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Daily Devotional | God with us: The Gospel of Matthew | Man fishing with a net. Daily Devotional | God with us: The Gospel of Matthew | Man fishing with a net.

Daily Devotional | Living in the Presence of a Just God

Passion Week chronicles the last eight days of Jesus’ earthly life from His arrival in Jerusalem to His death on the cross. The last quarter of the book of Matthew focuses on this important period of our Savior’s life. Jesus had been making His way to Jerusalem, and in Matthew 21 He had finally arrived (v. 1).

The welcome Jesus received was dramatic and significant. “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road,” and the people greeted Him, shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (vv. 8–9).

But the next scene was not so positive. When Jesus entered the Temple in Jerusalem, He found it had been transformed into a bustling marketplace. He refers to it as a “den of robbers,” far from its true purpose as a “house of prayer” (v. 13). His response is immediate and dramatic. Jesus overturns the money changers’ tables and drives out those buying and selling (v. 12). Following this, the blind and the lame came to Him and He healed them (v.14). Through His actions, Jesus was reasserting that the Temple is to be a space for healing and communion with God, not for exploitation and personal economic advancement.

The Temple scene dramatically displays the power and righteousness of God’s presence. It calls us to honor what is sacred, and to have reverence for God’s presence in “His house.” Just as He healed the blind and the lame, Jesus invites us into the healing and wholeness that only His presence can bring. For believers, the presence of God is to be respected as a sacred space, a peaceful refuge from the clamor of the world. Let’s treasure His presence, honor Him with our prayers today, and lay aside our personal agendas.

Go Deeper

What things in your life make “quiet time” with Jesus difficult? How can you prioritize and protect your time with the Lord?

Pray with Us: Jesus our Lord, help us cast aside pursuits of our own exaltation. Grant us by Your Spirit the ability to live in the light of Your presence, with genuine humility loving our neighbor.

BY James Coakley

Dr. Jim Coakleyis professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute. He earned his BA in Pastoral Studies from Calvary Bible College, his M.Div. and Th.M. in Old Testament from Grace Theological Seminary, and his doctorate from Covenant Theological Seminary. Jim is the author of 14 Fresh Ways to Enjoy the Bible (Moody Publishers). He and his wife, Gayle, live in the western suburbs of Chicago and have two adult children and three grandchildren. 

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