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Letter Eight

Imagine you were one of the women followers of Jesus during his three-year ministry on earth. What would it be like as you heard his teachings, walked by his side, and watched his ministry?

Dear sister,

I have had some difficult days lately. My emotions have been very up and down. I am still confused about a lot of what I am experiencing. Things started out okay. I went with Jesus, his mother and brothers and the disciples to Capernaum. As Passover was approaching, Jesus said we would all go to Jerusalem. I was looking forward to seeing Jesus preach at this special time of year. But when we arrived at the Temple, there were men and women outside selling animals and exchanging money. Much to my surprise, Jesus reacted very strongly to the vendors. He made a whip and drove out the animals, freed the doves, and turned over the tables of the money changers. Then he rebuked all of them and said: “How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”

I was shocked by the intensity of his response. It was a wake-up call to me as sometimes I do not worship at the temple with the reverence that our heavenly Father deserves. I can be too relaxed and distracted by other things going on in my life.

I was afraid the people might be so angry they would beat Jesus up or have him put in jail. But to my surprise, though they were very upset, they did not hurt him. They asked him to prove his authority to destroy their market by demonstrating a miraculous sign. He told them to destroy the temple and he would raise it up again in three days. What could he possibly mean by this? Surely, he cannot rebuild the temple in three days that took our forefathers forty-six years to build. Later, we followers discussed this. Honestly, we are still unsure what his meaning was. Could he really raise the temple in three days?

Our Teacher has a certain kindness and authority that makes people either be drawn to him or want to strike out at him. In the days following the marketplace incident, Jesus did many miracles that led people to believe in his name. Despite their enthusiasm, he did not entrust himself to them. He seems to know the hearts of people and how much to trust them. I feel very fortunate that Jesus continues to allow me to serve him. However, to be honest, after the marketplace incident, I have both love and fear of him. I think it is a healthy, respectful fear. I never felt this feeling towards anyone. Sister, I never know what to expect or what tomorrow will bring. I still feel excited to be in his presence, though his power and mission are daunting at times! Please pray I can better understand the mystery he brings.

Wish we could talk face to face,

your Big Sister

Today’s Bible Reading: John 2:12-25

Today’s Application:

  1. Why do you think Jesus reacted so strongly to the vendors at the temple?

  2. When you enter into worship with God either at home or at church, do you demonstrate respect and reverence to God? How could you show greater respect when you worship?

  3. Jesus wisely knew the boundaries he should have with people. “He did not need man’s testimony about man” (John 2:25). Do you sometimes say or do things with people to seek their approval? Paul instructs us to ask ourselves some hard questions: “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). If you are doing this in any way, confess this and ask the Lord to help you live solely for His pleasure and not to win the approval or respect of others

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