Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:12-17
On the Monday after Palm Sunday, Jesus cleared the temple in Jerusalem. This was when Jesus overturned the tables and said:
“My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you make it a den of robbers.” (Matthew: 21:13)
Jesus found some of the courts of the temple turned into a market for cattle and things used in the sacrifices, and partly occupied by the money-changers who were robbing the people. If Jesus came into our church, how many evil thing would he discover and cleanse. And how many things practiced under the cloak of religion, would he show to be more suitable to a den of thieves than to a house of prayer?
Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:18-22
On the Monday after Palm Sunday, after Jesus cleared the temple, He cursed the barren fig tree.
Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away. (Matthew 21:18-19)
The barren fig tree is a symbol of those who think only of outward goodness which does not come from the heart. This cursing of the barren fig tree represents the state of hypocrites who look good on the outside, but they are not bearing fruit. After Jesus cursed the barren fig tree, it lost its leaves.
Are you looking good on the outside but not bearing fruit? If so, you are like that barren fig tree.
Feel free to read the Lenten lesson for Day 42.