under arrest! My soul grieved that we were missing it ~ missing His presence and His pleasure. Since that outrageous question, I’ve purposed in my heart to listen carefully to what He desires…though I’m sure I’ve missed it more than once.

Matthew’s account reveals His purpose. Jesus stripped the Temple of everything that did not fulfill His Father’s purpose and made room “for the blind and crippled to get in.”

What followed was …”they came to Jesus and He healed them.”

No doubt we must invite Him to interrupt our ‘programs’ in order that church services allow His purpose. Healing will flow.




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